This week will see the release of Rapha’s 2013 Spring / Summer range, including a capsule collection that makes a grand départ from their usual understated style. The Rapha & Ræburn series features limited edition jeans, a similarly exclusive Henley merino shirt and a highly individual and visible jacket created in collaboration with UK designer, Christopher Ræburn.
It’s going to be near impossible to resist making quips about designer genes in this story, as it involves two brothers with highly visible roles in the British fashion industry landscape. One is Graeme Raeburn, Rapha’s lead product designer and the other is Christopher Raeburn, a fashion designer well known for utilizing re-appropriated military fabrics.
Surely it wouldn’t have been long before the two hooked up on some project, but it might not have been successful had not their styles been so compatible. Christopher is all about recycling martial materials and the epic riding portrayed by Rapha’s Continental riders, for example, requires the material’s resilience.
The Rapha & Ræburn Hooded Wind Jacket is made in England from decommissioned and deconstructed nylon parachutes. Both strong and lightweight, it’s covered with reflective polka dots and when not in use, can be packed into one of its own rear pockets. The jacket is limited to 600 pieces: 300 white, 200 green and 100 orange.
The Rapha & Ræburn collection may not be to the taste of riders used to the brand’s conventional lines, it’s certainly an exciting variation on a theme which is not entirely out of place. Kudos to both Rapha and the Ræburn brothers for being brave enough to think outside the black and pink square. Keep an eye on the Rapha website, facebook page and twitter this week for the drop.