At a small art studio in Beverly Hills last month, Swiss watch company Tag Heuer announced an exclusive artistic collaboration between its in-house Art Provocateur, Alec Monopoly and cycling partner, the Amgen Tour of California. Typically known for its line of luxury watches, Tag’s presence at the small Los Angeles gala — which saw a brief appearance from recording artist Tyga (it is Los Angeles, after all) — was to officially unveil the Tour’s Best Young Rider jersey to a smattering of journalists and brand-affiliated friends and family.
To do this, Tag brought Monopoly (a New York-based graffiti artist) on stage along with four BMC Racing Team cyclists who emphatically ripped off their overcoats to unveil the graffiti-inspired work. Taking cues from Alec’s prior work — he takes on the moniker of “Monopoly” in reference to the popular board game — the jerseys not only feature a spray paint-style aesthetic but also a cartoon-themed rendition of the artist himself. As they stood on stage, Monopoly proceeded to brand them with his famous “ALEC” tag, devoting one letter to each cyclist.
“These jerseys are amazing and I just took the approach that it was a graffiti wall where I was doing my graffiti tags, drips, and all that,” Monopoly told The Manual. “It’s going to be very cool to see the riders wearing them and racing with them.”
While the jersey won’t be worn by every rider during each of Amgen’s circuits, the Best Young Rider of each stage will have the opportunity to don the artistic top. What this means is that at the conclusion of each stage, any rider born after January 1, 1994, that finishes the day leading an individual category has the opportunity to sport the jersey the following day. Think of it as a long-distance cousin to the yellow jersey from the Tour de France.
For Monopoly and Tag, this isn’t the only collaboration the two have in the works. After being officially named the brand’s Art Provocateur at Art Basel Miami this year, Monopoly plans on including his unique artwork on future Tag Heuer releases, including a potential wallpaper or two for the recently released Connected 45 smartwatch. Though nothing has officially been announced, the fact Monopoly serves as Tag’s go-to for artwork means fans of the brand should plan on enjoying plenty of graffiti-style works gracing watches, watch bands, and watch faces for several years.
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