Borrowing from Europeans, studies suggest that more Americans will be leaving their cars in the garage and biking more not only for pleasure, but even to work. Concurrent with this movement, though, these consumers are seeking biking apparel that is appropriate to wear in other venues--whether the office or a restaurant--so as to avoid changing once they reach their destination.
Gramicci, always ahead of the trend, recognized this emerging market. "As more people are biking, they need clothes built for sport, but also for life. This is a niche Gramicci already fills, but extending into biking apparel that can be worn to an office -- not the typical spandex and fluorescent stripes--is a big opportunity," said Marty Weening, president of the apparel manufacturer. "Our own employees are perhaps the best ambassadors for this movement, as many now use bikes as their primary transportation for work and play."
To help meet this demand, the Agoura Hills-based company has unveiled a new Urban Biking line consisting of 11 styles for women and 13 for men, including pants, capris, shorts, skirts, jackets and performance tees in a variety of proprietary fabrics with Gramicci's signature "Never the Norm" washes and finishes.
Gramicci's design lab developed specific fabrics to function for the Built For Sport Line. Pants, shorts and jackets are made of Gramicci's'Epic QD,' an innovative quick-drying nylon with a cotton-like feel and a signature surface texture. The fabric is breathable, dries quickly and has a finish of SPF-30 for sun protection. For women's, Gramicci developed'Epic Expanse QD' -- adding spandex to the weave for greater comfort, fit and flexibility. There's also a signature fabric called'Kahuna Kamo,' which has a three-dimensional appearance in a camouflage pattern with Gramicci's "wash" and "worn" look. This, too, is breathable, with a finish of SPF-30 and quick drying attributes. The Rider Jeans are made of Velocity Denim, a lightweight, breathable fabric with expanse weave for added freedom of movement.
Fabric is key, but so is fit. Garment features include Gramicci's'Freedom of Movement Gusset,' allowing for ease of pedaling, as well as the'Peg-A-Leg' adjustable hem feature. There is also a'Rider Comfort Fit Waistband' designed to keep the back of the pants up while riding. Mesh panels on the jackets allow for air-stream ventilation and zip-open breathable vents on sides further enhance air flow. Additionally, Gramicci's'Rider Curved Hem' provides riders with plenty of coverage in back, while ample zip-stasher pockets allow cyclists to easily secure valuables.
The line's reversible tees come in a variety of screen-printed versions with sayings such as "Drive Less and Bike More" and "Tread Lightly." All tees in the line are made in Gramicci's proprietary'Momentum Jersey,' which wicks moisture to the outside of the body to keep the rider cool and dry. The tees also feature a backpacker shoulder seam to prevent abrasion when wearing a pack.
All items in the Urban Biking line come with a removable sticker carrying the "Drive Less and Bike More" slogan.
"Our new line is designed for people who want to be able to go from their bike to their offices or from a ride with their families to a restaurant for dinner. These are people who don't want to have to bother changing from a traditional spandex biking outfit to street clothes," summed up Weening. "We believe that once people start biking more, they won't return to their cars. It isn't just a trend, but a cultural lifestyle shift that will enhance their lives and reduce their carbon footprint."
Gramicci, considered the'soul brand' of the outdoor industry, is associated with the iconic styles of the outdoor industry including its introduction of the G-climbing pant over 25 years ago. Under the leadership of Marty Weening, the company has, in recent years, evolved into a major resource and partner for outdoor lifestyle apparel. The brand is now known for its natural fiber technologies, distinct fabrications and washed-out and weathered garment finishes sold within four distinct product segments: Authentic Originals, Built For Sport, Gramicci Life, and Greenicci. For more information, visit: www.gramicci.com
Media Contacts: General apparel, retail and business media--Lisa Kreda, Parness & Associates (732) 290-0121, [email protected]; outdoor trade and consumer media--Beth Cochran, BC/OC-What's Up PR (406) 579-7909, [email protected].