Trimble Racing’s Red Hook Crit was held in Brooklyn last weekend, unleashing a torrent of kaleidoscopic colours and graphics down a 1.13km loop for 26 laps. It’s a sponsorship spectacle, with brands clamouring to seen above the visual din.
McKenzie Sampson is the Apparel and Technical Graphics Designer at Specialized and in contrast, he took a monochromatic approach for the Allez Allez – Specialized team kit and bikes.
Sounds like a dream job, doesn’t it? Despite being one of the US’ most dominant bike brands, Specialized continues to push boundaries creatively; its AWOL project is a good example of the free reign that is granted to their designers and ambassadors.
McKenzie — AKA Samps — has been practising as an illustrator and apparel designer for years, including some interesting projects with the big S, like their fat biking-specific clothing range.
For the team kits and bikes, McKenzie created a two-tone scheme inspired by the street art of Brooklyn, which he applied to two prototype Allez Sprint frames and Roval CLX64 wheels, S-Works Sub6 shoes, S-Works Evade helmets, and S-Works Evade skinsuits.
The frames were painstakingly hand-drawn, with the patterns applied with ink and pens. The scheme was reversed for the two riders — Aldo Ino Ilesic and Colin Strickland — resulting in a yin-yang effect.
The 2016 Red Hook Crit Booklyn was an action-filled event, with a mass crash at the start caused by a stalled motorcycle. That didn’t dissuade Colin and Aldo, though, placing 1st and 3rd respectively. No doubt McKenzie’s artwork was a contributing factor.
Watch the process video here.