Ann DeOtte Kaufman of Iva Jean discusses how she started her cycling-centric fashion brand.
At last month’s PSFK SEATTLE event, we invited some of the city’s innovative people to discuss their latest projects and reveal the inspiration that lead to their creation. One of those individuals was Ann DeOtte Kaufman who 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.
Ann recently spoke with us and revealed what inspired her to create 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.
Check out Ann’s full presentation from PSFK SEATTLE below. We apologize in advance for some of the audio cutouts in this video.