Recently, scrolling through our Instagram, we stumbled across a little character on some socks that looked just as grumpy as the character that inhabits Aloof Studio's Just Good Stuff posts. It belonged to start-up brand Angry Pablo, a hybrid cycling and lifestyle company that focuses on putting as much care and effort into products worn on the bike, as off it. Aloof pooled together everything we know about cycling (nothing), and questioned the guys at Angry Pablo about the Pablo character, their history, market competitors and where best to enjoy a cycle without ending up a sweaty mess gasping for air.
Aloof Studio (AS): Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do?
Angry Pablo (AP): We are a start-up cycling & lifestyle brand specialising in On-the-Bike and Off-the-Bike premium accessories and clothing.
AS: Who is Pablo and why is he so angry?
AP: Angry Pablo was a name that we discussed at the very beginning of the brand’s conception. After going back and forth between different ideas we soon realised that AP was perfect for our vision of what the brand was and where we wanted to go with it. There are some small ties between the name/typeface and our personal lives, but it’s probably too soon to reveal some of those details!
AS: Your ‘our story’ page talks about how you two were on separate paths and were brought back together by your love of cycling. Did you find when you started the brand, that you both shared similar ideas of the direction you wanted to go in?
AP: Our friendship was perhaps inevitable when we found out at the age of 12/13 that we both cycled competitively. However, at the end of school we took different paths, one of us went off to university, whilst the other realised that he had a good shot at a career in professional sport. Fortunately for us, cycling and racing have always brought us back together, even when living a 4-5 hour plane journey apart! Starting a company together is something that we had discussed, perhaps jokingly, on and off over a number of years. Luckily for us, we both had very similar ideas of what we wanted to create with Angry Pablo.
AS: Did you have a background in either fashion or cycling that made it easier to set up the brand? We can imagine that without connections it might have been quite a search to find the right factory to produce what you wanted.
AP: We’ve both been involved in cycling throughout the years and thankfully had some connections within the industry that gave us a helping hand and pointed us in the right direction. However, we still spent months researching and discussing development with multiple factories until we were finally happy with the quality and consistency of the products.
From the very beginning of this project, we were insistent that we wouldn’t cut corners and release a product that we were not 100% happy with, so we’ve actually ended up spreading our production around different areas of Europe, with some products manufactured in Eastern Europe and others in the UK.
AS: ‘On-the-Bike’, and ‘Off-the-Bike’ differentiate the Angry Pablo range. How difficult did you find it to balance what should and shouldn’t be used for cycling and are there products that will just be inherently multifunctional?
AP: This was something that we discussed in quite a lot of detail prior to deciding on the products for our first ranges. We’ve specifically picked products without too much cross-over, bar one, which aptly has ‘On and Off’ in the product title. For our first collections we wanted to make it clear that we are producing both cycling and everyday life products, so we decided to pick items in pairs with each belonging to its corresponding collection. For example; casual socks for our Off-the-Bike range, and cycling specific socks for our On-the-Bike range.
AS: Rapha seems to have cornered the cycling/leisurewear market, how does Angry Pablo set itself apart from the other big brands out there?
AP: The gap in the market we’ve identified, is that there isn’t a cycling brand making high quality and up to date lifestyle items. Obviously, Rapha do make some really nice casual wear, but we think that it’s focused on a specific demographic and doesn’t offer as much as we want to offer with our casual range. Angry Pablo is going to make casual wear for everyday life, with incredibly subtle ties to cycling, that will, crucially, be on par with those of non-cycling casual brands.
AS: For novices like us, can you recommend some easy routes in the UK that will give us an enjoyable ride without any difficult bits?
AP: If you’re based in London, we think that Richmond Park is the perfect place to go for a casual ride. There are a few lumps and bumps, but with no traffic it takes away that need to go quick. Always remember that if you have to go up a nasty little hill, there’s a nice bit of freewheeling on the other side!
AS: Cycling has a strong community feel to it, are there plans for an Angry Pablo cycling club?
AP: We don’t have any plans for a cycling club as of yet. However, we’re hoping that with our ride suggestions (of which we will be adding more and more to our website in the coming weeks), and recommendations for local independent bike shops and cafes, that we can maybe help a few newcomers to the sport find new cycling hangouts and meet some riders in similar positions. The cycling community has always been strong and its definitely seen a boost over the last few years, so if we can make the transition for the new guys a little easier - we’ll be happy!
AS: We’re looking forward to the first product launch on your website, can we expect anything else from Angry Pablo in the near future?
AP: As mentioned previously, we’re going to be expanding our ‘Ride Locations’ section on our website with some exciting new posts. We’ve also already started developing our second batch of products which bring a few different but - we think - very cool aspects to our product line.