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San Fran shop hosts panel discussion on women's cycling clothing

Published March 11, 2014
Iladora's key product is The Perfect Bike Pant.

SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Huckleberry Bicycles is hosting an industry panel discussion this Friday on women's cycling apparel. Panelists from three brands that focus on women's urban cycling clothes will speak and field questions from consumers and industry representatives in the audience.

The event was organized to bring consumer attention to available women's clothing, inspire more suppliers to get into the market and to serve as something of a consumer focus group for the participating companies, said Meghan Murphy, a partner in the San Francisco clothing maker Iladora Apparel, which is organizing and sponsoring the discussion.

"The timing could not be better," Murphy said. "More women are cycling and more are adopting the bike for their daily commute. It's becoming more mainstream, which is great, and we'd like to highlight the opportunities that are there in women's apparel."

Iladora's co-founder and designer Ilana Siegelman will be one of the panelists, as will Karany Nhim, the designer of Giro's New Road women's line, and Steven B. Wheeler, a designer with Beta Brand.

Iladora's key product is The Perfect Bike Pant, a $135 pant with technical features for cycling but which can be worn at work. Murphy and Siegelman, a former designer for The North Face, founded Iladora "because we couldn’t find clothing that we wanted to wear. Performance clothing didn't have the style we wanted, and the more fashionable clothing falls apart when you really use it," Murphy said.

Murphy said cycling clothes are an outlier in the clothing market because there are more options for men than for women.

"That's very unusual in fashion," she said, noting that several brands that make urban cycling clothes have either no women's offerings or a limited selection.

For example, Giro launched its men's New Road line last year and waited until this season to add the women's line. Levi's Commuter line currently has no women's items. Murphy noted that at least one designer from Levi's is expected to attend the event as an audience member; she said that so far, RSVP's are running about 50-50 between consumers and industry folks.

The panel is being hosted by Jordan Kushins, a writer with Gizmodo and a veteran San Francisco city cyclist.

The event is from 6:30-9 p.m. at Huckleberry Bicycles, 1073 Market Street. Those interested in attending are being asked to RSVP at the event's website.



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