1st May 2010 Words: Matt Lamy
“The Foska story all started with three men
in a pub, bemoaning the selection of cycle kit that was available at the time,” explains Foska
co-founder Tony Yerby.
“We didn’t particularly want to emulate the Tour de France, especially when many Tour de France jerseys tended to promote things like aluminium gutter makers or supermarkets. We decided we wanted to put a range of really iconic brands on jerseys instead,” he continues.
“When it got to Castorama we decided we’d had enough — that’s when team jerseys hit rock bottom,” laughs Neill Keen, another partner in the business.
The first ‘iconic brand’ the Foska boys fancied having on a jersey was Marmite, so they simply went to Marmite Towers, and were shocked to find that the people at Marmite said ‘Yes!’ The original Marmite design jersey sold out within weeks, and is still Foska’s number one best-seller.
Soon, the Marmite logo was followed by a host of other well-known corporate images, such as Heinz Baked Beanz, Irn-Bru, The Beano, Colman’s Mustard, and some striking original designs including national flags, pirate designs, a convict’s outfit and the famous skeleton jersey.
“We’ve just launched two more!” Keen enthuses. “One is the London Underground map and we’ve also just done Wallace and Gromit.”
Foska has also branched out making tights, jackets and even bike-shaped pasta. “We won’t do much more of that as it’s going away from the brand ethos, which is to put fun into cycle clothing,” says Keen.