Creating Cycle-Fashion People Want To Wear [PSFK SEATTLE]

Creating Cycle-Fashion People Want To Wear [PSFK SEATTLE]

Iva Jean founder explains how she wants to encourage more women to ride bikes through stylish apparel.

Matt Sabourin
  • 5 may 2013

Building up to our PSFK SEATTLE event on May 10th, we’re interviewing the creators and thought leaders who will be sharing their latest ideas with us. Ann DeOtte Kaufman is the founder of Iva Jean, a bike fashion and lifestyle brand in Seattle, Washington. Iva Jean provides functional and fashionable clothing—encouraging women to incorporate cycling into their everyday lives. Their garments are constructed of high quality materials and produced in Seattle, Washington (USA). Iva Jean has been featured in Momentum, Seattle Met, Huffington Post, Fast Company and VeloJoy.

What was the inspiration behind Iva Jean?

The inspiration behind Iva Jean came from my own experience starting to ride a bike as a young professional in Seattle. I was intimidated my first month or so; I got destroyed by spandex covered men and women, and messengers on fixed gear bikes toting monstrous waterproof packs. After spending a month in Europe, pedaling next to women, men and families of all ages riding their bikes in everyday clothes, I decided to take this lifestyle back with me to Seattle.

As I continued my love affair with biking in the city, I realized that I didn’t need all of the bike-specific goodies. Although, I did start to notice the things that made biking easier; rubber-soled heels, 4-way stretch pants and a big ol’ basket. This is why I set out to start a line of apparel designed to make biking easier for more women.

IvaJean_Lifestyle-0358_web (1)

What design decision do you prioritize when creating biking apparel for urbanites?

I focus on flexibility and durability first. Being a lady that bikes in the city, hell, just being a lady in the city, I know how important these qualities are. Flexibility means that each piece has a timeless and sophisticated aesthetic, working on your bike, in the office or on the weekend. We also need more clothing that will last years – not be ruined by grease or coffee stains, stretch out quickly, or look worn after a season.

What experience or success has been the biggest affirmation for your original idea of starting Iva Jean? What has been the biggest challenge?

Winning the DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big contest was the first time I had strangers, professionals and tastemakers saying that they believed in what I was doing. It was such a boost of confidence and energy. Kickstarter was also a great opportunity – I was able to reach customers and enthusiasts that would have been impossible (or much more difficult) to reach. I love getting to know the women that are wearing our garments or support the idea.

I’ve faced plenty of challenges, but I am constantly trying to be more efficient and effective with sourcing and production management. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure that things are running smoothly. You also have to put all of your trust in your patternmakers and cut/sew contractors

If you could change one thing about American city pedestrian/bike infrastructure, what would it be?

We desperately need more protected bike lanes or paths that get people from point A to point B. It has to be easy for new and veteran bikers, eliminating both real and perceived fears for those that wish they could bike more.

Ann Iva Jean

How did your interest in cycling begin and how often do you ride? Do you own a car?

It was 2006 when I first considered giving up my car and get around by bike. I was an ambitious, though broke, single twenty-something working at a urban design firm in the city. A lot of my co-workers were regular bike commuters and participated in Bike to Work Month.

At the same time, blogs like Copenhagen Cycle Chic where making bikes sexy again and reminding the world of how smart and beautiful a city on bikes can be. I was determined to become a lady on two wheels.

I moved to Capitol Hill, where I could walk, bus or bike to and from work, the grocery store, shops, and restaurants; watching my car sit parked for over a month. Shortly after, I turned in my car for a vintage black Motobecane, a lucky consignment find at a neighborhood bike shop for just $100. I was really excited to embrace a more urban lifestyle.

Since then, biking has become a huge part of my life – I ride my bike most days in the spring, summer and fall or on dry or light rain days in the off season. I always dress for the destination and take a slower approach to riding, I think this makes biking possible for me. As for the car, we recently bought one after deciding that we wanted to prioritize snowboarding and getting out of the city more often.

Thanks Ann! Meet her May 10th at PSFK SEATTLE.

Iva Jean

Visit PSFK SEATTLE to see who else is speaking and click below to buy tickets.

2013-seattle-article banner

[img via]


How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Robleh Jama

Mobile Experience Designer

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned Teaching 7th Grade Math

Bree Groff, Managing Director at NOBL NYC, shares her secrets for knowing your employees and enabling a team

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.