GQ review -? ashmei
By Mark Russell 07 March 13
There was a small revolution in cycling a few years back when performance-wear brand Rapha launched, seemingly out of nowhere, and soon became the sport’s most-desired outfitter. Its vintage-inspired, Continental-cut apparel was a word-of-mouth success story that captured the imagination of style-conscious cyclists from Soho to Shanghai, and propelled the company from hipster start-up to Team Sky’s official outfitter.
Well, a similar story could be taking place in the running world right now, with (relatively) small-scale performance-clothing brand ashmei turning heads and transforming kit bags with its super-stylish, ultra high-end apparel. Established last year by designer Stuart Brooke, ashmei has filled a gap at the top end of the market with its beautifully cut, high-tech garments made with high-quality fabrics.
ashmei’s Ultimate Softshell Running Jacket has fast become one of my favourite pieces of kit, alongside perennials such as Asics phenomenally good Gel Nimbus shoes (currently on its 14th edition) and the classic CamelBak. It’s the subtle details that set this all-weather jacket apart – the high, modish collar, extra-long sleeves with thumb holes and the genius, super-sticky lining around the waist hem that stops it rising up when you run (a constant threat for those with my “physique”). The technology used in the fabric makes it extremely breathable and wicks sweat away from the body fast, avoiding the condensation that is the downfall of many a shell jacket. And, to top it all, I’ve put it through its paces in some dreadful conditions this winter and it still doesn’t whiff in the slightest. ashmei might just have started a new trend in running kit: the investment piece.
Ultimate Softshell Running Jacket by Ashmei, ?180. ashmei.com