Albert Einstein once said that life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. The Spoiled Queen would add into this – always try to keep this balance in a proper outfit.
They also said that a cyclist knows each and every cobblestone of the city. And I know one person in Budapest, who combines these two topics, with extraordinary grace. Who is she? Surely a passionate cyclist and a fashion designer.
Few days ago I had a real pleasure to interview Zsófi Geréby, who is the owner of the brand, Urban Legend. We talked a lot about her designs and the demand for cycling outwear, but also about the feelings which are accompanying us during our daily cycling.
The Spoiled Queen: Car or bike? What is closer to you?
That’s an easy question; of course a bike, I think that’s the only possible way of commuting in an urban environment in this century. Cars are good for specific reasons, like traveling and moving navy objects but for going to work and commuting in everyday life I definitely vote for the bike. It’s faster and it makes you fell free and happy.
The Spoiled Queen: Why did you decide to design and produce urban cycling outerwear? Was there any particular reason behind it, some impulse maybe?
I was attending a fashion school and I was riding 40 min per day. When you are a fashion student, you have to dress up every day because everyone is like a ‘style queen’. It was always very annoying to be sweaty, muddy and always looking like a boy, so I was looking for some specific clothing for myself, totally unsuccessfully but after a few years I have realized that I am absolutely qualified make those clothes myself. I also needed a diploma project so i decided to make this project combining my experience based knowledge of the target group and by design background. The more I have talked to other people I realized that it’s not only my problem of finding any suitable clothing. Basically I think you can cycle wearing anything at all but after wearing specific clothes I also realized that in those garments cycling is simply better, easier and safer. My back does not hurt if the hip line of my jacket is long enough , I don’t get wet if using the good materials and finally my hoodie does not let wind blow my head off. If the weather is somewhat extreme, you will be very thankful to have something which protects you from the weather conditions.
The Spoiled Queen: Urban legend sounds quite mysterious, where did this name come from?
It started as a working title while I was doing my project and for the first 9 months I never thought of this name for my brand. However when I was a kid, I never just walked around with my mum; she always needed to mention some stories connected to a particular place. Slowly I constructed a subjective map of the city, first based on the stories of my family and friends, than my own stories, than when I started reading about the urban history, I realized that there was this level of urban /national history along with the stories of other people, who lived in a particular place and those are already kind of legends. All those stories make this infinite line of legends, stories, tales, anecdotes, that connect, they mix up, they start to grow on their own. So when you are going to tell those stories to your kids a few decades later, they will be already legends. I think that the main difference between a car driver and a cyclist, is the fact that a cyclist can choose his own route to reach a destination during which you actually get very close your surrounding, you feel the road, smell the buildings, touch the stones – your connection becomes much more personal. I believe in the utmost importance of storytelling – this is why there is an urban legend, or always some kind of story that comes with every garment I make. So whenever you buy something I give a story with the garments as a present to add it to your subjective map.
The Spoiled Queen: Who are your clients? Could you describe them in couple of words?
Basically I have clients of ages from 18 to 80 and a lot of customers from abroad – from Germany, UK, from U.S.
The Spoiled Queen: What is the main inspiration behind your collections?
I am very sensitive to urban situations, some ambiances that are very characteristic for a season, a part of the year. Like this very early summer morning when you were out all night and you are going home with bunch of friends, sun coming up , the whole street is empty and there is just one the bakery delivery car you are running after to get some fresh brioche. Or there is that moment when you are waking up on a winter morning and it’s so cold you don’t want to even leave your bed and it’s snowing and you dress up and you already feel like a hero. You just get onto your bike to go to work and you feel this strength in your bones when you just cycle.
The Spoiled Queen: Do you have some favorite fabrics, you like to work with?
The Spoiled Queen: What are the 3- 4key words/sentences, which would describe your SS14 collection?
Adventure, packable, spring rainy mornings.
Budapest without cyclists would be like man without hands, and bikers without Urban Legend would look like scarecrows with their over sized raincoats.
Zsófi, being a cyclist herself knows exactly, the needs of an average biker. High quality waterproof, wind stopper, breathable fabrics, reflective surfaces and ventilation panels are the essentials of a proper cycling outfit. But being a girl, who graduated from a fashion school, she knows as well how important is a shape of particular outfit and its general overlook.
There is one more interesting thing behind her collection. Every piece has a small piece of note attached with a legend of our beautiful city – Budapest. Not just you can reach those places while cycling in Budapest, but you can also became a legend, by sending the story of your hometown to the Urban Legend Team.
What else can make you more happy, than a bike and unknown destination?
Check out Urban Legend webshop or the showroom, which is located in Budapest, at Baross utca 3. doorbell nr. 14.
How about you, guys? Do you explore your city on two wheels?