When a brand releases a product into the huge market it can sometimes get lost, United have gone out of their way to create seven variations of their two stems that collaborate with seven of the UK's best rider owned stores. We caught up with Dean Hearne from United to find out about this collaboration and what went into it.
Dean, thank you for taking the time to talk about the new products. What gave you the idea to collaborate with some of the UK’s largest BMX stores?
We wanted to work with retail stores on this collaboration to give them the opportunity to have something exclusive to offer to their customers, team riders and add a personal touch as well as different colours to our stems.
Who did you collaborate with and what made you choose these companies?
On this project we worked with 20Twenty BMX, Crucial BMX, Custom Riders, Pijin BMX, Sibot BMX Shop, Source BMX and Volt BMX. They are all good customers and supporters of United so the collaboration just clicked. Also certain stores like 20Twenty, Custom Riders etc are all in anniversary years so the products worked well as part of this.
We have seen United collaborate with Etnies on t-shirts and completes, I think this is the first time I’ve seen a stem collaboration from any brand. Why did you opt for this stem rather than say a signature complete bike for each shop?
I am pretty sure there have been other stem collaborations, but with this again it was just something that worked down to timing and the fact it is a simple product. The lead time on a stem is pretty short and it is a blank canvas really with regards to colour and adding logos, so when you are working with a lot of different people it stops the project getting out of control. With larger items like complete bikes etc there are minimums to meet for production runs so it's not that feasible to do in bulk with a lot of different stores.
Did either of the shops have any input on the colour, logo placement, or any other changes to the stem?
They had full input, there were no changes to the design of the stem, and each shop was allowed to choose whatever colour they liked, and use the logo of their choice. We kept all the logos in the same position on the stems for continuity and to make them look as much of a collection as possible.
These are very specific and well established shops. Is this going to be a continuing scheme with different products in the future?
Who knows, working with other brands/stores is always an exiting for a project as it is a melting pot of ideas and with different opinions you usually get a pretty unique end result.
Finally, which is your personal favourite colour way of the seven collaborations?
Oh, I couldn't possibly say, that would be favouritism! In honesty, i think they all came out great and really fit in with the identity of each of the shops involved.