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Fanaticism at its finest.
While it's been said that 'real men wear pink,' we find the sentiment of 'real men wear blue' to be far more accurate. After all, the path to any Giro win goes through the mountains, where the owner of the Blue Jersey dictates the direction of the race. And while that very jersey has traditionally been crafted by Santini, the 2013 Giro sees a seemingly unlikely collaboration between the British Sir Paul Smith and the Italian Santini family for its construction. However, after debuting at Milan Fashion Week, the Santini Paul Smith KOM Jersey has been making waves through both the worlds of cycling and fashion.
If you're not familiar with Paul Smith, the name, you're more likely familiar with Paul Smith, the clothing. Over the past 35 years, Paul Smith's menswear has been at the forefront of British fashion, earning him top honors within the industry and a Knighthood to boot. However, accolades aside, Paul Smith's lifelong passion for cycling never diminished. We saw this expressed in 2007 when he designed a jersey in honor of the Tour's start in London. And since then, we've seen a consistent collaboration between Smith and fellow Englishmen, Rapha, and even a 60th anniversary collaboration with Mercian.
Moving onto the jersey, though, Paul Smith started the design process with the color itself. And in response to last year's awkward-color-choice-debacle, Smith opted for a blue body with a brighter blue piping. According to Smith, this color clash is derivative of Warhol's color work, providing a much needed pop to the King of the Mountains jersey. Additionally, Smith achieved a balance between subtlety and prominence for the race sponsor placement along the shoulders, chest, and lower back. And speaking of subtlety, this trait is widely regarded as Paul Smith's trademark. Accordingly, you'll find quiet placements of Paul Smith's signature along the collar and rear hem, as well as his trademark stripes on the left sleeve's cuff. Additionally, the KOM features a distinctive hand sketched drawing on the side panel that depicts a little cyclist riding uphill. And for a touching reminder of the Giro's heritage, Smith included the name of the three-time winner, Fiorenzo Magni, who recently passed away, along the inside of the collar.
As for the jersey itself, Santini was placed in charge of bringing Sir Paul's design to life. Accordingly, the KOM jersey was printed on Santini's Microsense Energy fabric. This material is featured for its heightened ability to manage moisture and for its breathability. The jersey has been given a 1/4-length front zipper and three rear pockets for storage of your ride essentials. That is, assuming that you'll be wearing this jersey, and not framing it for the piece of art that it is.
The Santini Paul Smith KOM Jersey is available in the color Blue and in six sizes from X-Small to XX-Large.