Taylor Phinney set to launch Italian fashion line

American rider is in talks with Dolce & Gabbana to create a product line stretching from cologne to watches

BRUGES, Belgium (VN) — American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) is in talks with Italian fashion giant Dolce & Gabbana to develop and release his own line of men’s products, from cologne to watches.

The partnership marks the first collaboration between the young American and the fashion industry, though Phinney has been drawn toward fashion for years.

Fluent in Italian after spending pivotal adolescent years growing up in in Veneto, near Bassano del Grappa, Phinney has become a star in Italy following time spent in the maglia rosa at the 2012 Giro d’Italia, and more recently, a valiant effort to finish stage 6 of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico within the time cut. He currently resides in the Tuscan town of Quarrata.

“This is a logical progression,” he said of his partnership with Dolce & Gabbana. “I am not defined by the bike, and I think it’s important to express one’s self both on and off it.”

Citing company policy not to discuss unreleased products, a spokesperson for Dolce & Gabbana would not comment on the partnership.

The fragrance, to be named “Bici,” will blend citrus notes with an undercurrent of sage, ideal for both summer and fall, though the airy scent is probably not suited for winter, noted the ever-conscious Phinney.

“I’m looking for something crisp with this first bottle,” he said. “It’s certainly something for a guy who’s not afraid to bring a bit of levity into a room.”

Phinney, the United States’ best hope for a Paris-Roubaix win in the coming years, will also launch a watch collection, which will feature oversized dials and low-key finishes in matte black. The signature model, the “T,” will include a bi-directional rotating bezel, which can be used to figure simple mathematical equations such as watts per kilogram and lactate threshold.

“Yeah, with this I thought it would be cool to bring a bit of bike racing into the stores,” he said. “You’ll notice [many pro riders] all wear big watches. I have no idea why we started doing it, really, but now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. And you shouldn’t, either.”

“Bici,” to be released in June, will cost 200 Euros ($257) for a 1.2-ounce bottle. Phinney has not yet set a price on his watch line, which will be called “Hour Record.”

“You only buy watches at contract time,” he said. “I’m still waiting to see about that.”