Mumbai-based illustrator and visual artist Sameer Kulavoor’s fascination with bicycles has resulted in a unique fashion collaboration with UK-based menswear label Paul Smith. Owner of design studio Bombay Duck Designs, Kulavoor poured his love for cycling into “The Ghoda Cycle Project” in 2012, where he documented the bicycles of India in a series of colourful sketches. He now holds the distinction of having four of his sketches feature on a series of T-shirts for Paul Smith Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. It was a couple of years ago that Kulavoor noticed the variety of cycles on Indian roads. “It’s fascinating to see how people personalise their cycles, and decorate them to suit their professions. I’ve seen pressure cooker repairmen and belt salesmen use their cycles as a mode of transport as well as a mobile shop,” says Kulavoor, who first started sketching the series in 2011 “without any long-term goals”.
The sketches were collated under “The Ghoda Cycle Project”, which Kulavoor exhibited at the Bicycle Film Festival in Helsinki last year. He created a poster book of these sketches, a copy of which he sent to British designer Paul Smith, who is keenly interested in all things cycling. “Smith was a professional cyclist himself till he met with a terrible accident. He continues to use a lot of bicycle references in his design and clothes and I’ve always felt a connection with his work,” says Kulavoor. The outcome of this exchange is the Paul Smith + Ghoda Cycle Project line of T-shirts, priced at Rs 6,500 each and available at Paul Smith stores worldwide, as well as the brand’s Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore outlets.