Rapha + Saša Otsoja

Rapha + Saša Ostoja

Curator of colourful creatures, Amsterdam-based artist Saša Ostoja tells us about the influences behind his illustrations and what inspired the design of this latest jersey collaboration, available exclusively at Rapha Clubhouse Amsterdam.

Homes away from home for passionate cyclists in cities around the globe, every Rapha Clubhouse aims to represent the local riding community. It’s important that each location not highlight what cycling means to a city, but what each city means to its cyclists. When it comes to celebrating all the joys of experiencing Amsterdam on two wheels, the work of local artist Saša Ostoja has something important to say about one of the most diverse cities in Europe.

Born to a Dutch father and a Croatian mother in Utrecht, Saša knows the value of growing up in a multicultural household. In his illustrations, a kaleidoscopic cast of characters navigate teaming jungles and forests in a naive harmony. Drawing inspiration from his long bike trips into wilderness, his work explores the complicated relationship between man and nature but is always drawn with a wink.

“Cycling is the ideal way for me to relax and to fill my mind with new ideas. I regularly try to go on cycling holidays with my girlfriend. Feeling that you can take all the stuff you need with you on your bike and set up camp anywhere is true freedom to me. It’s also a great way of staying fit since most of the time I’m just sitting and drawing.”

Having studied Fine Art in Utrecht and travelled to Brazil for inspiration, Saša ultimately settled in Amsterdam, where he made the first big strides of his career. “After Utrecht, Amsterdam is where I did most of my growing up. It’s been here that I made the contacts and secured the opportunities that helped me start my career as an illustrator. It’s a place that I will always cherish; a beautiful city with superb culture and architecture to discover.”

When approached to collaborate on a cycling jersey inspired by his hometown, Saša was eager to get drawing.“For me, this collaboration is a fusion of my two hobbies which have finally come together. I was aware of Rapha as a progressive cycling clothing brand, and the thought of working together had me super stoked. Designing cycling apparel has always been an idea I’ve had, and now it’s time to make it a reality.”

“The idea behind ​​the jersey came directly from my cycling trips. In the design, I’ve tried to capture everything that makes an impression on me when I’m out on my bike: from the animals and the elements to the interesting people I encounter. I wanted to encapsulate a love of the natural world that you develop while out cycling.”

Available exclusively to those that experience the city’s invigorating multiculturalism first-hand, the Rapha + Saša Ostoja Jersey is available to purchase in-store at the Amsterdam Clubhouse.