Let’s face it, in August every year someone will take the Malaysian flag and sew it into a shirt. Or pants. Or something of the sort. Wearing your national colours isn’t something new, it has been done since the day of our independence in 1957. But it is rare for us to come across the Jalur Gemilang redesigned into something that quite frankly, is pretty fashionable. And what are cyclists if they are not fashionable?
This year, consider treating yourself to such a cycling kit from Plan A. For a limited time this month, Plan A’s BONO V1 Malaysia kit went on sale to celebrate everything Malaysian. The kit was created as part of a collaboration with hip local artist Nawar Shukriah Ali, who is a bit of a jane of all trades in the arts, as she also dabbles in art direction for music videos, fashion campaigns, retail branding and even interior design.
According to Plan A founder Fazlan Adhili or Faz for short, the partnership with Nawar or Bono Stellar as she is known, was definitely something that he looked forward to, considering she has a very unique flair that shows in every single piece of her work. “We wanted to collaborate with a few local artists and she has the style that we really like,” he reveals. “She's one of the local artists that has her own strong identity.”
This kit was originally designed a while ago, but being the Merdeka month, it has been put on sale until August 31st. It is a timely move, of course, and made more sense than creating a completely new kit for the occasion. “The design concept is aligned with the celebration of the month, based on colours and abstract shapes which are inspired by our national flag. We had a really good feedback from our customers on that particular design.”
Not everyone is a fan, but Faz is taking it all in stride. “We received a lot of mixed responses, one group really loves it and the other group is the other way around,” he laughs. “I guess some people like it fancy and some don’t. But hey, if everyone has the same taste, we'll be living in a very boring dull world!” Wise words indeed, which is why there are so many cycling apparel brands worldwide, who create kits in different styles and sizes.
Despite working with an external artist for some special editions, Plan A does have an in house designer for their regular products. “Muazzam AKA Ajam who's been working on new designs on a monthly basis,” Faz continues. “I believe he has the potential to step up and become one of the best kit designers in Malaysia. At the moment, there's already a collection of designs under his sleeve waiting to be produced. I can't wait to see it!”
Faz and his team will continue to work with Bono for future specials, based on the success of this line. However, with so many talents in Malaysia, I have to ask. Is this artist collaboration also something that will be expanded in the future? He concedes that they are always on the lookout for new possibilities. “As mentioned earlier, I would love to! Currently we're looking for new artist with a good potential to collaborate with us. If there's anyone out there interested, holla!”
As for the special BONO V1 kit, it is on sale for a limited time this month only. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still buy it after August ends, because the kit will still be sold at normal prices beyond the Merdeka celebrations. You could still wear it proud in the lead up to Malaysia Day on September 16th or the rest of the year, provided you can still grab it at Plan A. From the word we’ve gotten from Faz, there are limited stocks left.
If you like what you see, head on down to Plan A pronto before the kits run out, as there will not likely be a second run of this kit. According to Faz, despite pretty good overall feedback for BONO V1, they might opt against doing so. “We haven't discuss this yet but so far best to keep it as a special one off kit. Drop by the shop before it’s all gone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”