Open letter to Simon Mottram CEO of Rapha.

Dear Mr Mottram,

Simon, this week you launched the Canyon women’s kit in a male block so that the men can support the female sport.

Sorry, you didn’t do that at all.

You launched the women’s kit for men to milk the market for every penny you can get and you try and dress it up as supporting the women’s sport.

If you truly wanted to support the women’s sport you’d actually make women’s clothes that fit a range of women instead of women that only fit the industry standard block sizes that women have been complaining about for decades and then try and fool women as you fooled me into buying men’s attire.

Have you seen some of the comments on your social media from male cyclists? Including the flippant one about crossdressing that disguises a deeper issue.

You Simon have this great brand, and you make amazing stuff and I’d love to give you my money, I love to support a British company, although it would be great if the clothes were also made in the UK but I’ll forgive you that business decision.

If you truly want to support women who ride have you ever considered how blind you are to half of the population.  I’m not some unicorn, I’m not a giant and I’m not fat, I work hard to keep my 38-28-38 body at 9% body fat and I can’t help being 187cm tall and yet you in your lazy detached, industrialised mind set , no doubt sitting in an overpriced ergonomic chair couldn’t really give toss.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful that British companies lead the way in the sport from nutrition to proprietary sport fabrics  but watching your social media account praise womens cycling using the #womenscycling tag is a joke, all La Course and Le Tour are to you is a marketing tool and you had me seething every time a post popped up on my feed because as a woman I know you don’t cater to us, we are the after  thought, we are the market sector with minimal market penetration and fiscal return. You don’t see us as people, you see us as a return on investment.

As a designer I do have to complement you on the look of your garments, as a woman I have to praise your new bra, your socks fit well and your woman’s Team Sky blue jersey is joy to ride in but even in wearing that it’s too short but in the large it fits really well except the pockets are in the wrong the place.

Simon, if you want to support women’s cycling, please, consider the women don’t just tweet about it do something about it. Cycling is a mainly sexist sport, women are seen as not worthy or substandard and you and your company are part of that problem, in not giving a full service to a range of women and suggesting that women like me buy mens garments you’re actually belittling me as a woman.

The only reason you engage with womens pro cycling isn’t for the benefit of Canyon/Sram you’ve already put your cheque book in to them it’s so you can flog your badly sized range.

I’ve had people at Rapha tell me you don’t get approached for taller sizing which we both know is a barefaced lie and I think we both also know it’s all about your bottom line and economies of scale and your company doesn’t see women outside of your presumptive size range as worth the investment.

I’m wondering if you can arrange a refund on my Rapha Cycling Club membership because I can’t support a company that won’t even acknowledge women like me are real let only make products for us. You’re supposed to be a premium brand but right now all I can think is that you’re the British Layland of cycling attire. Well intentioned but poorly executed.




One Comment Add yours

  1. Eden Walker says:

    If you took the time to read this blog i feel in the fairness this morning i took a call from Rapha and they have some things on the horizon, they have been listening and things are afoot although it’s not for me to say

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s