Last Place cycling jersey by Steven Bonner

What self-respecting cyclist would want to sport a yellow jersey when black looks so much cooler? Especially if it’s this limited-edition cycling jersey designed by Steven Bonner for Milltag that raises a chain grease-smudged middle finger to the idea that it’s all about winning.

Steven Bonner chose a limited palette for its starkness

Steven Bonner chose a limited palette for its starkness

Bonner, who is based near Stirling, Scotland, cycles purely for enjoyment and was inspired in his design by the era when Italy’s long-distance road race, the Giro d’Italia, would present the last-placed rider with a black jersey.

"The idea of wearing the black jersey struck me as ironic," he says, "If you’ve come last, you’ve ridden for longer and had more fun. Suddenly having a black jersey seemed like a good thing."

As the design on the reverse (presumably aimed at deflecting the sneers of overtaking car drivers) states, it’s about miles, not medals.

Bonner added containers and borders to the type to suggest a heraldic crest

Bonner added containers and borders to the type to suggest a heraldic crest

Keeping to a monochrome palette so as to not dilute the central concept, Bonner used type and decorative elements to add interest. "I’d already designed a chiselled typeface for another project and had been itching to use it again, so I brought it back," he says.

Although he had worked on T-shirts before, this was his first commission for a full cut-and-sew cycling jersey; however, Milltag’s detailed technical specifications made the requirements clear whilst still allowing plenty of creative freedom.

"I did a custom pattern for the side panels, designed the collar and sleeve piping, and even got to put a hidden message inside one of the back pockets," he reveals.

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