Bike manufacturer Specialized are back with another apparel and bike accessories collaboration, this time tapping into the annals of Fjällräven’s heritage in technical innovation, style-forward sustainability and a typically Swedish embrace-the-outdoors ethos. What’s the hype all about?
A week before part one of the multi-hyphenate collection debuts and just in time for the longer and more optimistic days of spring riding, Specialized and the Swedish trekking, outdoor wear and equipment specialists Fjällräven have offered a first look at their collaborative collection. Except it’s explicitly called an ‘exchange’ of ideas, insight and culture rather than a collab – despite bearing all the usual collab traits, including the hype. (Full disclaimer: having seen the collection first-hand, we are truly on board with said hype).
Entitled ‘The Great Nearby’, the collection dips into the expertise of these two respective legends in their field to whip up an array of goods that performs on both form and function. It looks fresh and upbeat – you won’t have seen riding and outdoor wear done like this before – and spreads a message of adventuring close to home. Chiming with Fjällräven’s principle of inclusivity, the aim is to inspire both current and non-current cyclists to get outdoors on a bike without getting bogged down in big plans.
The collection, which launches in various chapters over the coming months, brings together Fjällräven’s signature functionality (reimagined for life both with a bike and on a bike), timeless aesthetic and technically unmatched fabrics with Specialized’s state-of-the-art bike knowledge and consumer insight gained over decades, so you know that you’ll be getting pieces that work whether you’re grinding out long gravel epics, commuting from the suburbs, or saddling up for a sunset barbeque at a nearby lake. It sees the selection of on and off the bike equipment and apparel all done in a subtle colour palette reminiscent of the great outdoors, featuring all-weather apparel, a range of bags, places to stash things, and riding kit that works from the city to the country and back again.
In terms of brand identities, we sat down with Fjällräven’s Creative Director to talk through the exchange and how their green, sustainable ethos could be better applied within the cycling space – beginning with the footprint caused by the choice of materials (an understanding that Fjällräven are excited to see Specialized are already adopting), plus a general commitment within cycling to build bikes that will withstand the test of time and don’t simply contribute to landfill. Given the sheer fact that bikes are by their very being a sustainability mobility option, does it give the bike industry a right to have a green pass when it comes to sustainability? Ouch. Fair point.
We’ve got a fascinating interview coming up in the next issue of GRAN FONDO with Henrik Andersson, Fjällräven’s Creative Director, so stay tuned for the inside line. You can also get an idea of the bike outdoor collection and its sustainability and read about how Specialized and Fjällräven have complemented each other. The collaboration will be dropping in various chapters and will be available through both Specialized’s and Fjallräven’s websites.
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Words: Emmie Collinge Photos: Specialized x Fjällräven