Headset Press first heard of SAS (Search and State) around the time we decided to set-up our website, that was about a year ago. Our mission was easy. Their mission was hard, in comparison to ours. What they were trying to achieve left us immersed in admiration.
They [Devin and Daniel] told us that they wanted to design, test and produce cycling apparel. Sure, I thought, that would be cool. Then I started to think about their goal. Could I do that? Not really. These guys were going to set up a clothing company in the cycling market. Ok it’s been done before – plenty of times. Which means competition and plenty of it. Not only were they going to get a cycling apparel brand off the ground, they were going to do this all from the U.S.A.
That is where my admiration really comes from. They could have just designed and tested, but to produce in the States is an ethical commitment. Nothing wrong with producing your product in another country and it certainly doesn’t need to be unethical. BUT if you want an American product… There are too few true American products left, so to see a new one emerge is truly great.
So, in 2011, I started to speak to Devin every once in a while to get the latest developments and dates. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. What were their standards? What sort of cycling apparel are they going to make? So many questions. I kept asking how they were doing, and it was some time before I saw what they were doing. What I saw in the first pics they sent had me convinced! These guys know what they’re doing. The initial jersey designs were stylish, understated and functional looking. Something that is actually hard to pull off and still look original in a crowded market.
I’m also very excited as this is a first and exclusive interview with SAS, as they get ready to launch their first line of cycling apparel to the world. We will also be one of the first to test and review their new jersey in the coming months and we will bring you the review as soon as possible. Headset Press really believe in SAS, and think they will go from strength to strength but it is down to us – the cycling community – to get behind them and support their products.
So who are SAS and what are they trying to achieve? Headset Press asked this question and more. This is what SAS had to say:
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Search and State is a cycling apparel manufacturer built on the idea that what you wear for the ride should motivate, inspire and do everything it can to keep you moving forward.
What inspired you to start making cycling apparel?
Daniel and I both have successful careers in apparel design and sports marketing, respectively, but wanted to build something around our passion for cycling. We want to create an aesthetic that isn’t available in the market today and to celebrate a different approach to cycling.
Where do you see SAS, in terms of brand?
In the marketing world there has been so much focus on building “brands” that the
basic value of building a good company seems to be forgotten. If you’re too caught up in telling a brand story it’s easy to lose sight of genuinely being something to base a story on. We intend to show our customers who we are over time and not tell them. It’s a narrow distinction, but we are solely focused on our being and feel that the story remains to be told.
What do you hope to achieve in the first run of apparel?
We hope to continue to build a community of cyclists who believe in us enough to try something new and establish our credibility as one of the world’s premier cycling apparel manufacturers.
What sort of riders are you hoping will buy SAS apparel?
We have a pretty diverse group of people on the “inside” of this company and we all enjoy many styles of riding. I live in Minneapolis where we have really competitive road, mountain track and cyclocross scenes, not to mention the best gravel road race series in the world. Daniel and our design team are in New York where every major, and obscure, genre of riding exists. Each discipline of cycling has a different set of needs when it comes to apparel. We’re starting with apparel for riding, training and racing on the road because that’s where we started and the road will always be at the core of what we do. Beyond the road, we take cyclocross racing very seriously and in the very near future we plan to build discipline specific lines and hope to share those ideas with you soon.
Who inspires you and your designs?
The individual inspires us. Cycling and what’s required of the individual, at any level of the sport, is something very unique.
When it comes to function and style what can we expect from SAS?
Function is an imperative for cycling apparel. We believe in using extraordinary fabric and trims to build garments that are perfect and perform exactly to your needs. The more gimmickry that’s engineered into a garment the more opportunity there is for failure.
We believe that function is stylish. A beautifully constructed garment doesn’t need much more than a subtle mark or two so you and your riding partners can recognize that you’re wearing Search and State.
I hear you know some pro-riders, have they had any input?
We’ve been fortunate to know and work with many athletes, and yes, they have helped us. They’ve also been a tremendous source of inspiration along the way. After we sell a few jackets and can afford the endorsement deal, I’ll tell you who they are.