By Luke Friend
British fashion designer Stella McCartney has joined forces with Cannondale to create a series of limited edition bikes featuring hand painted designs by three emerging artists from around the globe.
Ed Cutis in London, Myfawnwy (Maisie Broome) in New York and Tom Tosseyn in Antwerp have all worked with McCartney on her 2021 Autumn/Winter range and have now applied their artistic vision to three of Cannondale’s latest bikes: the SystemSix, the SuperSix EVO and the EVO CX.
The project came to fruition thanks to McCartney’s love of cycling and a shared vision with Cannondale. Billed as a ‘celebration of the spirit of self-expression and creativity’, the 18 hand painted bikes feature bold graphics and distinctive colours, helping to reinterpret three of Cannondale’s most recognisable machines.
“As a lifelong cyclist and someone who rides their bicycle every day to work, I could not be more excited for my new shared journey with Cannondale, '' says McCartney. “The bikes we have created embody our common values and vision – blending beauty and desirability with a sense of responsibility to the next generation”
The bikes won’t be available for sale, nor are there any plans for them to go into production. However, the bikes will be displayed at four of Stella McCartney’s flagship stores in London, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo with a chance for one lucky winner in each location to win one of the limited bikes.
Cannondale are no strangers to interesting collaborations resulting in distinctive looking bikes. At the 2020 Giro d’Italia, as suppliers to the EF Racing team, its bikes were decked out in the bold graphics born from the design partnership between Rapha, the team’s kit sponsor, and Palace, a London-based skateboard brand.
Bucking tradition, the end result, a wild tie-dye inspired number, wasn’t to everyone’s liking and resulted in a fine for the team for not meeting official race kit guidelines. However, the image of some of the world’s best racers competing in helmets designed to look like cartoon ducks will live long in the memory.
In fact, bike manufacturers teaming up with artists is nothing new. Italian brand Cinelli has continued its long-running association with New York graffiti legend Futura with a recent line of clothing inspired by the artist's love of road racing and his experience as working as bike messenger in NYC during the late 1980s.
On his return to racing in 2009, Lance Armstrong, a noted art collector, rode a bike painted by Brooklyn-based street artist KAWS during that year’s edition of Milan-Sanremo. Part of a project called STAGES the Texan went on to race aboard machines decorated by the likes of Damien Hirst and Shepard Fairey. The bikes were later auctioned to raise money for Armstrong’s cancer charities.
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