On The Record: Gerbrandt Aarts

Creative Director, REV’IT! Sport International.

Gerbrandt Aarts

Gerbrandt Aarts

When we started REV'IT!, we wanted our own identity, so we created "Engineered Skin." Manufacturing in the fashion industry is based on a two-dimensional drawing—you have a front and a back. But most impacts are on the sides, so we moved the seams to locations with less impact. Initially, we exaggerated it, which was difficult for manufacturing, but that helped us get into the market because it was different. Now, Engineered Skin can be anything that has to do with innovation.

In the past, our logo was a triangle shape. We changed it to a shield. It's based on our core values: design, innovation and performance.

You can go to MotoGP with a lot of money and say, "Come ride for us." But just placing the REV'IT! logo on a product was never our goal. We really want to learn something.

These products are way too complex to make in factories that are not well-organized. Our factories are located mostly in Asia—China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Every country has its own specialty. For quality, Indonesia is best. For leather, men are better than women; the weight of the material is heavier and you need to use more force. We try to work with the same factories for many years. It's not good for price, that's for sure. For price, it's better to change all the time.

We deliver in more than 70 countries, so sizing is a general problem. Japan, for example, is very different than the U.S. Our cut is a little bit European, and we know that our customer is usually more than 40 years old, so we have to make the product functional for that person.

It's difficult to touch what inspires people.

The adventure market was invented in the U.S. We were lucky to be on that train from the start because there was a demand for those types of products. In Europe, adventure jackets are worn more as fashion—to show off. Here, the products are actually used off-road.

If you want to make use of all the features, it's best to wear the product tighter. That's something this industry has to learn. It's very easy to buy a heavy jacket one size bigger because it feels better, but it's actually dangerous to wear a jacket that is too loose.

If you were to build the perfect product, it would be based on your needs: a base layer, a mid-layer and a shell. Every layer adds to your comfort. Many consumers still want to buy one product that has all the function of these layers built into a shell. It's still hard to sell a functional shell without a thermoliner.

The ski market is used to buying different layers. You have to experience this yourself to appreciate it. You also see this change in workwear. People are working in the streets, where the temperature differs a lot, and wearing cotton is not so good. The market is changing and becoming more technical.

We tend to use lighter fabrics than most of our competitors, but that's not bad. Look at kangaroo leather: It's just the opposite; the thinner it is, the stronger it is. I've seen heavy, 1000-denier nylon that you can tear with your hands. Unfortunately, you have to crash to educate yourself!

The U.S. was an important step in our approach to quality. Our products were nice, and they functioned well in Europe, but Europeans encounter different weather conditions, and they don't ride off-road or for hours and hours. Specifications are important for U.S. customers. They are really into the details and want to know what is in the product. Ventilation is critical.

In the past, we bought a lot of Italian fabrics. They were beautiful, but they delaminated and frayed. Now, people are more safety-conscious; they want better products.

MotoGP and adventure-touring are both about performance, but we get more feedback from adventure than MotoGP. Customers really want to share their ideas with you. That makes the product evolve faster. In MotoGP, you can make only small steps. In adventure, this is just the beginning. For technical materials—breathability and abrasion resistance—it's a new world.

REV-IT! One Piece Hunter (White-Blue)

REV-IT! One Piece Hunter (White-Blue)

REV-IT! One Piece Hunter (Black-White)

REV-IT! One Piece Hunter (Black-White)

REV-IT! Trousers Sand 2 (Silver-Black Standard)

REV-IT! Trousers Sand 2 (Silver-Black Standard)

REV-IT! Trousers Sand 2 (Black-Standard)

REV-IT! Trousers Sand 2 (Black-Standard)

REV-IT! Jacket Nautilus (Silver-Red)

REV-IT! Jacket Nautilus (Silver-Red)

REV-IT! Jacket Nautilus (Silver-Yellow)

REV-IT! Jacket Nautilus (Silver-Yellow)

REV-IT! Jacket Stellar (Black-Acid Green)

REV-IT! Jacket Stellar (Black-Acid Green)

REV-IT! Gloves Stellar (White-Red)

REV-IT! Gloves Stellar (White-Red)

REV-IT! Gloves Sand Pro (Black-Orange)

REV-IT! Gloves Sand Pro (Black-Orange)

REV-IT! Gloves Neutron (Silver-Blue)

REV-IT! Gloves Neutron (Silver-Blue)

REV-IT! Cooling Vest Liquid

REV-IT! Cooling Vest Liquid

REV-IT! Vest Connector (Neon-Yellow)

REV-IT! Vest Connector (Neon-Yellow)

REV-IT! Back Protector Seesoft v. ST (Blue-Black)

REV-IT! Back Protector Seesoft v. ST (Blue-Black)

Creative Director Gerbrandt Aarts, REV?IT! Sport International

Creative Director Gerbrandt Aarts, REV?IT! Sport International