There doesn't seem to be a sports uniform that Palace can't make better. The British streetwear brand has already outfitted Juventus, pro golfer Dustin Johnson, and select tennis players at Wimbledon through monumental collaborations with Adidas. Now, Palace has its eyes on professional cycling through a link-up up with Rapha.
The cycling outfitter has revealed the uniforms it's made with Palace for the EF Pro Cycling team. Rapha describes the team cyclists as "larger-than-life characters," which I absolutely believe after looking at some of their previous uniforms. But there's no doubt about Palace blowing away any jersey EF Pro Cycling or any other team has worn. If the goal was to disrupt, Palace and Rapha have been successful with a multi-colored throng of patterns that looks more suitable for a rave than a road race.
Duck yeah — With so many disparate graphics, there's really no focal point for the uniforms unveiled ahead of this weekend's Giro d'Italia. But if you want to start somewhere, let's go with the duck character previously used by Palace, now complete with a cycling cap. That guy, who looks like a real winner, is the headliner of a complete overhaul by Palace and Rapha, including not only the kits, but also the team's helmets, bus, and bikes.
Chaos reigns throughout the gear, which sees heady patterns on top of heady patterns and no shortage of logos. Palace's Tri-Ferg has made room for Rapha's name, while a new age sun sits on a psychedelic checker pattern. If you look closely, you can make out cyclists' faces in the flamed out sleeves. Deformed polka dots complete the effect of feeling you've stepped into a funhouse, possibly under the influence.
Crashing the party — Palace's skateboarding roots don't make for a natural fit with cycling, a somewhat elegant sport, but that's exactly the point. "We’ve teamed up with a company that is alien to cycling’s aesthetic, oblivious to its origins, and untrained in its traditions," Rapha's statement on the collaboration said. By doing so, cycling has welcomed a much-needed disturbance and ushered in a new uniform that's at once zonked and surprisingly beautiful.
Rapha is also hoping this brings new attention to the sport from the outside world, which seems like a surefire bet. I don't even own a bicycle, but the urge to buy one is now stronger than ever just so I have the proper occasion to wear the jersey once it releases. The limited-edition gear, which is slated to release soon, also includes socks, caps, and cycling bags. And for those who don't clock time on two wheels, an "off-bike" collection will consist of hoodies, T-shirts, shirts, hats, and a Gore-Tex jacket.
In Palace's bid for sports domination, we'll all come out looking a little better and a little more zooted.