7MESH punches above its weight class, offering a clean aesthetic and an approach to pattern making with technical fabric that is borderline obsessive. Clean and simple, I like that.
Never heard of 7MESH? No problem, here’s the Cole’s Notes on the brand. All of the founding members of 7MESH worked for Arc’teryx in the past. Not one to name drop, but anyone who follows the outdoor business knows the reputation Arc’teryx has when it comes to designing and manufacturing super technical outdoor garments. This expertise and experience has been carried over to 7MESH’s entire line up, from bibs to jackets. They are based out of Squamish, BC where the variable weather conditions create the perfect lab for testing apparel in horrible conditions. This home base is also where the 7MESH team hand cuts all the patterns for prototype testing. Yep, each pattern is hand drawn and cut, then assembled in Squamish to test its full function. In the cycling world, over 90% of the brands out there are what I call “catalogue brands.” Think of it like bike companies that use open mold frames out of a catalogue and stick their logo on them. The apparel world is not that different, a lot of brands merely pick patterns out of a catalogue, select a color, assign fabric and hit the order button. There are only a handful of brands that still make all of their own patterns in house before production. With cycling, textiles become complex in how they stretch and function, so fit and paneling is a crucial element that can’t be left to chance. Try on a well-tailored outfit and see how each panel and choice of fabric plays an integral part in the fit and finish of the piece. This is where 7MESH truly shines.
A brand can’t just have great product, it needs to have the desire to evolve and learn from each piece they design. Never being satisfied with what they did last year, but pushing themselves with each design they make. It was refreshing to see exactly how this tight knit group at 7MESH interacted with us and with each other. The first collection they launched was a bit closer to the Mountain Bike world, in my opinion. Before some of the key road pieces were launched I was lucky enough to test some prototypes. They are slowly growing their road offerings with pieces that, I feel, fit our clientele and shop much better. But, me being me, and 7MESH being the obsessive-compulsive guys we love, we needed to do something more, something different to launch the brand back in 2017.
In stepped Ian Martin, VP R&D and the Jedi of details. We came up with the idea of doing a PRW-7MESH collaboration bib and jersey. They had never done any custom work, so this was a good opportunity to try it out. I was blown away that they even wanted to take on the project, as they have so many of their own pieces to work on, let alone a custom kit for some shop in the Northern tundra. For anyone who has done custom kit, with many of the brands out there you take a design, they put it on the jersey. Ian, not so much… We had a design that was pretty intricate (see the header image) and the 7Mesh Quantum Jersey has some pretty unique pattern cuts. I thought they would just sublimate and be done, but Ian went and reworked the pattern so it lined up when each piece of the jersey was sewn. Being a true collaboration, he added some of the 7Mesh design elements as well, including the small stripe on the short and jersey. He also went through a bunch of pantone and zipper colors to ensure he nailed it. A full prototype was manufactured to see how it all looked when sewn. More tweaking of colors and fabric and the end result is one amazing piece of cycling apparel.
The whole process showed me how passionate and dedicated the entire team was, and how they valued each and every step in the process. I am excited to be working with 7MESH, and I know you will love what they have to offer. It is always nice to work with a small company, and even better when they are Canadian.