Meet the Women Behind our Women’s Collection
Our Women’s Collection has been years in the making. We went through rounds of designs, wear tests and fittings before we put out a single piece of womenswear so we could confidently say that our Women’s Collection would rival the fit, function and style of any other collection out there. Behind this process is our design team: Adrienne, Leslie and Nicole. We sat down and talked with them about their process, their favorite pieces and where they find inspiration!
Tell us a little bit about why this collection came about?
Adrienne, Apparel Designer – Honestly, we just didn’t feel like the majority of people making women’s apparel for moving in the city was really doing it right. Most of it is trendy, but it is not wearable outside the gym. I think traditional outdoor brands are afraid of change and, while there are some workwear brands that address functionality, they generally don’t use performance fabric. I also design a lot of the menswear here at Chrome. We have the reputation of using quality performance fabrics on well-built, functional gear. This puts us in a unique position to put the things we are already doing together with womenswear silhouettes to create women’s product that combines the right combination of style, performance and function.
Why is it important to make quality athletic or workwear apparel for women?
Leslie, Development & Sourcing Manager – Women work and play as hard as men do. We want items that work well for the activities we’re involved in and know that we can depend on them. It also doesn’t hurt to look good in what you wear. We don’t need the pink to set us apart. (To be fair though, I like pink!)
What are some features you think set this collection apart?
Nicole, Apparel Development Assistant – Let’s start with pockets that are, you know, the size of a person’s hand. That’s pretty cool! Style-wise you can totally rock any of this gear in the office or out at the bar but the cut and fabric almost lean closer to activewear so they are really amazing on a bike. The rise of the waistband in particular is really awesome. Super comfortable and gives you extra coverage when you’re riding. Finally, the reflective hits are super low key, they’re hidden in the pockets or at the cuff so you don’t look like you walked off a construction site but can stay visible when you need to.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this collection?
Adrienne – We actually sent out a survey to quite a few women who had bought Chrome gear in the past and asked them what they were looking for in a line of bike-friendly apparel which was super enlightening. Also there are so many amazing female cyclists on social media who have such great style, so we spent time just soaking that in which was really fun. And then, really, we talked to the women here in our office. A lot of them ride every single day, rain or shine, so they had lots of great input as we were coming up with prototypes and tweaking designs.
Favorite pieces from the collection?
Nicole – I love the comfort waistband on the Seneca chinos and shorts, it holds its shape so well while being amazingly comfortable. I could also live in the merino tee and tank, such a year-round staple!
Leslie – The Signal Jacket. Simple. I layer, and it’s not so short that all my hoodies stick out from the bottom. I also travel quite a bit to fabric manufacturers and factories so I love having a lightweight, waterproof jacket to stash in my travel bag for those rainy destinations.
Adrienne – I’m into the Anza’s and the Seneca shorts. I also like the merino tops. And the Signal… So, all of it? I’m super proud of how all of the designs turned out! I’m also very excited about what’s coming in the fall: particularly the women’s 5 pockets and the merino long sleeve square tee.
Speaking of that, what do you want to see next in the collection?
Adrienne – More layering pieces and a roomier top layer to go over them, maybe a hooded, M-51-inspired parka.
Leslie – More items with places to hold my things for commuting or just hanging out, like secured pockets on my hoodie, jacket or pants. Those who know me…I carry a (huge) bag, in a bag, in a bag. Secret: sometimes…. I don’t always want to be carrying a bag! I literally carry the same things EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I need zippers on my pockets!
Nicole – I see styles designed exclusively for the women’s line that the dudes will wish they could have. Also a perfect pair of black skinny pants that kick ass on a bike, this is a must!
What women inspire you in your daily life?
Leslie – Oh I love Oprah, she’s amazing. Beyond that, My best friend since high school. She is a super mom of 3 (3 girls – of course), a loving wife, a pharmacist, walks her dog, hikes and cycles when she’s not sleeping. She has so much energy, I’m not sure if she is human!
Nicole – I admire women who are bold and exude confidence. Right now my biggest inspirations are A’ja Wilson, who is crushing it on the court, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who fearlessly speaks her mind (and the truth).
Adrienne – Oh gosh. Everyone. I’ve found so many inspiring women out there kicking ass in the world through doing research for this line. At the end of the day, it’s why we are doing this: Putting our women’s styles out there into the world to highlight the amazing female makers and athletes within our community.