Inspired by the classic monuments and the most iconic points of the grand tours, André Cardoso and Daniel Vieira created GRRR!, a Portuguese road cycling equipment brand, which was launched with an appealing socks collection. Combining performance, design and passion for one of the most beautiful sports, GRRR! pays tribute to the most emblematic cycling figures who embody the glory, the suffering and the style of the road races. We talked to the founders to know a little more about the brand
Tell us a bit about yourself...
André Cardoso: I have graduated in architecture and had the opportunity to work in the field ever since. I am passionate about the shape of cities, territories and their own identity. Architecture occupies the largest slice of my attention, but nevertheless, my personal curiosity has led me to undertake different projects. I have always enjoyed testing new areas and working with creative and talented people. I believe more and more in the power of collective and collaboration as the most dynamic form of content production. It has been in the encounter and debate of ideas that my inspiration arises. In addition, travelling has been an important way of collecting references and pointing out new ideas - strangely, some of the most exciting places are the least distant. One such case is Gerês. It is impressive to visit a place where both the natural landscape is so overwhelming and human intervention, however punctual, so profoundly transformative.
Daniel Vieira: I characterize myself in a few words: normal, reserved and dreamy. My professional career is multidisciplinary, however, it is the part of product development that strikes me and makes me fall in love. I believe that gradually the bet on tradable products will become a national priority. GRRR! is a tradable product with quality and design, that in a few days of existence already managed to dispatch socks to some parts of the world. Design is really my passion, especially for its authors and identities. It is these identities that inspire me daily. But life is not only made of design, I like what I think is good music, I like to be European, I like to wear bomber jackets and to dream about space. But when I'm on top of the bike, I especially like to go down to Caniçada, to feel that there is still a child inside me.
What was the idea behind GRRR!?
Idealized in early 2016, the first tests were carried out in 2017 along the beautiful Gerês roads. GRRR! has been available to the public since February 28, 2018. It is a product ‘designed in Gerês - Portugal’ and produced in the local industry. As any brand wants to achieve its place in the sector, through a unique product and two annual collections, SS and AW. GRRR! is a brand that carries within itself the passions and cycling stories. It is a tribute to the cyclists, the races and the places that make this sport unique. Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Raymond Poulidor and Tom Simpson are some cyclists who perfectly captured the glory, the suffering and the style of road races. Also, places such as the Alpe d'Huez, the Col du Tourmalet, the Passo Dello Stelvio, the Arenberg forest and the lakes of Covadonga are examples of sites that carry the history of cycling. And finally, the races, some with more than a century, that were the stage of the most brilliant duels that have fascinated the fans. This is what inspires us and it is our goal to bring this magic to our products.
When did your passion for cycling begin?
André: My interest in cycling comes from the influence of my closest friends. I began to get caught up in their enthusiasm and interested in the aesthetics of sport. One of the biggest influences was Daniel, with whom I shared some conversations on the subject and who bought a road bike in 2015. At first I was more interested in small urban movements but over time I was realizing the possibility of going further and explore new landscapes. I like the feeling of being the movement to depend solely on me, the challenge of overcoming the inertia of a steep climb and hurl myself on a dizzying descent. Especially when I'm on the bike I feel that I can be in closer contact with the surroundings and with myself.
Daniel: The passion for cycling arose by mere chance in 2013 when I made daily trips by car to a project in which I was involved. I crossed daily with several cyclists due to being one of the connections to Gerês. Curiosity grew to the point of becoming one of those cyclists. Initially, I overcame myself, pedalled with a cyclotourism group and the difficulties were constant. As such my interest in the cycling culture was growing. Recently I've had less possibility to cycle and for that reason it has become fundamental to take a camera on the back, to enjoy 3 hours of cycling and to appreciate the 80 kilometres road ride.