We were very fortunate to get to create a one of a kind saddle and bar tape for Anna Schwinn's Prince Tribute Bike. Truly the epitome of Deep Custom, the frame built by Erik Noren, better known as Peacock Groove, is a marvel of customization. Every detail has been obsessed over, making this bike a magnificent combination of artistry, function, and tribute. It was a pleasure for us to work with Anna. She did not want only the final product to be a tribute to Prince, but the entire collaboration and building process. She gave us total creative license- something we don't often enjoy.
Our contribution of saddle and tape was one of the last additions to the bike, so we were able to take inspiration from the completed Peacock Groove bike. If you're unfamiliar with Peacock Groove, do yourself a favor and check out what Deep Custom is all about. Both Erik and Anna are Minneapolis residents, and throughout the whole collaboration process their desire to honor the Purple One stood out. As I peppered Anna with design questions, she reminded me that she wanted each artist contributing to the bike to put their own creativity, ideas, and style into the project- because that's what Prince would have wanted.
We choose to use white as the main color for the saddle and tape. It can be nearly impossible to match leather color and frame paint, and we thought white would highlight the lyrics painted throughout the frame. While this bike could be considered an art piece, we knew it would be getting heavy use in the future. This is why we went with our Smooth White leather. It has a hot wax rolled pigmentation, which means this leather will not get dirty. You can splatter mud, or whatever on it, and it wipes clean with a wet rag.
The saddle features a winged perforation pattern, which mimics the angled feather's of Peacock Groove's logo. Through the perforations show a purple underlay, matched to the etched and painted Prince symbol in the center of the saddle.
The bar tape also features a matching purple underlay punctuated by etched doves. The doves match the exquisite dove details on the brakes and shifters. The final touch was an etched an painted Prince symbol bar end.
The bike won Best Theme, and Best in Show at NAHBS 2017. Thanks again to Anna and Erik for letting us be a part of this amazing project.