The 14 Out There Collection
2020 was year 13 for us. It was as wild for us as I’m sure it was for a lot of you.
2021 is year 14. It’s wild to even type that out. It sounds longer than what it’s felt like - it feels like just the other day we were doing the 13 collection, the 7 collection and even our first kit.
Maybe it’s flown by because Franco is my creative outlet. It’s where I’m able to make (or help make) things and put them out to the world. That being said, it’s still definitely a long time working on bicycles and cycling apparel. And as a creative, mixing it up and giving myself the chance to take our designs further out there is something that I have to do to stay fresh. And as much as I like where we’ve been, I like where we are going even more.
So this year, you’ll see things get further out there than before. Not only because we think it’s awesome, but because I have to, to stay energized after close to a decade and a half of this.
So with that lead-in in mind, the first collection for 2021 is the 14 Out There collection.
Here’s where my head was at during the design process:
14 / LA
While I grew up in Chicago and have referred to it as home for most of my life, i’m finally getting to the point where California feels like home now. This year I wanted to pay homage to LA with a play on the LA Dodgers mark. You’ll see that 14/LA tag pop up throughout the year on our collections.
The California Landscape
While Chicago has a lot going for it, like the best football team of all time, the best basketball dynasty of all time, and the best baseball team of all time, it doesn’t have the sunsets we have here. The color pattern on the chest panel by one of one of those killer California skies, when nature does its thing while the sun sets behind the Santa Monica mountains.
Throwing it Back to Hand-Drawn
I went back and forth on whether the primary logo should be the Franco logo or a new Out There logo. One evening I pulled out the Prismacolors and paper and went to town. 3 hours later I had sketches scanned and a winner was crowned. You’ll see an SMMT tag on the back of the bibs…
For the Out There
Our customers are the definition of that mindset. There’s a built in filter when we meet them. Nothing against Specialized, Trek or Giant, but everyone has one. It’s the “safe” choice. Our customers chose Franco instead. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them over the years and aside from great taste, they do some crazy shit on and off the bike. From hosting and running ultra-marathons, to riding 20,000 miles in a year, riding across America, getting more kids on bikes, building and selling businesses, and countless other things on and off the bike that aren’t considered “normal”.
Each of them inspire me to keep pushing forward and not apologize for being a little different.
I’m way out there in lots of ways, and this growing community gives me a sense of belonging. It makes me realize that we’re all a bit out there in our own ways. I’m just embracing it now.
If you feel like you’re out there, then you’re good here.
And speaking of out there, my friend Clinton is one of those dudes that inspires me. His story is awesome (maybe we’ll tell it one day in the podcast we keep planning on doing). In the meantime however, he just sent over his first thoughts on the Teravail Washburn tires he’s been riding all over the Santa Monica mountains. Going to try and do a lot more of these reviews in 2021.
Also give Clinton and the Out There crew a follow at instagram.com/outtheregravel