The Vandal is a brand centered around passion for cycling. Curious about where it all started and the story behind? We asked them…
“My love for cycling, the course and its heroes of the asphalt, like many Flemish children, are mixed with family moments. Together with father, uncles, brothers, cousins and friends we watched what turned out to be legendary rides and rounds. For example, as a child of the 1990s I remember the one-on-one battles between Indurain and Tony Röminger. The latter won the golden jersey in la Vuelta in 1993 and later also won the dotted jersey in the Tour de France. Epic battles of climbers against the high mountains or fast cylcists against the clock. These moments will always stay with me. Because of them I started cycling myself and longed for cols and mountains.
I learned the craft of printing in high school. Because I wanted to learn a lot more about creativity, I went to study graphic design at St. Lucas in Ghent. The time of my life. The name The Vandal first surfaced there. Then only in the form of hip stencils on boring walls. The love for the bicycle and everything around it was never far away. The theory of the studies was subsequently put into practice at Shanti Productions in Antwerp. Designing and textile printing became my daily activity. It was not long before my passion and my work found each other. First with custom painted bicycles, self-made bicycle handlebar antlers and tire key chains. Soon afterwards with some initial designs about the bike, the course and its iconic heroes. They sold well. Family and friends were enthusiastic and I got a taste for it. It wasn’t long before I put a name on it. The Vandal was born. We will then write somewhere in the year 2013.
With a small heart I visited some shops that I thought might be interested. Some bicycle shops or a concept store in the Neighborhood, in the street where I lived at the time. They saw something in me and gave me the necessary confidence to continue with this. More and more people crossed my path who saw potential in my idea and believed in The Vandal. A brand that specifically focused on the racing enthusiast did not yet exist. Via via I came into contact with racing legends such as Johan Museeuw or starting pros like Kris Boeckmans. The Vandal’s trail started to take shape. The chalk lines were plotted.
Placing a brand on the market with a modest budget mainly means hard work. Start a webshop yourself, find new retail customers, create designs, marketing, production, pack orders, … Do everything yourself and all often after hours and even more often than wanted until the early hours. At the same time, I also made custom designs for all kinds of occasions. From the traditional bachelorette party T-shirts to professional company clothing and sponsor material.
After combining a full-time job and my own business for at least two years, I decided in 2016 to take the big step towards full-time entrepreneurship. From then on, The Vandal received my undivided time and attention and that accelerated growth. In 2018, The Vandal moved from where it all started, my garage, to a new professional workplace in Borgerhout. The Vandal has also become a real team. Together with Nils and Krys, we are working on the future of The Vandal. A clothing brand with strong values for people who love cycling. From occasional cyclist or bicycle commuter to racing fanatic or bicycle omnivore!”