An interview with Co-founder of Staark Cycling, Alasdair Scott
Alasdair Scott is Co-founder of Staark Cycling, a new couture cycling clothing brand that designs and manufactures premium technical performance clothing and an accompanying Athleisure range. Along with Co-founder Steve Clark, they are self-proclaimed grassroots cyclists who have loved cycling since childhood and the pair have not only many years of experience on the saddle but also an absolute desire to make garments that not only fit perfectly but out-perform the competition.
On a particularly sunny day (for London at least) we sat down to speak with Alasdair to find out a little bit more about Staark.
Alasdair, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me, I know the weather is particularly lovely today, and I’m sure you’d love to be out enjoying the sun so I will dive straight in. Please could you start by telling me a little bit about how the Staark cycling brand was conceived?
“Like many good ideas, Staark was hatched over a vodka martini at the Groucho Club in London’s west end. The Groucho has a cycling club, with a number of members in it. It’s a really inclusive set of people that we’ve got involved, with a wide range of ages, quite a good split between boys and girls but definitely quite a varied set of body shapes. We had come back from a cycle and I was chatting with Steve about cycle clothing.”
Alasdair explains to me how generally, cyclists from the more experienced end of the cycling spectrum are able to hop from store to store buying clothes based solely on whether they are Small, Medium, or Large.
“It was really just a conversation about the fact that while we were all quite keen cyclists and we wanted to sort of look good and be protected on the bikes by having performance clothing, we didn’t really think there were any brands out there that really took into account the wide variety of folks who are now cycling.
We thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was stuff that was of similar quality but was perhaps cut more inclusively, understanding that there were lots of different types of people getting on bikes. So that’s really how it started. Over a vodka martini on dean street.”
What is it about your products that is most important to you?
“Because we’re brand new, we’ve got no legacy so that meant that we could start from day 1 with the most modern fabrics and the most modern components.
We noticed that there have been some really remarkable advancements in performance fabric, there’s lots of really clever stuff around reflective technology, there’s some really new cool stuff in ceramic printing where you can print bits of ceramic on parts of the garment that would get lots of wear and tear. We really wanted to incorporate just really brilliant new technology in there and that’s both from a sort of safety perspective as well as comfort and performance,
We also wanted to make sure that the cut of the clothes would be inclusive and sort of designed for different body shapes. We set out to try and design a range of clothing where we could use slightly different patterns for each of the three general body shapes (ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph) but also within the patterns we were using slightly different types of fabrics that had different stretch qualities.
There are parts of you that you want really compressed for performance and there are parts where you don’t need the compression to be as intense, therefore you can choose fabrics that have slightly different mechanical qualities so the same garment would fit all three of these body types really well, but would provide different levels of support and compression at the right time, and we really wanted to allow both genders to benefit from this and be able to have good quality clothing.
We also want these designs to reflect a level of safety and that’s one of the other things that we’ve been looking at quite intensely which is where do you put stuff on a garment so that other people can recognise it. Luckily we’re all car drivers so we know what it’s like in a car trying to be aware of cyclists just as much as we do on a bike trying to be seen. So we’ve spent quite a bit of time on the research of both reflective decoration but also daytime visibility.”