THIS COLLABORATION IS a dedication and celebration to THE people at ALL the cheering zones in the world.
Two minds behind the Berlin Braves, Luca Laurenti and Joey Elgersma became one to collaborate with the team from Ciele Athletics to create the ultimate marathon cheering hats. Drawing inspiration from their shared vision of what the marathon weekend should look like, the duo sought to bring colour, sunshine and familiarity to their grey Berlin city. The result – two caps that people could recognise from a distance and instantly put you in the right mood. These caps you can wear whether cheering, pre/post your next race or inside the club.
We had a short conversation with both Joey and Luca to dive deeper into the inception, the design, the response and the online drop.
Why Ciele? How did this relationship begin?
“Our relationship really began in early 2020 in regard to our collaboration. Initially, we intended to create a stronger connection between Canada and Germany. Our idea quickly broadened to creating a hat that connected runners and supporters worldwide.”
“The Long Distance Running Love Affair” was the first idea that represented the romance between the two cities Montreal and Berlin. The initial design was planned to be released during our HOMIES HALF event aka the Berlin half marathon in 2021, which was ultimately postponed due to Covid-19.
This postponement left us no choice but to align with Ciele on our 10 Year Anniversary plans which actually ended up working out perfectly. Design ideas need to be altered to fit the occasion but Luca and I went back and forth so much on the design that this was just another inspiring routine detour.
Ciele and I have long had mutual respect from afar. I’ve always respected the brand and felt they were a running brand but with a bit more of a skateboarding attitude.”
“And why not Ciele? They make fantastic hats and are an ideal partner to collaborate with on such a crazy one.”
Luca and Joey began designing with the energy of the running crews in mind and now the design had to focus on 10 Years of Berlin Braves where we celebrated with so many crews from the BTG running community. The two have done many other projects together and approached this challenge equipped with their rich collaboration chemistry.
How was it working together and how did you approach the design concept?
“The hat needed to represent those who also may not run but are just as essential to the community as the ultimate supporters who bring the vibes and good spirits to the cheering zone. This is always needed and is a vital part of everything we do. An ode to those who are a major piece of our fabric.
Working with Luca, for me, is always a party. We’re constantly challenging each other and Luca is one of the few people I know who can deal with my constant stream of ideas and changes. It is a wild combination that I am endlessly grateful for. The amount of design ideas stored on his computer are too many to count and will eventually end up as a large and highly coveted coffee table book.”
“During the first discussions between Joey and I, the main concept was immediately clear: Celebration. We were inspired also by the NBA finals hats and realised it was the right direction to go. After that, I sketched up the first designs, and I was lucky because they came out well the first time.
In regards to working with Joey, I’ve been collaborating with Joey for four years now and each time it’s more and more challenging. Changes of direction, second thoughts, joys and sorrows. He always tries to push me beyond my limits and each time I realise I don’t have any, so he succeeds perfectly in his job as a coach and it’s lucky for me to have found him in my path.”
How did you figure Blue for Home and Green for Away?
“At first we were focused on other colours… I mean, have you seen how Joey dresses? He has his own way of associating colours, but not everyone is Joey, so we preferred more basic backgrounds to match in everyday wear, where the embroidery colours could then come out in the best way.”
Did you anticipate the response received from the runners at Marathon Weekend?
“I knew it was special what we created with Dan, Julia and Jeremy from Ciele but to sell so many, so quickly is always a surprise to me. This is our first collab with Ciele and people were loving it. It’s a good style with a nice fit, if I may say so. The colours just pop and work very well along with the concept.”
“Well, I would say that we were aware of people’s passion for the Braves. There are 10 years of shared stories, people, events and adventures here, and I believe that if you do well with others eventually that good will come back to you in unexpected ways, as it was in this case. The reception from this cap was phenomenal. I think the 15-year cap will be even better, and hopefully, we will produce many more with Ciele.”
By the end of the night, it looked like it had been a giveaway the way everyone had one on. That just goes to show you the international love within the global running community. The impact that was intended had been met.
Today is the day we finally make the hats available online – A few days after the physical drop. The excitement still lingering and the sentiments were never lost. We all now have the opportunity to wear a piece of that weekend which represents something very transcendent.