SQUAMISH, British Columbia (BRAIN) — 7Mesh was founded by a crew with years of experience in the technical outdoor apparel market, so a technical cycling rain jacket was a natural centerpiece of its first seasons.
But its founders always had bigger plans for the brand.
“There was a risk that would be perceived as the jacket company,” co-founder and CEO Tyler Jordan told BRAIN. “We knew we knew how to make good outerwear and that we had a lot to learn about what goes on underneath. So we consciously decided to risk being pigeonholed.”
Five years after launch, the company is filling out its product line for 2020 with a complete array of shorts and jerseys for men and women.
“It’s a pretty substantial increase in SKUs,” Jordan said. “Five new shorts for men, five for women, a new hoodie. It’s a big expansion, and now the pieces fill all the spots in the parking lot. Not that we won’t expand more, but all the spots are filled now.”
The line includes road, gravel and mountain bike clothes, including thermal pieces, jackets, vests, over shorts, liners and tights.
Gravel and mountain bike items include 7Mesh’s “Anything System,” a modular storage system that includes as many as five “floating” rear pockets on jerseys, and a variety of pockets on liner bibs and overshorts.
Jordan started his career at the outdoor brand Arc’teryx when its only product was a climbing harness. He went on to lead the brand as CEO for eight years. Arc’teryx, now owned by Amer Group, is today one of the best known outdoor apparel brands in the world. His two co-founders at 7Mesh also are former Arc’teryx executives.
Arc’teryx’s outerwear technologies and styling have influenced that market for over a decade. Jordan and his partners were confident they could do something similar in the cycling market.
“Arc’teryx drove a lot trends in lamination technologies, zippers, weight mitigation with lighter fabrics … The way we put together apparel influenced multiple industries. You can see it in tactical wear, ski and snowboarding, and hunting and fishing.”
Cycling, however, was later to the game.
“We felt cycling was lagging behind. It’s less true now, but cycling apparel had stayed very traditional for a long time. We decided that we could do something that added value. We didn’t come here to make the same product as everyone else.”
7Mesh sells online through its own website, but a majority of sales are through brick-and-mortar retailers.
“It’s easier to show people great apparel in person than to tell them about it on a computer screen,” he said.
A version of this story appeared in the August issue of BRAIN.