“Our history is filled with struggle, but something I wanted to focus on and channel with this collection is the strength and the zeal our ancestors had.”
In honour of Black History Month this year, Peloton, whose bikes and fitness classes have become a straight-up cultural phenomenon, has launched a Black History Month collection featuring 18 custom items of workout wear, designed in collaboration with four talented Black artists.
Each artist partnered with two Black Peloton instructors to create pieces, ranging from tank tops to leggings, that tell a story and resonate with the Peloton community. We caught up with the instructors and the artists to chat about what each of their Peloton Black History Month collections means to them and the inspiration behind their work.
Wilson is a self-taught artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who specializes in lettering art. His “Bring Your Whole Self” collection is a collaboration with instructors Adrian Williams and Tunde Oyeneyin. “Scribbles are a great way to express yourself, especially with vibrant colours,” says Wilson. “When capturing Tunde’s personality, I wanted to bring in this excitement, number 15 and positive words, all of which stood out to me about Tunde’s past.” Hust explains that “consistently seeing positive words is a great way to inspire others. With a sharp edge type for strength as well as rough shapes layered behind the typography, this collection has a cool and calm colour palette to represent Adrian’s personality and past.”
Multidisciplinary artist Temi Coker creates bold, visually gripping art inspired by his upbringing in Nigeria, along with his love for African culture. His collection, “Light The Way,” was developed alongside instructors Jess Sims and Chelsea Jackson Roberts. “For this collection, Chelsea, Jess and I talked about Dr. Carter G. Woodson and how he believed that young African-Americans in the early 20th century were not being taught enough about their own heritage or about the achievements of their ancestors,” explains Coker. “Our goal was to not just let this be, and to focus on our past this Black History Month. We realized the knowledge of our ancestors and their history is important because it allows us to really learn who we are and where we came from. Knowledge is power. Our history is filled with struggle, but something I wanted to focus on and channel with this collection is the strength and the zeal our ancestors had, despite all they went through. There’s just something vibrant about African-American culture. From the songs we sang, to the quilts we made that were passed down from generation to generation, to the different ways we celebrated life through meals and even in fashion, this all adds to the Black experience. It’s not linear, but aims to reach the same goal of celebrating our people and our history. The Black experience can’t be contained in a month so I wanted to make sure that this collection would be something people could wear anytime during the year. This collection is by us, for us.”
L.A.-based Monica Ahanou is a well-known artist and is considered by many to be an expert in colour theory, vector illustration and design. Her collection, “United We Move,” was designed with instructors Ally Love and Hannah Frankson. Ahanou is a champion of diverse beauty because of its ability to bring colour and variation into the world, not to mention more excitement. “I was inspired by the diverse energy of the Peloton community while creating my designs. I incorporated a large number of vibrant colours and overlapping shapes to represent the beauty that is created when people from varying cultures and environments come together — in this case on the Peloton platform — and work towards a common goal.”
South Carolina-based artist Sanford Greene has worked for publishers like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image Comics. His collection, “Come Into Your Power,” is a collaboration with Peloton instructors Chase Tucker and Alex Toussaint, and features god and goddess creations that not only embody Black representation at Peloton, but also the power, beauty, strength and wisdom within the Black community. “We were inspired by the shared values we all hold,” says Tucker. “These pieces were inspired by our conversation. They embody not only Black representation at Peloton, but the power, beauty, strength and wisdom within the Black community as a whole.”
Shop some of our favourite pieces from Peloton Black History Month collection below.