Despite the absence of any Rapha scented candles (or even a warming cup of tea on a freezing night) the Rapha Sample Sale Launch Party was a boisterous affair last night. Boxes of Rapha kit were laid out on the floor and, the evening before the sale began in earnest, a select group of invited guests were able to rummage through and pick up deeply discounted offerings.
At first I was confused by the absence of changing rooms. But I soon realised that everyone there knew exactly what size they were. They were invited because they are amongst Rapha’s best customers and so a changing room would be a waste of space.
Perhaps because so many key clients were attending Simon Mottram, founder of Rapha, was also there. Notwithstanding that, I thought it impressive that he made it down to the sale.
Within half an hour of the doors opening the queue was snaking round the room like one of the alpine passes used in Rapha publicity. Jerseys for £30, base layers for £20 and leather gloves for £50 were going down well.
Whilst standing by the cash desk (only one accepting credit cards!) I saw one devotee casually drop over £550. Not only a popular event for cyclists but surely a profitable one for Rapha?
The sale runs until Sunday 30 January at Unit 25 on Hanbury Street, London