Not long ago Abbie Durkee and I became connected around a theme central to both our lives – women in cycling. Abbie’s experience in cycling brought her to believe that the greatest constraint for women to begin cycling is the clothes. Determined to make a change, My Alibi was born. Abbie’s passion for creating women’s clothing that truly compliments a cycling lifestyle is apparent in every stitch.
My Alibi pieces are comfortable, well made and flexible and show us that riding a bike does not have to be spandex clad and complicated. After bringing us the Bloomers adding “the functionality of bike shorts to your wardrobe disguised in a feminine fit that hides perfectly under all your styles“, My Alibi is now embarking on a mission to create a full line of women’s clothing to encourage cycling.
With just six days to go, My Alibi has a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to bring these goods to market. We really love what Abbie is doing and stand behind her efforts to give women more options for cycling fashion. This is a great opportunity to see this vision become a reality. By contributing to the Kickstarter campaign you will have the opportunity to pre-order some snazzy My Alibi pieces.
We took a few minutes to get Abbie’s perspective on clothing line and the challenges she faces in getting production off the ground.
GBL: What is the philosophy behind your approach to dressing to ride?
AD: It should be easy to retain your style. As women we project our personalities through our wardrobe, that shouldn’t change just to jump on a bike.
GBL: What gap do you see in women’s cycling gear that you are attempting to fill?
AD: Functional apparel that transfers into lifestyle wear. To me this is the key to living a bike integrated lifestyle.
1. By bringing high end performance features: moisture management fabric with high durability, yet soft supple hand to create comfort that you find in lifestyle apparel.
2. Creating products that bring a touch of feminine style that is classic (basic) enough to mix and mingle with a whole spectrum of personal styles so that women can retain their own personal fashion sense with the comfort to be confident in any setting on and off the bike.
3. Designed by a women, focused on feminine fits that flatter the variety of feminine figures. Creating sizing that reaches more women. There is something for everyone in the line.
4. Quality that lasts beyond a season with timeless style. As a woman that rides I find I am very hard the clothing I ride in. By using the highest quality fabrics and constructions I am creating products that stand the test of time (not only on the bike but easy care too! I can’t even tell you how many bike clothes we have ‘accidentally’ ruined by drying on hot… This is not the death of My Alibi products!!!)
5. Sustainability. Keeping earth conscious practices in mind at every step of the process, I believe are values that my customers can stand behind and feel good about supporting. Socially responsible production (living wage), environmental awareness (no dumping or excess waste), continually staying on the cutting edge of Green Practices.
6. Reaching women in mainstream by continually educating to inspire the bike for social change
GBL: As a woman, pushing a women’s cycling product what challenges do you face?
AD: Raising capital in a bad economy. I have launched this Kickstarter Campaign to not only allow my community to get involved and help me make this season’s production happen, but to allow them to show their excitement for the new products by pre-ordering them NOW. Unfortunately, this message is really difficult to get across. If I could sell 100 reversible skirts this week on pre-order, the investors will see this as proof of market. If I could sell 1000 it would allow me to retain enough ownership of my business to bring another 20 products to market next year.
Getting support from the bike community. It is mind boggling how few “cyclists” have come on board to support my work with My Alibi. I would think the leaders of the industry would see that I am helping to take cycling mainstream, that it will have an effect on industry numbers but many take it as a criticism of the spandex world. I am a racer. I wear a cycling kit too. It’s just that I understand every woman is not going to wear a kit and doesn’t need to. And there are times in every female cyclists life when they are going to want the comfort of a chamois without the full gear.
GBL: How can we encourage more women to ride bikes?
AD: By offering them comfortable quality styles that fit well, work well on the bike, flatter their figures, help them remain looking and feeling feminine, THAT they will wear for many activities in their active lives, I hope to inspire women to feel more confident and beautiful on their bikes so that they realize just how much impact pedaling a little will have on their lives. I love to say that my favorite testimonial is that most of my customers that need a new skirt say, it is not because it wore out, they just got smaller.
As women who ride bikes for many reasons – health, fun, competition and transportation we agree that there is a greater need for attention to women’s casual cycling gear. And we can’t think of a better advocate to help lead the charge! Don’t forget to check out the My Alibi Kickstarter before January 22!
By Sarai Snyder – Founder, Girl Bike Love, advocate for bloomers.