By Emily Childs
As a female cyclist, and one of maybe only a handful at the helm of a cycling clothing business, I’m all too aware there’s a particular area of our offering that’s been long-overdue.
So I can’t tell you how excited I am to say, on International Women’s Day nonetheless, that our new women’s range is finally coming to fruition next month.
A visual representation of our excitement for this new kit drop
Like everything we do at Attacus, these new spring/summer pieces are the products of months upon months of conversations, development and testing. This time we also drafted in a bit of expert help and advice from some seriously badass cyclists, including ultra endurance rider and Cyclist kit tester Laura Scott.
Emily and Laura rocking the new kit
The collection will sit side by side with our newly-designed men’s SS18 range, with a women’s Cold Weather line to follow later this year.
As a business, we’re thrilled that we can finally support the cycling community in a wider and more inclusive way.
London to Brighton with the ladies
And on a personal note, I’m very proud that the introduction of our first fully-fledged women’s collection coincides with my soon-to-be move to take over as Managing Director of Attacus - as we focus on growing our brand in a way that both promotes and actively supports inclusivity and equal representation in the sport.
We’ll be dropping some sneak-peeks of the range over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled on social and sign up to our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss the updates about its exact release date.
Oh and FYI, we’re also on the lookout for ambassadors to help spread the word about our new collections. If you fancy applying, click here.
CREATING THE NEW RANGE: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD...
Kit testing in the North Pennines
It’s been an exciting, empowering, bumpy, and at times infuriatingly slow road to get our women’s range off the ground properly.
To understand why, it’s probably helpful to know a bit more about how Attacus came to life.
The short answer is: Jimmi and I set out with big ambitions and a firm belief in doing things right - but nowhere near enough time or cash to pull off two well thought-out, fully functioning ranges from the get go.
The long version goes something like this…
We set up Attacus with the aim to do things differently.
We weren’t corporate bigwigs with loads of cash to invest in return for a slice of the ever-growing cycling industry pie.
We were two regular cyclists with full-time jobs - one with a vivid vision for a kit he couldn’t get his hands on anywhere, the other with the knowledge to digitise the concepts and build a website to see if anyone else wanted it too. Plus a small amount of savings we were willing to gamble on the idea.
Turns out kit testing's also a perfect excuse to get some extra miles in
But taking that start-up business we launched from our kitchen table to the brand it is now was a steep learning curve.
After delving head first into the pool of manufacturing at every spare moment we had - and some that weren’t technically ours to spare (sorry if my former boss is reading this) - we were quickly hit with the stark realisation that we neither had the money nor the time to properly develop and stock separate men’s and women’s ranges.
I’d done enough riding to know that any company that describes the fit of their kit and/or bib short chamois as “unisex” was talking BS. That wasn’t an option.
Neither of these chamois made the cut...
And with our first summer fast approaching, we had to make a decision on which side to focus our efforts on first. Jimmi’s overwhelming desire to ride in that kit he’d first dreamed up four years earlier, and my overbearing work commitments ultimately made it an easier choice.
But our desire to be an inclusive brand soon had us following a deep path entrenched by the industry. We launched our first summer with our male offering, plus a very small set of adjusted female sizes.
Emily and Laura escape out to Essex
As soon as we put the pieces up on the site, we knew we weren’t happy.
Don’t get me wrong, the women’s stuff was OK. But after spending so much time and cash prototyping, testing and riding to create men’s products we 100% backed, we didn’t feel we could comfortably say the same for the entire offering. And somehow, that felt even more unfair and unequal than not selling women’s kit at all.
So, we stopped.
And we made a commitment that our women’s kit would not just be a badly adjusted bolt-on to a well designed and thoroughly thought-out men’s kit.
Attacus first generation women's kit. Now it's back, and it's WAY better
We focused our efforts into growing our brand, and vowed that when we did have extra time and cash, that we’d do things properly.
And, well, if you’ve made it to this point, you can probably guess what happened next. With 12 months of development in the bag, we finally got to a point where we could make that happen.
Now I can finally stand (and cycle) tall in my own kit and confidently say I 100% back it. And damn, does it feel good.
OUR NEW WOMEN'S SPRING / SUMMER COLLECTION IS NOW LIVE! CHECK IT OUT HERE.