An extraordinary demand for cycling-inspired T-Shirts has no doubt been influenced directly by a global trend of wearing activewear when not even participating in sport at all, according to the co-founder of cycling-inspired clothing business, Cycology.
According to Michael Tomchin, co-founder of Cycology, wearing sports-oriented clothing as casual apparel was not the ‘done thing’ when the business started back in 2012.
Today, Cycology, which is owned by Mr Tomchin, Sarina Tomchin and Dean Rushton, is booming. The cycling apparel business achieved over 50,000 sales worldwide last year – with its most popular items of clothing being cycling jerseys and cycling-inspired cotton T-Shirts.
“Cyclists would wear their jerseys if they stopped for a coffee directly after their ride, but if they wore it to specially to catch up with friends at a barbeque, for example, it would have been considered pretty strange,” he said.
“These days, however, we now see a fashion trend of people wearing clothing casually, simply to demonstrate their passion for sport. For example, they may wear workout clothes to brunch to show that they love going to gym, or Nike branded casual clothes so that others may get the idea they are sporty,” he said.
“Of course, an added benefit is that these particular clothes are also minimal on fuss, and therefore comfortable to wear. Most men are much more inclined to wear an attractive T Shirt than a stiff button-up collared shirt because it is so easy and comfortable.”
According to Allied Market Research, workout apparel is expected to garner $184.6 billion by 2020. The Asia-Pacific would be the leading revenue-generating region by 2020, owing to increasing disposable income and improving living standards in the emerging countries such as China and India. Just this year, according to Statistica.com, the global sports apparel market was estimated to generate about 174 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.
“All of our cycling jerseys and T-Shirts are unique, with hand drawn/painted cycling inspired designs by Sarina, who is an established artist and an enthusiastic cyclist herself. Because of their originality, they are extremely popular worldwide,” Mr Tomchin said.
“Those who are keen to portray their love of cycling don’t have to wear their much-loved cycling jersey on their social excursions. Instead, they just wear an easy and comfortable cotton T Shirt to make an important fashion statement about their passion for cycling.”
After a challenging first year trying to gain traction for the brand, they sought some marketing expertise, and this brought them to Dean Rushton. Since he joined in late 2013 first as a consultant and then an owner, Cycology’s business doubled each year, expanding into Asia/Pacific, UK, EU and USA.
“After just six months, Dean had implemented a strategy that saw the business achieve sales of 250 orders per month. He has been instrumental in formulating our product development and marketing strategy since he became a shareholder in the business in 2015,” Mr Tomchin said.
Cycology’s range now spans cycling gear for men and women as well as men’s casual range of tee shirts and boxer shorts with a cycling theme – all totally unique. Sarina produces new designs throughout the year for all the product categories to keep the range fresh and interesting. Some of their ‘evergreen’ designs have continued to sell strongly, year in and year out, worldwide for well over three years.
“We have a very high repeat customer rate, which we are particularly grateful for. Customers from all over the World tell us they appreciate the originality of the artwork which is all hand drawn or painted by Sarina. In a world dominated by digital artwork and graphics, it is a rarity for anything to be hand drawn. This has created a manufacturing challenge for Cycology’s apparel suppliers who have had to adapt their processes to be able to create the hand rendered finish that adds yet another dimension to Cycology’s already unique designs, but we are adamant to stick with this quality finish and retain our uniqueness,” Mr Tomchin said.
“From our 4 websites, with logistics warehouses in Australia, the UK and USA, we are able to ship to the majority of countries worldwide. In fact, when we analysed the breadth of countries we had sold to some time ago, it exceeded 80.”
Whilst Ms Tomchin has always been an artist, Mr Tomchin developed and then sold Australia’s first restaurant group to offer gourmet wood fired pizza. Called ‘Gourmet Pizza Kitchen’ (GPK), the first restaurant opened in Sydney’s Neutral Bay in March 1992. Having been instrumental in the expansion of six restaurants in the first six years of operation, Mr Tomchin sold his interest in the business in 2007.
Mr Tomchin and Mr Rushton agree that Ms Tomchin’s designs are the significant differentiating factor in the brand, offering a degree of creativity and originality that is not common in the market.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.