Inspiring personalities from all places provide the culture of cycling with new ways of considering itself. This summer, Cento Cycling collaborated with Hawaii-born and Portland-based artist Raymi Damo, and Italian cycling cap institution, Apis, to bring a pair of vibrant cycling caps to celebrate our city when Portland needs us most.
Cento Cycling has been based in Portland, Oregon for decades, and the dark days that have descended upon our city recently, won't hold it back. We've got pride for Portland, and wanted to work with Raymi to designed a bright and bold cycling cap for this summer in our city. Drawing inspiration from vivacious tropical flora on the Big Island of Hawaii, Raymi developed her vibrant style as an artist. With summer such an exceptional time for cycling in the Pacific Northwest, Cento wanted to draw on Raymi's perspective from paradise to build an eye-popping cap.
For the launch of this cap, we sat down with the artist, to learn more about her and the inspiration for her work:
For cyclists who might not be aware of your work, can you tell us a little about your background?
"Sure thing! Profession-wise I am currently a marketing manager at a commercial real estate company, a good ol' 9 to 5 haha.
In my free time I have dabbled in a little bit of everything: calligraphy, printmaking, painting, drawing, book design, and even this awesome design collaboration with Cento Cycling! Essentially I have been able to make genuine connections with people over the years, connections that have then grown into creative collaborations."
Where do you find inspiration for your design style?
"I mainly draw inspiration from color – the brighter, the better! In my personal design process I always choose a color pallet first, then visual elements follow. I developed this method from my upbringing; growing up in Hawaii I found myself surrounded by artwork influenced by color. Some particular local brands and artists that inspire me especially for their use of color are Manuheali'i and Punky Aloha."
How do you like designing apparel like cycling caps compared to the other mediums you work in?
"Apparel design is in a league of its own and I am incredibly thankful to Cento Cycling for allowing me to jump in head first with them! I admit it was a bit nerve wracking because the scale is much larger than say working on a simple painting. But seeing the final product, wearing it, and knowing that others are able to do the same, that's incredible to me! Making a statement is powerful, and I think apparel design allows people to do that."
It sounds like you're busy these days, what projects are you working on next?
"I think what's keeping me busy these days is just figuring out how to navigate the world that we're living in. With so many monumental events happening and being exposed to them so easily through social media, it has greatly affected me; especially in how I want to continue channeling my creative efforts. I don't have any coherent personal projects in place just yet, but I do know that whatever I work on next will continue to make a statement and contribute to the conversation."
*Follow Raymi's work on Instagram @raymi_designed. *
The 'Portland Wrap' cycling caps are a 65% Polyester / 35% Cotton blend, with elastic in the center back. They're one size fits most, to fit an adult head sizing of 58-61cm or 23-24 inches in circumference. These incredible caps are made in Italy by Apis.