Iconic Sydneysiders, Attaquer and Sydney Romantics join forces to create a retro, flea market inspired, cycling specific streetwear collection. Launching on Wednesday 18th of April, designs pay homage to vintage icons – leopard print, tie dye, Hawaiian, and camo wrapped up all in the one range.
We sat down with Stevan Musulin from Attaquer and Jodia Natapradja from Sydney Romantics to talk about the collaboration, brand origins and what’s on the horizon for both brands…
What’s the relationship between Sydney Romantics and Attaquer and how did this collection come about?
JN: Sydney is a small city and if you work in apparel you’re bound to cross paths. Attaquer reached out to us to work on a small collab around 2 years ago but we were just starting off and didn’t quite have the capacity to commit to the project and do it the justice it deserved. Fast forward a year and Attaquer reached out looking for a head designer and I was intrigued. I knew I could learn a lot from these guys and if I can see that a brand has the ability to bust the ceiling in a particular market, then I’m in. I had no experience in technical sports apparel before but that’s not I was there for, Attaquer had that covered. I was there to add a deeper graphic attitude to a new cycling world they had created. The collection came about quite naturally, it was something Stevan wanted to do from the beginning and I guess with a Romantic on the team he knew it could happen.
SM: I’ve known Jodia and Ryan for many years through our dealings in the fashion industry and I’ve been admiring what they’ve created with Romantics, and I knew it would be cool to work on a project together. As it turned out we actually had a position become available at Attaquer for a head designer, and Jodia was the perfect person for the job. As a brand, Attaquer has been wanting to branch out into technical apparel for on and off the bike for some time. With Jodia coming on board, and the existing relationship with Romantics, the timing seemed right to kick things off.
There are some very distinctive designs in the collection. Tell us a little bit about where the design inspiration for the range has come from?
JN: With the collection we never set out to design the most technically advanced pieces of clothing you could buy, we just wanted to design functional, comfortable clothes you could wear on the street with cycling in mind. The art direction of the collection is a direct reflection of Attaquer’s Limited line called Roll’N’Rock, which is inspired by the iconic pieces you’re likely to find rummaging through your favourite flea market or vintage store. The actual pieces themselves, although very casual at first glance, have technical details within their DNA. For example the All Day pants are made from a stretch cotton twill which allows extra movement and comfort. The tees are made from a technical nylon which give a cotton look and feel. They allow your body to stay cool and each feature a back stash pocket inspired by cycling jerseys. Each piece in the collection also features a 3M reflective pip for safety when riding at night.
Can you tell us a bit about the collection in terms of why it’s different, the technical specifications, materials choice, the design and manufacturing process?
JN: Both teams grew up in the 80s and 90s, the golden era of streetwear and pop culture and we feel these themes have never really been played out with within cycling. Attaquer own this space with their cycling kits, we just wanted to help them push it into apparel and streetwear. A successful collab starts with knowing what each party brings to the table to create something unique that embodies both brand’s values. With this particular project we brought art direction and fashion suppliers and Attaquer brought their technical fabric know-how and their performance apparel suppliers.
SM: We wanted to create on/off the bike apparel using performance fabrics with functional cycling inspired details, such as back pockets and reflective trims, but they need to feel like regular clothes. You shouldn’t look out of place when you stop for a coffee on your commute to work, or when you stop for a couple at the pub on the way home. The tee shirts for example look like a regular cotton tee, but they’re made from a performance moisture wicking, quick-drying poly blend.
Further to this, Attaquer, you’re well known for producing high quality, technical, cycling garments, how have you applied this knowledge when designing this collection and making your first step into streetwear?
SM: This collection is truly a reflection of where Attaquer comes from and what Attaquer stands for. It’s where streetwear and fashion meet sportswear and performance. We’ve taken everything we know from cycling apparel and applied this knowledge to casual wear. We are extremely excited about this and taking another big step for the brand into something new and inspiring.
So, is this collection designed for cyclists and cycling in? or for regular punters too?
JN: This collection is for anybody who is a fan of streetwear and enjoys being active. Personally I have mates who cycle but will never feel comfortable enough to wear a jersey and bibs. This is for them!
SM: Both. The collection is rich in details and performance, but these aspects are subtle enough that even non-cyclists will pick them up and not find them to be out of place in their wardrobe.
Both of your brands originated in Sydney, and Sydney appears to still form such a large part of your Brands DNA and inspiration. With this collection, will it be exclusive to Australia or do you plan on taking it to the rest of the world?
JN: Sydney is not home to luxury brands, but the lifestyle we live is luxurious. Sydney is our Muse and we will continue to marvel at her beauty, it’s our biggest export. It will be sold exclusively on attaquercycling.com for now and Sydney Romantics’ new store when it opens, but we definitely plan on pushing it globally. Attaquer’s reach continues to grow, we Romantics are happy to chase the Peloton.
SM: Definitely to the world, if they’ll have us.
What’s the next exciting thing on the horizon for each of your brands?
JN: We’re about to sign a lease for a new spot which will include an art gallery which we’re very excited about as well as more colabs inside and outside of fashion. Future is definitely bright.
SM: Currently speaking to Elon Musk about a few projects, sending the first bike in to outer space.