In a year impacted by the topics of the coronavirus, politics and global warming, nothing appears to have captured the imagination – in cycling circles, at least – quite like EF Pro Cycling's collaboration with skateboards and streetwear brand Palace to create a special kit with clothing supplier Rapha that the US team's riders are currently wearing at the Giro d’Italia.
That kit has inspired Stycle Design to come up with their own fantasy collaboration designs, pairing UCI WorldTeam, ProTeam and Women's WorldTeam squads with a number of clothing, sportswear and fashion brands, including Jumbo-Visma x Versace, Alpecin-Fenix x Puma and Canyon-SRAM x Vans.
Belgium-based Stijn Dossche is behind the designs, and has kindly shared them with Cyclingnews, explaining that the EF Pro Cycling x Palace collaboration "got me thinking about what was possible".
"I'm always thinking of new, out-of-the-box ideas, and this was a gift for me," he told us on Sunday after posting his designs on Twitter – @StijnDossche – and Instagram (stycle_design), where you can find his other jersey designs, too.
As to how he came up with the brand names and which teams to pair them with, Dossche explained: "I just made a list of streetwear brands like Palace. And once I'd written them on a piece of paper, I just thought of ideas, writing the teams next to the brands."
This year's Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar's UAE Team Emirates squad, for example, has been paired with Nike's Michael Jordan sneaker and clothing brand Jordan, while Nike shares Belgian WorldTour team Lotto Soudal's jersey in a minimalist but impactful design.
We reckon that recent Giro d'Italia stage winner and proud Essex boy Alex Dowsett would have loved to have won in this Israel Start-Up Nation x Louis Vuitton jersey, while Mark Cavendish might be persuaded to prolong his career for another season with Bahrain McLaren if their jersey looked like this one – a collaboration with streetwear label HUF.
There are Deceuninck-QuickStep x Stüssy, Trek-Segafredo x Supreme and Astana x Balenciaga designs, and we can picture Wout van Aert, Primož Roglič and Tom Dumoulin happily rocking the stunning Jumbo-Visma x Versace look.
Might Ineos Grenadiers be able to turn their season around with another new jersey – this time in collaboration with Dutch clothing brand Daily Paper? Perhaps a joint venture with Belstaff is more likely; team CEO Fran Millar recently left to take up the same position with Belstaff, who already supply casual clothing to the British squad.
NTT could do with a new backer of the level of Patagonia after it was announced at the end of last month that the telecommunications company wouldn't continue to back the team in 2021, while CCC Team could have done with a partnership with musician Tyler, The Creator's clothing brand Golf Wang earlier this season before the operating company behind the team, Continuum Sports, decided to sell its WorldTour licence to the owners of the Circus-Wanty Gobert team for 2021.
French WorldTour team Groupama-FDJ get to keep their red, white and blue colours in the Groupama-FDJ x Tommy Hilfiger collaboration, as do AG2R La Mondiale with their unusual blue and brown colours in the jersey design for their pairing with clothing brand October's Very Own.
Movistar, however, get a complete jersey overhaul with the Movistar x A Bathing Ape design, as do Mitchelton-Scott – albeit to lesser extent – with their principally black-and-white Mitchelton-Scott x Off-White jerseys.
The Sunweb x Kappa jersey sticks with the team's new, principally white-and-black design, while the colours are also familiar for the Bora-Hansgrohe fantasy-collaboration jersey design with Dutch streetwear store Patta, and the mainly red-and-white Cofidis jersey design, pairing the French team with skate and clothing brand Diamond Supply Co.
Dossche goes beyond the WorldTour, too, and has come up with some new designs for some UCI ProTeam squads, including Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix team – a fantasy collaboration with Puma – and French squad Arkéa-Samsic, whose jersey gets the Gucci treatment.
Similarly, Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM have been put with Prada, while women's UCI WorldTeam Canyon-SRAM have been paired with sneaker manufacturer Vans.
Do you have a favourite among these collaboration jerseys? Let us know in the comments section below.
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