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Specialized acquires women's clothing brand Machines for Freedom

Published June 4, 2018

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components has bought Machines for Freedom, a women's cycling clothing brand founded four years ago by Jennifer Kriske. The brands will remain separate and Specialized described the purchase as "a bold investment in women's leadership."

"Machines For Freedom has set an incredibly powerful example, not just for women in cycling, but for all of cycling. It is a brand founded on listening to riders and delivering what they want and need, yet the industry was not providing. These same guiding principles were what brought about the genesis of the Specialized brand back in 1974. We are extremely excited to support Jenn and Machines as they continue to elevate women's cycling," said Kwai Kong, Specialized's leader of equipment.

Kriske said she had been searching for a partner for the last two years.

"I bootstrapped Machines into existence four years ago with the objective of filling a big gap in the women's cycling apparel market. I desired to design a kit that I wanted to put on each morning; it needed to look and feel good, but as importantly, be able to stand up to my most intense training days. I'd always felt the women's community deserved more attention than it was getting. I had so many ideas on how to reach them, I just needed help to get there."

Machines will continue to be based in Los Angeles and its website will remain separate from Specialized's, as well. Kriske will continue to oversee operations.

"It was crucial that Machines maintain its unique voice and ability to quickly adapt to the changing market landscape," Kriske said.  

"This is a huge win for women – we still live in a time when only 3 percent of venture capital goes to women-led businesses. The fact that another women's business has found financial support is cause for celebration. We are in an industry that has seen many recent setbacks when it comes to including women in leadership roles and this is an important first step towards changing that."

Last month, Specialized unveiled a special Machines for Freedom edition of its S-Works Tarmac Disc road bike that Kriske wrote about on the company's blog

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Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments

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