Interbike is in full swing in Las Vegas, and I set out with one mission today: to find the newest in women’s apparel. I wanted to find some new talent, but I was also looking for some new additions and new twists on design from brand favorites like SOAS Racing, Giro and Pearl Izumi. It’s continually impressive to me how many women’s cycling and triathlon brands are popping up, as well as the innovations in design that cater specifically for those of us with XX chromosomes who happen to love to sweat, spin, swim and run while also looking good (and feeling comfortable).
Here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting things I saw out there today in regards to women’s apparel:
Giro: Giro’s New Road line for Spring 2014 is so gosh darn fashion-forward, they might have trouble keeping it in stock here on the Vegas showroom floor once it opens up to consumers. They’ve split their line into three collections: the Ride Collection for the recreational cyclist looking for some fancy riding duds, the Moblility Collection for the chic commuter who wants to show up to work not looking like she rode 20 miles there (but knowing all the while that her apparel could easily hold up to the challenge) and the California Collection for the weekend rider looking to cruise the scene in functional clothing with more edge than Lycra. The lines offer high-quality base layers designed to be worn under some of their more casual pieces, so you can put in the miles without looking like you did. Of particular note in the mobility line is the Women’s Wind Guard Hoodie, which comes in black, blue and grey herringbone and features a wicking, stretchy-yet-soft material in the arms that is so plush and versatile it could easily become a staple of your wardrobe on and off two wheels. In the Ride Collection, I also noticed Giro’s Ride Leggings, which offer a comfortable yet thin chamois but are designed with a playful spin on English horseback riding pants. Giro.com
Pearl Izumi: I’m always impressed by how serious Pearl Izumi takes their fabric and color choices, and after meeting one of their head designers for their W.P.R.O. line of racing suits, it’s easy to see where this passion comes from. Their team don’t just design a kit they think looks “cute,” they race themselves and are constantly testing new prototypes out themselves to see what they like, what works and what could be done better. New for 2014 will be the W.P.R.O. Tri Sprint Suit, designed specifically for the sprint to Olympic-distance athlete. The suit features molded seams that are incredibly comfortable and resistant to tearing. The back zipper of the tri suit is asymmetrical for easier accessibility during removal, as well as a zipper that has both a cord and is also a flat-lock construction. My favorite part about this suit is that it comes with a separate sports bra that offers just that extra bit of support while also offering lots of ventilation due to its mesh backing. Pearlizumi.com
Moxie Cycling Co.: This brand is going on its third year, but I’ve really seen it take off over the past year with some fresh, funky polka-dot prints as well as color-block prints. All of Moxie’s tops are designed with feminine curves in mind, and are more loose in the front while extra long in the back for when you duck down into the aero postion. Some of their tops are down-right billowing, bringing to mind yoga tops found at Lululemon and the like, but I especially liked their wool tops and boleros, which are made from 100% Merino wool from New Zealand. Moxiecycling.com
SOAS Racing: SOAS continues to have some of the most daring prints around, and this season they are debuting an all-black, winged print, as well as some Chevron-striped numbers in red, white and blue that are sure to get you noticed out on the race course. I’ve always liked their tri tanks because of their slightly longer fit in back, as well as the contrasting front and side panels (hey, they’re slimming okay?). They’ve also brought back their vintage designs, which are always crowd pleasers. Like always, the SOAS line of apparel are centered around their three F’s: fashion, fit and function. Soasracing.com
Coeur Sports: This is one of the more exciting Interbike debuts in apparel, and not only because it was started by former SOAS Racing co-founder Kebby Holden. Coeur Sports offers bright, bold designs like red paisley, grey chevron stripes and checkers. The line features bathing suits (one and two-piece), running skirts, running shorts as well as a full line of tri apparel. Stayed tuned to Lavamagazine.com for a full review of some of their new stuff soon. Coeursports.com
Skins: I’m a big proponent of compression wear, but I never really gave the gender specifics of it much thought until I talked with the guys and gals over at Skins. Their line of women’s compression wear is designed with the female anatomy and musculature in mind. Smaller in places that we’re smaller, larger or wider in places where maybe we don’t need boa constrictor-like tightness. Skins.com
Whooha Gear: This small company is one of those brands that is not only functional, but just good news. Their line of inspirational women’s clothing features everything from running and yoga apparel to triathlon-minded casual clothing. If you’re looking for a cycling top, sweatshirt or T-shirt to maybe brighten your training partner’s day, this brand is always a good choice. Whoohagear.com
2XU: If SOAS, Moxie and Coeur Sports embody fun, somewhat prints, then 2XU is their polar opposite. All these brands offer bold color choices for females who want to stand out without looking like a pink princess (which is a good thing), but 2XU keeps their compression and tri kits busy-free. They do, however, put a lot of stock into color choices, and some of the blues, purples and even pinks that I saw on the show floor were bold enough to stand out but unique enough to stand on their own as incredibly fashion forward. 2XU.com
Stay tuned to Lavamagazine.com for more 2013 Interbike coverage.