We've been talking with Damian Hancock. He's the founder of Melbourne based cycling apparel brand A'qto. Just back from a trip to Italy to ride the famous L'Eroica he's full of new ideas for A'qto's range.
A'qto - Cycling's Grand Designs
We first came across A’qto about 5 years ago at Victoria's Audax Alpine Classic. At that stage Damian was selling cycling inspired t-shirts at the event. Since then A'qto has gone from strength to strength, and is now a well recognised brand on the Australian cycling apparel scene.
Damian started A’qto 7 years ago. It represents the two greatest passions in his life - cycling and design. Damian’s inspiration began with a vision to create a lifestyle brand for cyclists. Once Damian started on this journey, the brand moved to an 'on the bike' and 'off the bike’ apparel designer and manufacturer.
Fast forward to today and A'qto is designing and producing high quality, Italian kit and casual clothing for individuals, teams, clubs, corporates and events across Australia.
Through his designs, Damian tells us that he aims to embrace the history, culture and romance of European cycling with the A'qto product range. He sees A’qto’s role as providing cycling apparel as an expression of self. It’s about celebrating the individual who powers the machine.
Unlike some mass produced kits and apparel, A’qto aspires to help their customers stand out. To be different. To ride a different ride.
Damian is clearly passionate about his brand. To him, wearing cycling kit is more than about being aero, or being comfortable. It's a statement, showing and sharing a love of cycling. He wants the kit to represent individuality, "embracing design as an expression of who you are".
Continually inspired by the freedom of riding, Damian’s goal is to bring this freedom of expression to his designs. “I am inspired by cycling in Italy. There is competition on one hand, but then more passion, drama and expression from the heart on the other", says Damian. “It’s also tied to how they live - their food, their style, their way of life. Reproducing some of this drama and passion in my designs is what drives me.’’
Custom Team Wear
A’qto can also help you with your team kit and casual wear. Damian embraces the same mindset for teams, designing kits to make teams stand out from one another and reflect the spirit of each individual team. Together with design, "A'qto guarantee that their apparel will deliver on quality, durability and comfort - performance is non-negotiable".