The clothing department of Italian fencing equipment company Gajardoni is closing down, revealed Reddit user Nikolai Sergetov yesterday.
Sergetov learned of this while trying to order a jacket from them. This is the answer he got:
thanks for writing us, unfortunately we are closing our clothing department so we are not producing jackets anymore.
We have the last piece in stock: it is a 800N challenge jacket size XL in col. Red. At your disposal for further help.
We immediately contacted Gajardoni, but there is still no answer from them.
Their website reveals practically all of their jackets are out of stock:
The question that is still unanswered is whether they will continue selling their masks and protective equipment. It seems they might be closing completely, however – half of their HEMA masks and 2 out of their 3 sport fencing masks are also “sold out”. The same goes for the majority of their protective equipment.
Why did this happen?
While we don’t know the exact reason, we can guess – the prices.
The Challenge 800N jacket was Gajardoni’s main bid for the attention of HEMAists. And it got awesome reviews – despite some criticism about its appearance, it is a very durable, modular, well-made piece of protection.
It was, however, priced at 430 EUR for a custom at one point. The last price it was sold at is 300 EUR. That puts it far above most other options on the market, and you don’t really get so much more than you do from a standard SPES AP or any of the other, much cheaper jackets.
Their Diamond jacket was prettier, and still an awesome option for rapier, but again – too expensive.
Their masks followed the same trend. The Air masks, which included inflatable cushions, drew some interest, before people realizing it was mostly a gimmick.
In the end, Gajardoni had many fans, but most were of the “someday I will have money to buy this” variety.
The bad news is this opens up the HEMA market even more for cheap stuff of dubious quality, based on stolen designs, like the infamous SupFen.
There is still some good stuff in stock. Check out gajardoni.com.