Last night Team TWC headed down to the opening of the brand new ASSOS store in London.
The Regent Street location and luxe design seems to send a clear signal to the world that cycling has reached new heights of sophistication and that ASSOS is dedicated to UK riders.
The Swiss brand only have one other concept store, in their own home country – with all other sales going online or via distributors across the country.
The brand has made huge leaps forward in their marketing approach to women over the past year, after CEO Phil Duff came on board and reformed the tired, sexualised images we all loved to hate. Now, we just love to love the kickass material which in many cases features ex-snowboarding pro and Red Hook Crit racer, Juliet Elliott, who was on hand at the launch.
The brand is now aware that it needs to work on its range for women – the kit currently available is revered for being technically brilliant, but there’s nowhere near the choice afforded to men.
When we spoke to new CEO Phil Duff earlier this year, he commented: “If you look at our women’s products, the shortcoming is that compared to the men’s side, it’s a lot smaller. It doesn’t cover as many different fits and as many different price points. It certainly covers the four climate levels. But in terms of technical development it’s fully equal to the men’s side. We are working on growing the range to really fill in so we have the same breadth and range."
Visiting London for the launch, he commented on the new store, saying: “London is the epicenter of fashion and the ever-growing buzz around cycling and we’re thrilled to bring our passion to Regent Street. From professional and avid riders through to the weekend warrior, the ASSOS range is designed to allow cyclists to focus on the ride, whether that be at a competitive level or simply on the daily commute to work".
The store was designed by Ab Rodgers, who said on the night he wanted the space to echo the atmosphere of a ‘museum’ or ‘church’ (though he did add ‘though I’m not religious’). There’s only one version of each item on shop floor, with ‘cellars’ located towards the rear full of every size available to try on. There’s even an adjustable Goomah racing bike set up so that customers can test out kit before they buy.
Rogers’ portfolio boasts work with The TATE, the V&A and Conde Nast. He added: “As a cycling enthusiast myself, I’m drawn to the unwavering commitment to performance and the attention to detail ASSOS invest in every garment. I wanted to design a space that echoed this ethos, but importantly, also offered an innovative retail solution to guarantee customers an un-matched experience both on and off the bike".
Here's a little glimpse into our opening night experience...
The store opened to the public at 9am today, and there are fitting appointments available daily - find out more here.