Interview with Morvelo Founders
by Jon C
Many of our customers will now know about Morvelo Apparels. It is one of Velo Velo's very first brand. I love their designs and the excellent bibshorts. It's my go to bibshort for long rides due to their excellent compression, fit and chamois.
Morvelo is based in the city of Brighton, England and they ride their bikes everyday. They are an intentionally small team of four working to their strengths, keeping all product design, graphic design, marketing and customer service in house and using specialists for everything else. Morvélo is also independently owned and self-financed.
To understand more about the story behind the brand, I did a short interview with the founders some time back.
Here's their story.
1. Tell us about your inspirations for the designs that we can expect to see in the upcoming autumn winter season.
The inspiration for the design comes from the worlds of fashion, sport, art, music, and film as well as a healthy dose of pop culture. Only for the more vintage designs do we ever look to the cycling world for inspiration, looking at retro designs. For AW2017 we have limited the color palette so you can mix and match across items, even if they are not the same design.
Morvelo Unity Evo
2. We hear that your bibs have received some accolades and positive reviews. What goes into the design and manufacturing process?
First and foremost we are riders and really do ride everything. It's not just a marketing ploy. So we get to try and test first hand. We've been racing bikes for over 25 years so have a deep understanding of what it takes to make a quality product having ridden in a huge amount of kit over the years. So we test, then get our team to test, taking on feedback all the time. Even when the product is launched we in-house over the years so all out products subtly evolve. Manufacturing is done in a small Polish factory run by an English guy who just so happens to come from our home town of Brighton. He's was a top amateur and set up his business in his wife's parent garden shed in 1989 so the grass roots approach is much the same as ours. Fabrics all come from Italy, as do the chamois because frankly, no-one else comes close. We've tried others but Italy is the best. Reflective details and trim come from Germany and the lycra binding from France so it's a purely European affair
Morvelo Reflective Tab found on their bibshorts
3. How do you choose the fabrics, stitching, testing of the kits etc?
Riding, riding and more riding. We pick fabrics, look at companies inside and outside of cycling to see what construction methods they are using. Try them out. Keep them if we are happy and more often than not modify as we don't ever accept there is a final solution. Our products, even though we are super happy with them, will always continue to evolve.
4. Many factories mass produce their kits but you still take pains to hand make your kits in Europe. Why did you decide to do that?
It started off because we couldn't afford to make large numbers. We are entirely self-financed, starting in 2009 with £500 and a box of t-shirts. We continually reinvest and so grow at a steady and organic rate. Only European manufacturers had the flexibility or inclination to do small numbers. However, we got to know the factories so well and love working with them so much we have stayed with them. Only our new rain jackets and MTB shorts are made in China because we, unfortunately, couldn't find the quality we were after in Europe. However, 95% of our clothing is still made in the cycling heartland.
Spring Summer 2017 Fifty kit
5. We'd like to get to know the team better. Between yourselves, Oli and Dave, how do you split the work on who designs and who does quality control?
Dave leads the design, Oli the product development, Lois the marketing and Danni the customer services and logistics, although we cross over on everything from branding, marketing, social media, events and coffee making. We are all riders so try and test all products first-hand every day so we are all aware if there are any quality issues. Because we are a small team we take feedback very personally and act on each and every response. There are no departments or board meetings. We are all completely involved in everything we do. It's our passion not just our job.
Thanks so much for the interview and insight into your brand. Can't wait to see the upcoming season!
Morvelo are a group of cyclists creating their dream kits and sharing with other cyclists. They have constantly evolve and always improving. Wish to try a Morvelo? We are having a end of season sale for their Spring Summer 2017 collection. Check them out here.