Alessia Piccolo has made quite a name for herself in the cycling world. She is the heart behind Alé Cycling, an Italian start-up founded in 2013; that specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality cycling products that are supportive and ergonomic. In this interview, we sat down Piccolo, CEO of Alé Cycling, to discuss how eVent fabrics helps create and deliver the performance and style you've come to know and love from Alé Cycling.
eVent fabrics: Tell us the history of Alé Cycling and what differentiates you from other cycling apparel brands?
Alessia Piccolo: Alé Cycling is a brand of the APG company which, after thirty years at the top level in the production of sportswear for cyclists, decided in 2013 to offer a new brand to all fans of this wonderful sport. After developing hundreds of products and having worked for the most prestigious international brands, we decided to close the circle and launch our own brand, strong of a know-how with no equals.
EF: Alé is recognized globally. What are a few keys to building a successful global cycling brand?
AP: The heart of Alé Cycling is a maniacal, all-Italian craftsmanship combined with constant technological innovation in the production process. Fabrics and materials are studied and tested by our R&D department, with a focus on women's design. We also like to break the rules and give cyclists bright and eye-catching graphics, so they are also visible and safer on the road.
EF: What does it mean to be a women-run company in cycling?
AP: Our company is made up of 70% women, so Alé Cycling has a feminine soul and knows how important it is to offer women technical, comfortable garments with a specificially designed without forgetting style and femininity. Women's cycling has only exploded in the last few years, and Alé was the first brand to take care of deisng for women like no one before.
EF: You're a longtime supporter of professional cycling. How do those relationships inform product development and the Alé Cycling brand?
AP: We are constantly working with professional teams and their athletes, and their input and product suggestions are very valuable to us. This allows us to develop and test the best technologies and materials, to create functional, comfortable, and high-performing garments that even amateur cyclists can enjoy wearing.
EF: Performance is a hallmark of your brand. How do you balance performance and price to deliver high-value products?
AP: Reconciling a high-quality product with an affordable price is only possible through an excellent relationship with the suppliers, such as eVent, and a careful production process.
The choice of fabrics and their characteristics is essential to define the price of a product in relation to its performance.
The R-EV1 line is an example; for Alé Cycling it represents the benchmark, the collection with the best technologies and fabrics in the catalogue. Through this line we want to offer our customers exclusive, high-performance garments. With the PR-S line we offer the same technologies used in the garments worn by professionals. Depending on the target we want to satisfy, the Alé Cycling catalogue is able to cover the needs of performance and price, without ever forgetting quality.
EF: Why does Alé Cycling use eVent for windproof cycling gear?
AP: We really believe in eVent technology; all the cyclists who have tested our garments with these membranes have confirmed the qualities of protection and breathability. The different membranes we use (eVent DVstretch, DVstorm, and DValpine) allow us to develop different garments according to needs and weather conditions.
Alé Cycling continues to push innovation by striking a balance between style and performance. The Alé Cycling brand is not about what you wear; it's about how you ride. From their signature performance goals to durable fabrics, every choice they have made has contributed to the Alé Cycling philosphy.
Cycling will never be the same, let us show you — Head over to Alé's website to see their latest products.