I have always been a big advocate of empowering women through sport and it's awesome to see this same support trending in the apparel industry as of late. Nike being one of the most noteable brands in my humble opinion. For those of you who knew me way back in my high school years, I started my own apparel company called "Girls Rip Too." At the age of 18, I was super in to graphic design and competitive terrain park skiing and obviously thought I knew everything. I bought blank tees, hoodies, and hats from local suppliers, drew the graphics I wanted on them, and had them screen printed and embroidered locally. My first media attention with my brand was on a ski forum where I was literally torn limb from limb by a bunch of tweens in the comment section about my choice of company name, "Girls Rip Too." I got everything from "Girls Fart Too" to "Girls Rip Their Pants too" and on and on as you can imagine. Now I know how Justin Bieber feels. So much hate! I ended up changing the name of my brand because I grew up a little and realized it wasn't so marketable. I eventually let my company die a few years later because I had landed a full time position designing lingerie, and the conflict of interest was not appreciated. The brand may have fizzled out but my affinity for recognizing women in sports has not.
Females can be just as in to sports as men, infact I know some ladies that could rattle off stats faster then some men can say their own name, and win their fantasy leagues just as easy as any man could. Just because we are female, doesn't mean our fanwear and athletic representation has to be all pink and sparkly all the time, but it's nice to rep some femininity.
I have been working as an apparel designer in the sports licensing industry for 3 years now. I am responsible for designing and developing Old Time Sport's branded women's line, as well as our line of knit hats for men, women, and children. Each year as we try to integrate the color pink into the women's line, it either gets dropped down to the youth line, or gets dropped from the line altogether because we base a percentage of our designing and development decisions off of previous years sales. We rolled out an allover baby pink hoodie for women a few years ago and it completely tanked. When it's too pink, it doesn't sell. For 2016, we dropped the only pink colored active top we had down to youth girls because it looked too young for our women's line. When it's the wrong color, it looks too junior. We were stuck in the middle of wanting to use pink, and needing it to be the right shade of pink in order to appeal to our female consumer. While working on 2017 development (we develop a year in advance) I fell in love (along with the rest of the fashion world) with the current blush trend splashing the runways this Spring. Like, give me all blush everything is basically what i'm saying. Disclaimer: I only bought shoes, a scarf, a hat, and a purse in blush. That's it though I swear.
Personal retail therapy gives me visions, so I got right to sourcing some perforated pleather in a gorgeous blush color and some other blushy sweater knits and space dye fleeces from our suppliers. When my swatches came in: instant blush crush. I mean, I doubt I was the only one dying over it. As long as the women's pieces are designed to be athletic looking, with just a touch of blush detail (perforated pleather details?), the ultimate mesh of athleticism and femininity that I and our consumer have been looking for can be achieved. Will blush crush? Only time will tell. I've come a long way from my Girls Rip Too days, and people still make fart jokes to me about it, but that's totally fine because I clearly made a lasting impact. Kind of like shoulder pads.
Designer. Writer. Provoker…of all things life and trend worthy.