What does "Tokubetsu Na Mono" mean? Where did the name originate from?
It means special objects, in a sentimental way. Tokubetsu Na Mono came to fruition mid-2014, when we [my brother and I] started riding on fixed gear bicycles with some friends.
Coming from design and engineering backgrounds, we have always been fascinated with creating our own stuff for as long as we remember, and the exclusivity of having something ‘special’, one-off and limited. From screen prints to leather work, stitching bags together and customising footwear, we’ve always enjoyed turning everyday objects special.
It was natural progression to want something personal and unique to ride with as a group, and a month or two later our very first kits arrived at our doorstep. We never actually set out creating Tokubetsu Na Mono for purchase – originally created for personal use, the response across the globe from fellow like minded cyclists surprised us, and about a year later we released the original kit for sale, with a strictly made to order production.
What is the inspiration behind the current collection?
It was winter. The rain was lashing down as we mashed through peak hour traffic, as we did laps at an outdoor velodrome. The head and cross winds showed no mercy either. We adapted, became one with the weather by shutting out the chills and emerged with our legs spinning faster than ever.
Kit 2.0, our latest release, was inspired by defiant continuity in the face of unfavourable weather conditions. A wind jacket that was convertible to a vest was added to the collection for maximum versatility.
Do you consider yourself a fashion/lifestyle brand or a sports brand?
Calling ourselves a sports brand would restrict us exploring future areas outside of sports which interest us! We consider ourselves as a lifestyle brand, with a keen eye on fashion. As Georges St-Pierre said, ‘if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you do good’.
The aim would to bring all these aspects together – fashion, lifestyle, and sports. We believe that they’re under the similar umbrella, akin to how different aspects of arts ultimately subtly influence each other. Being able to produce aesthetic, yet functionally sound wearables. The whole is greater then the sum of its parts! We are firm believers in creating technically superior sports gear and putting them to the test ourselves before releasing them to the general public.
How do you see the brand developing in the future?
We do not see ourselves slowing down with kit releases anytime soon! Having only catered to the fully kitted out cyclists, We will be expanding our product line to include everyday casual wear and one off pieces. To all the athletes out there racing for the “commuter cup” daily after work, we’ve got you covered!
Most recently we’ve produced include a custom cut hoodie to enable the casual, off-work cyclist to utilise, with technical fittings – waterproofing and multiple dual zip pockets. Achieving a seamless flow from technical wear into the accessibility of everyday wear is something we’ve been recently striving to develop further into.
The convenience of having your casual gear double up with ease to combat whatever the weather throws at you – that’s something that would make a garment extremely useful and purposeful.
EDITOR | SAMSON