I cringe when I walk into a shop and see the circular clothing rack, with the sale sign on top. Hangers with size indicators and fabrics in textures and colors hanging mismatched and sideways. I spend just a few moments looking at it, then quickly drift away.
I ask shop owners, "how does clothing do for you"?
Responses vary from "we only sell our own" to "I only work with buy back programs where the vendor will replace stock", or "I'm out of clothing, its too much, everyone buys online".
Depending on your shop environment, a dedicated space to show a nice collection of clothing, can be done successfully.
But it takes work.
Gone are the days of riders looking for a basic $40 black short. Ok, you got me, I am sure we have some people venturing into Dicks Sporting goods, in search of a short for spin class. But lets be honest, most cyclists, are looking to buy a short or jersey that will give them max comfort and allow them to feel like the fit amazing adventuring cyclist they are now and aspire to be.
Today, its not enough to hang a size run of 3/4 knickers on the wall and point the client over. You need to be involved.
Thankfully brands like Rapha and Assos have helped the industry bridge a gap of purely function, now entwined with fit and style. Today your cycling apparel, can have all these features and man it can make you look good. Your clothing makes a statement.
In my attempts for style and fashion while on bike, I recently discovered NY based, Search and State. I found their clothing in a shop in Massachusetts. The way the shop had a small selection displayed, with a few prints that popped, it struck me. It looked very hip, almost handmade, and durable, and I wanted what I saw.
I found my way to the website and social media feeds and I was astonished this was the first I heard of the company. Made in NY? Into Bike Packing? Camo Prints? Tell me more! So I called.
Owner, Daniel Golden may be the nicest person on the planet. He is dedicated to his clothing line, and has a rich history to back it. He grew up in Midtown and learned the craft of garment making from the very best. He also raced pro motocross in his 20's and has an appetite for adventure.
Every piece of clothing is produced in Midtown Manhattan, the home of New York City’s original garment district. There is no substitute for watching every single piece being made.
I wanted to know more about the brand so I did some research. Turns out Search and State works with Bike Packing editor, Joe Cruz, who I used to race with. Joe has helped Daniel design a jacket, and leads several Search Brigade epics. He has wrote a great article about the production in NY;
I also wanted to know more about the clothing quality. Reviews were easy to find and I find this super cute video highlighting a few of the products being unwrapped:
Today with clothing it is not about quantity in the shop, you don't need 8 jerseys to select from. Its about presentation. Where will this clothing take them, who can they be, how will they look? Its about function, how will it fit? How long will it last?
Less is more. Display clothing on rich dark wood hangers. Or fold clothing as pictured in these images, intertwined with other gear to complete the mental image of how, when and wear. Give a feature and benefit presentation on the garments, and don't be afraid to tell the brand story. Even an IPAD near the clothing, open to the brands Instagram page:
Any shop can stock Pearl Izumi, or Craft. Any shop employee can point a client to the clothing selection. Don't be typical. Bring products into your shop with a story. Get involved. Talk with your clients, find out what they are looking for in clothing, and respond your buying habits to match.
There is so many more great reviews:
I am proud to work with Daniel, and Search and State. If you would like more information on bringing the brand into your store, please let me know.