Soon after Louison Bobet triumphantly crossed the finishline of the 1951 Milan-San Remo, he found himself swarmed by Bottecchia team staff, journalists and fans. He also found himself to be sweltering, unable to cool off in a button-up wool jersey, the standard athletic wear of the time. 'Can't we get a zipper on this thing?' he called out in frustration. At his side as the team's clothing supplier, Emilio De Marchi heard him loud and clear, and took action. Many examples of progressive cycling clothing soon followed.
Or so goes the legend of De Marchi.
Founded in 1946 by Emilio De Marchi, the Italian company continues today with a third generation of family ownership. For 2014, De Marchi has three lines of cycling clothing.
The Authentic line consists of replica jerseys, which are all made in Italy with merino wool and acrylic. The showpiece of the Authentic line is The Bottecchia 1951 Bobet. Only 51 pieces were made, with the graphic hand-stitching on each all done by the the mother of current owner Mauro De Marchi. The jersey comes with a little Bobet figurine.
Louison Bobet, at center left, after winning the 1951 Milan-San Remo. Emilio De Marchi is at right
The Innovative line is a modern set of cycling gear, as the company continues to listen to riders and their needs and try to find solutions with materials and design.
De Marchi's Innovative Line is modern cycling gear
And the Traditional line is a collection of clothing that renders old-school design in new-school materials, for more functional clothing with retro styling.
De Marchi's Traditional clothing renders retro designs in modern fabrics
Click through the gallery at above right for some samples of each of the three lines.
De Marchi has women's clothing in the Innovative and Traditional lines