by Sara Kelly
Mpls in Motion
Levi Strauss & Co. has been pushing their Commuter line for bikers pretty heavily this year. They even set up a "Commuter Bike Shop" during a concert in Minneapolis with free tune-ups, quick repairs, tailoring, bike valets, and a bike wash. It's a pretty cool campaign.
Newly obsessed with biking apparel, I went on their website excited to see what they have to offer, only to be disappointed by their complete lack of clothing for women.
At first, I thought this was an oversight brought on by the release of a new product. I thought the mistake might soon correct itself with a few months of thought and a few more items for women. Turns out the Commuter line has existed since 2011, with no concrete plans to expand.
Evidently the "modern cyclist" they speak of only pertains to men. Maybe it will take them another 116 years to make some commuter clothing for women.
Levi's also has a new video series called "Go to work" (which are actually pretty cool). They too are lacking a female presence. They all center around men going to work.
A few weeks back, I emailed Levi's asking if they had any plans to release a line of clothing for women. Here was their response:
I'm not normally one to complain about things like this, but seriously?
I'm a working professional.
I'm a woman.
I bike to work.
I got rid of my car.
I'm a full-time commuter.
On my commute into downtown this morning, I only saw women riding in (I'll admit this isn't the norm). But according to a recent study, "women are the new majority: 60% of bicycle owners aged 17-28 years old are women." You can read the full report here.
Maybe a new market analysis is in order. If it's the demand Levi's is concerned about, then release fewer products or a limited quantity — do some test runs.
I just want more options. I'm trying to gear up for making cycling a bigger part of my everyday life - 365 days a year. I'm already having issues finding clipless shoes (in a decent price range) for women. Throw me a bone so I don't have to opt for buying products made specifically for men. My hips aren't built for that. Hips don't lie.