GVL RACE TEAM FILM 2023
To start, it's best we describe the GVL Race Team jersey, and in true Givelo fashion, the concept and deeper thinking behind the collection. As a brand born in the heart of Medellín, we can’t help but be deeply connected to cycling and its roots. Here cycling is part of everyday life, forming an environment and culture where the riding level is unusually high. We are proud of this city and the riders that come from it. As a brand, we want to support cyclists who come from this city in the amateur cycling scene and precisely those who share common principles.
The GVL Race Team is made up of riders who share a desire to bring with them a raw and true sense of cycling, all of whom have full-time jobs but want to take their passion to the next level. They share Givelo’s vision of bringing technically curated apparel to the world of cycling with strong ideation to create disruption in the market. This is how the GVL RT was born, with no expectations other than to ride hard and push the limits of their passion.
The actual 2023 jersey design came about through an internal saying “acid racing”. We took the “acid” part literally and with the aid of AI, came up with a texture that showed real acid burns of fabric. This texture was plugged into a design process (too long for this blog) and out came a jersey in two colourways that represent that “acid racing” feeling.
Now to the GVL RT film...We wanted to bring forward the raw cycling emotion of the GVL riders and merge it with the urban reality of Medellín. We are well aware that the Givelo brand is no longer only in Colombia, it is worldwide, and it is an honour to expose our roots via the GVL RT to the global cycling community. There could only be one location for the filming and that was in the city itself. This production was one of the toughest we’ve had yet, fighting with the weather conditions constantly and rescheduling twice to get all the content we needed. Originally the idea was to shoot the production in one evening and night, starting at dusk and going through the night until we were happy with everything we had. Filming actually began inside a local Giant workshop, loaned out to us as one of the team's sponsors, before heading out to the streets. Here, it gave us a chance to pause on what can be a pretty hectic city, and focus on each rider. We wanted the film to be as much for the riders as it was for the brand – so it had to be personal - and in the small workshop area, we could get up close and direct with each of them.
The GVL RT riders got straight to it and immersed themselves in the acid vibes we wanted to show in the film. Part of what came through in the filming is what we discussed that night; that each rider has a dark side, looking to draw first blood and pounce on any breakaway opportunity not matter who's left
in their tracks. That sinister double persona isn’t easy to act while off-bike, but just like they do on-bike wholehearted effort goes into everything to get that result.
With the workshop shots captured, we headed out to get some food and continue filming. Just when we were fueled up and ready to go, the downpour began. We waited an hour or so until there was a break in the heavy rain to start on one of the more challenging scenes. If you notice in the final film, the solo
first-person bike scene everywhere is soaking wet. This scene gave that extra innovation to the film and was a bit of ingenuity by our videographer and producer along with his team. We braced the camera directly through the seat pole with the bike strapped down in the back of our crew pick-up. Unfortunately at this point, we were unable to continue filming as the rain got worse and we packed it in for the day.
Filming began a week later at 3am – early even for a road cyclist – in a new location where we were now fully mobile riding around the city. Almost all the riders arrived on
their bikes riding across the city, passing the very much alive nightlife. This wasn’t part of the filming, but it’s the stark contrast of lifestyles between a mortal city-goer and a GVL rider who is on their bike before 3 a.m. is illustrative to what these riders sacrifice. Of course, just as we started filming the rain began again forcing us to dive into a local tunnel along the motorway. Three loops of our makeshift circuit later the rain started to ease and we packed up quickly to get to our final location.
Now in the heart of Medellín, we were in the deep hours of early morning when the nightlife had died down and a brief rest comes over the city before businesses and commuters start their day. You could feel the excitement build in the crew as we were now fully focused and engaged with the streets almost to ourselves. The early morning seemed unusually cold for such a tropical city.
The morning chill was more than apparent, especially as the riders had already been soaked in the early hours, but with a quick stop, an unlimited supply of coffee, and a few new pairs of socks, it didn’t hold us back and we continued filming quickly.
Filming continued against the clock to get a good number of scenes ticked off, only stopping every so often to check the content before the pre-dawn hues started coming through. Working with racers really made things easy as they effortlessly navigated the streets and could get within centimetres
of the tailing crew. But there is no stopping the start of the day. The streets became busier and the light began to change, meaning we had to wind down and make the final calls with photography and filming. The crew had shot a tremendous amount of content, that when edited may not seem that much, but it was exactly what we needed to create a short film packed full of energy.
In contrast to the elaborate productions, we often go for in collection launches, this time we opted for a small, intimate crew. This decision allowed for a deeper connection between the riders, crew members, and the city itself. Each member of the crew shared a passion for cycling and a genuine appreciation for the rawness
of Medellín's urban life. This shared enthusiasm fostered a sense of camaraderie that translated seamlessly onto the screen.
Footnote: As the world of cycling merges with the world of fashion, this film was an opportunity for us to do our part but also to add another layer to this evolving industry. These are real riders, with real stories that make up a team looking to disrupt the local cycling scene and bring some acid racing to it. Cycling is what it is here (Colombia) because of riders like those in the GVL team. The dedication and grit these riders show are what fuels a brand like Givelo to go further and never settle. This added “real” layer is what it's all about, and as the team would say, “On the edge of chaos we thrive”.