SAS: Product before Brand


As cyclists, our choice in clothing speaks volumes. Whether we like it or not, clothing brands take those dividing lines and firmly mark territories which are rarely crossed. For instance, the jersey. Three pockets, wicking material, a sturdy zipper and you’re set, but what is plastered across that fabric, how many pockets there are (if any) and the fit of that jersey can put you in any number of categories. As you’re riding down the path, that jersey is a loudspeaker, informing any and all where you stand as a cyclist. Whether you stand there or not.

But what if you could make your own statement?

Enter Search And State. SAS is a local, cycling-specific clothing manufacturer intent on creating the best product available. Devin O’Brien, one of the two founders, has been kind enough to let me take a look and try out their product before it’s available for public consumption. In our talks, and my attempts to put SAS in a box, it’s become apparent there there isn’t much branding here to speak of. There are no glory stories to regale their (and my own) audience with. There is just a finely tuned, USA-Made, well-tailored product here. Think black suit-coat type of garment level here. SAS wants to let the cyclist make their own statement, and with subdued branding and flat black fabric they’ve done just that.

 

This March, SAS will debut their first two products. That’s it. There’s no fanfare, no event, no big deal, just a jersey and a jacket. That’s it. They’ll be available only online for this first run. Here’s what I can tell you about both.

I’ve had the jersey for just over two weeks and have found it to be everything I desire from a jersey. It fits well, makes me look good (important), and keeps the temperature regulated. I’ve commuted with it. I’ve trained with it. I’ve eaten at a nice restaurant with it. It’s fulfilled all those goals admirably. As I am one for flash (pink jerseys are my modus operandi) a plain black jersey seems a bit out of place. For it’s technical features and tailoring alone, it sure to be well worn by the time this season finds it’s end.

The jacket I’ve only had the opportunity to try on once. Even so, I’m completely and utterly sold. It just looks good. It fits me just as good (if not better) than the jersey and the material is solid yet breathable. Mr. O’Brien has informed me that they went as high shelf as they could for the fabrics, and in the jacket this shines through. I’m stupid excited to try this one out while riding, and I’m not one for jackets. Perhaps this year if it rains at Ox Yoke I’ll be a little more prepared…

Above all, what I’ve gained from my talks with Mr. O’Brien is that SAS is looking to let the cyclist do the talking, not the product. With so much being made overseas with such similar methods and branding techniques, it’s refreshing to see a product that is 100% percent home-grown and truly well done. I’m excited to see more, and will be sure to post it up here as it comes in.

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