by: Guri Randhawa @The_PRW
March 10th, 2017

Pour yourself a Gin and Tonic because this is a long one, you have been warned. I am super excited to announce the addition of 7MESH to our list of amazing clothing brands. As I always say, the addition of any brand to our portfolio is not taken lightly. It has to compliment our existing product choices but simultaneously bring something new to the table. 7MESH punches above its weight class offering a clean aesthetic and approach to pattern making with technical fabric that is borderline obsessive. I like that.

Never heard of 7MESH? No problem, here’s the Cole’s notes on the brand. All of the founding members of 7MESH worked for Arc’teryx in the past. Not one to name drop, but anyone who follows the Outdoor business knows the reputation Arc’teryx has when it comes to designing and manufacturing super technical outdoor garments. This expertise and experience has been carried over to 7MESH’s entire line up, from bibs to jackets. They are based out of Squamish BC where the varied weather conditions create the perfect lab for testing apparel in the variety of foul conditions and environments. This home base is also where the 7MESH team hand cuts all the patterns for prototype testing. Yep, each pattern is hand drawn and cut, then assembled in Squamish to test its full function. In the cycling world over 90% of the brands out there are what I call “catalogue brands.” Think of it like bike companies that use open mold frames out of a catalogue and stick their logo on them. The apparel world is not that different, a lot of brands merely pick patterns out of a catalogue, select a color, assign fabric and hit the order button. There are only a handful of brands that still make all of their own patterns in house before production. With cycling, textiles become complex in how they stretch and function, so fit and paneling is a crucial element that can’t be left to chance. Try on a well-tailored outfit and see how each panel and choice of fabric plays an integral part in the fit and finish of the piece. A cycling jersey is no different and this is where 7MESH truly shines.

So why 7MESH? When the brand was first launched I did take a look at some of the offerings as you cannot stay complacent in this industry, and I am always on the look out for better product from companies that get it. It’s not just that a brand has to have great product, it needs to have the desire to evolve and learn from each piece they design. Never being satisfied with what they did last year, but pushing themselves with each design they make. Also, in an industry so driven by numbers, brands lose the passion and the personal relationships this industry can foster. It’s supposed to be fun; it’s bikes! It was refreshing to see exactly how this tight knit group at 7MESH interacted with us and with each other. The first collection they launched was a bit closer to the Mountain Bike world in my opinion. Bobby (Director of Sales) ensured me that this was just the beginning and to wait and see what they would have for next season. Remember me talking about relationships in the bike biz? I use to deal with Bobby prior to his 7MESH days when he was involved with another brand in the industry and have always kept in touch with him. He’s a guy who is passionate about everything he does and who also values the input core shops like ours provide to manufacturers. No pressure from him, he knew me well enough to know that when I was ready, we would talk.

Last year I was able to test a few key pieces that Bobby felt would be a good fit for the shop. They grew their offerings to pieces that I felt fit our clientele and shop much better and I was committed. But me being me, and 7MESH being the obsessive-compulsive guys we love, we needed to do something more, something different to launch the brand.

In stepped Ian Martin, VP R&D and the Jedi of details. We came up with the idea of doing a PRW-7MESH collaboration bib and jersey. They had never done any custom work so this was a good opportunity to try it out. I was blown away that they even wanted to take on the project, as they have so many of there own pieces to work on, let alone a custom kit for some shop in the Northern tundra. For anyone who has done custom kit, with many of the brands out there you take a design, they put it on the jersey. Ian, not so much… We had a design that was pretty intricate (as you can see by the photos) and the 7 Mesh G2 Jersey has some pretty unique pattern cuts. I thought they would just sublimate and be done. Ian went and reworked the pattern so it lined up when each piece of the jersey was sewn. Being a true collaboration he added some of 7 mesh design elements as well including the small stripe on the short and Jersey. He also went thru a bunch of pantone and zipper colors to ensure he nailed it. A full prototype was manufactured to see how it all looked when sewn. More tweaking of colors and fabric and the end result is one amazing piece of cycling apparel.

The whole process showed me how passionate and dedicated the entire team was, and how they valued each and every step in the process. I am excited to be working with 7MESH, and I know you will love what they have to offer. The PRW x 7MESH launch edition kit is now available in limited numbers. I am positive you will love and appreciate the effort that went into it. It is always nice to work with a small company, and even better when they are Canadian. Not sure how we can top this jersey but I know its just the beginning of some cool projects.



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