Eurobike is staged in Friedrichshafen, historic home of the Zeppelin airship. The modern Zeppelin – filled with helium instead of oh-the-humanity-hydrodren – is based at Friedrichshafen airport, right next to the showground. A 20-minute flight costs €220 per person so Zeppelin-based jollies are thin on the ground during Eurobike, but for the wow factor English apparel brand Ashmei decided to blow a big hole in its expo budget by booking a flight for twelve guests, a mix of journalists and bike shop big-wigs.
As a way of getting a target’s attention at the 1300-exhibitor Eurobike the offer of a Zeppelin flight is pretty hard to beat. Journalists such as Cycling Plus editor Rob Spedding and Mint Sauce creator Jo Burt, a road.cc scribe, and principals from top European bike shops, took up Ashmei on its offer, and it’s a dead cert that media coverage and account openings will result from the €2640 outlay.
This is Ashmei’s first time at Eurobike. It’s a running brand created in 2012 by sportswear apparel designer Stuart Brooke, and now has a high-end cycling collection. Ashmei commissions its own fabrics, including special weaves of Merino wool, and produces classy, understated garments. The brand is seeking a small number of stockists around the world, and has also received interest at the show from would-be distributors. Ashmei is sharing booth-space at Eurobike with high-end Italian frame maker Passoni – and will be colloborating with the company for a clothing collection next year.
Ashmei is based in Aldbury, Hertfordshire. Brooke also runs Blue Associates, a sports apparel design company trading since 1997. He has designed for Howies, Vulpine and other cycle clothing brands, and he helped Simon Mottram launch Rapha.
And now, because of its Zeppelin-themed launch, it’s likely you’ll be hearing a lot more about Ashmei in the near future.
However, the irony is that no Ashmei staff went up into the air: “It would have been a waste for us to take up space,” said Brooke. “We wanted our guests to have a special time, and we achieved that.”