The Art of the Jersey, A celebration of the cycling racing jersey by Andy Storey is one incredibly nice coffee book for the avid cyclist. It is also pure inspiration for those that design kit and that is how I see this book. It has over 200 jerseys to peruse in chronological order, all expertly picked by Andy. In case you’re wondering who Andy Storey is, he happens to be a life long cycling fan and works at the cycling clothing specialist Prendas Ciclismo.
So Andy is more than well placed to understand the how and why of a jersey design. With five neat chapters littered with fantastic shots and iconic jerseys. Those chapters chart the rise of the modern jersey from it’s humble woollen origins – there isn’t a page you won’t like to gaze over – to today’s modern designs.
What I ended up doing half-subconsciously was picking out the ones I remembered, like the iconic Peugeot jersey worn by the likes of Tommy Simpson, to the 80’s classic worn by Greg Lemond on the Z team, or Johan Museeuw’s mud splattered Mapei jersey. Then there are the more obscure ones, anyone remember the 2004 UCI World Cup overall leader’s jersey? Thought not but it’s nice.
Massive cliché but, there is something for everyone in this book, no matter when you started cycling you will recognise at least some and intrigued by others you might not know. For me, I’m mostly intrigued by the early jerseys from the 1950’s. When compared to today’s fabrics and sublimated all over print, they look naive but, also a lot more stylistic with collars and hand sewn lettering and logos.
As far as coffee table books go this one is an absolute joy to have at hand and I can’t help but give it a flick every time I see it. It just makes me happy! Simple things I guess – well worth the asking price.