Castelli is a clothing brand based in northern Italy, producing a range of high-performance sports clothing for cyclists and triathletes. With it unmistakable scorpion logo, the brand is well-known within cycling for its premium quality products.
Castelli was founded in 1876, in the Milan workshop of tailor Vittore Gianni, whose clients included the Milan Ballet, football teams AC Milan and Juventus, and later on, Giro d’Italia winner Alfredo Binda. Whilst Gianni first made cycling clothing during the 1910s, the company really took off when Armando Castelli joined the company in 1935 and subsequently bought out his boss in 1939.
Armando expanded the company’s clientele during the 1940s and 1950s to include the likes of Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi as well as professional riders such as multiple Tour de France winners Louison Bobet and Jacques Anquetil and triple-Paris-Roubaix champion Rik Van Looy. However, due to clashes in opinion, it wasn’t until 1974 that Maurizio, Armando’s son, gave birth to the current company’s name and iconic logo.
Now in the hands of Maurizio Castelli, the company began to lead the way for innovative cycling clothing, introducing the first Lycra shorts into the market for both professionals and the public in 1977.
Castelli also trailblazed the first coloured bibshorts in 1981 following experimentation with sublimation dying - it caused shockwaves in the peloton given that only black bibshorts were allowed at the time.
The business continued to pioneer performance-enhancing cycling clothing during the 1980s and 1990s. Sadly, in 1995, Maurizio passed away after suffering a heart attack whilst climbing the Cipressa, a legendary climb synonymous with the one-day Monument, Milan-San Remo.
A year later it claimed Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games as Paola Pezzo won the inaugural women’s mountain biking event with the Castelli logo clear to see on her Italian team kit as she crossed the finish line.
In 2003, the company was bought out by Manifattura Valcismon. Since the turn of the century, Castelli has been the clothing manufacturer of choice for countless top-tier teams and riders.
There is no confirmed story behind the choice of a scorpion as the logo when it was introduced in 1974. Urban legend, though, has it that Maurizio Castelli chose it since he had a mistress whose star sign was scorpio.
Current sponsorships: Soudal Quick-Step, AG Insurance - Soudal Quick-Step, Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team.
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We were really excited when iconic cycling brand Castelli offered to make our new GCN kit for us earlier this year, and we were even more excited when they invited us to their HQ to show us just how they made our Jerseys! Join us as we check out one of cycling's leading clothing brands.
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