Rapha Fail?

Here are two jerseys from Rapha’s latest collection, the “Country Jersey”.

The Rapha Country Jersey celebrates some of Europe’s leading cycling countries; Italy, France, Belgium and Britain. The jersey sports Rapha’s trademark pared down styling and the colours of each nation have been incorporated on the right sleeve.

The colours of each nation: only look closely at the coloured bands on the sleeves, are they not the wrong way round?

Pippo Pozzato shows that the Italian tricolore goes from green to white to red and the French colours are bleu, blanc, rouge. Accordingly the correct way to put the colours, even on the sleeves, can be seen on the jersey of any past national champion.

But it seems Rapha’s got the colours in the wrong order. Instead of, as they put it, “espresso-chugging Italians, obsessed with looking good”, the Rapha country jersey sports the Mexican bandera, and I’m thinking tacos and mariachi music. And red, white and blue belongs on the Dutch and Luxembourg flags, not the French one.

This isn’t the first time Mexico and Italy get confused but unlike dodgy Michael Rasmussen you’d hope the London brand would pay greater attention to detail. Especially since they got it right last year.

9 thoughts on “Rapha Fail?”

  1. Erm… the Mexican flag follows the same order (green-white-red) as the Italian – so it wouldn't work for me (or for any of my fellow countrymen) either 🙂 "Red" is free-flying.

    For whatever it's worth, though – Mexico rarely depicts its flag as horizontal bands. There's also the issue of the shield. That's why we often just wear green, with a little flag somewhere in the jersey, and maybe a prehispanic motif somewhere.


  2. I believe that Rapha has decided to honor the eastern European cycling tradition by offering a jersey with the Hungarian tricoloreway. Forza Laszlo Bodrogi!

  3. You're right Rod, thanks and Kostato, note that ironically Bodrogi's taken out French citizenship after living in France for a long time now.

  4. It is correct, look up the flags.
    Obviously, you have to take into account that from the back it will look different, but then, so does a flag………

  5. Anonymous: I'm not so sure. If I was sitting on the wheel of a rider wearing these colours, they are still in the wrong order.

    See http://www.ouest-france.fr/photos/2009/03/13/P949770D858509G_apx_470__w_ouestfrance_.jpg for an example of how it is normally done. That's the former French champion, Thomas Voeckler.

    Rather than the French colours, the red-white-blue is the Luxembourg colour! Let Kim Kirchen show you:


    And the same, the "Italian" jersey is in fact representing Hungary, as Bodrogi shows:

    Now the colours are the same but the correct order is important. A company like Rapha that depends on raiding European heritage for its branding should have noticed this elementary error.

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