Another Evolution for Women — Gigi Montrose Moto Couture Creates a Different Conversation for Women Riders and a New Standard for Their Motorcycle Apparel
The Motorcycle industry says in one article “sales are down” and Harley-Davidson is expected to soon close down its Kansas City plant. Yet, the motorcycle culture is rapidly changing with little or no acknowledgment to the culture that is fast becoming a “lifestyle community” — and, women are making a big influence on this growth and evolution.
Ginger Damon is a two-wheeled enthusiast, who’s the passionate owner of Gigi Montrose Moto Couture, a unique line of women’s functional and fashionable motorcycle apparel. She’s also a visionary who says it’s high time to expand the understanding of the seismic shifts going on in the motorcycling industry:
This evolution of motorcycles is the ‘power of women’ — women are not being taken seriously at some of the OEM’s and dealerships. Yet in the motorcycle community, women are building bikes, racing, riding dirt, commuting daily and buying pre-owned bikes, fixing them up at DIY garages, and getting support from both men and women. So, the community is coming together in a new way.
While traveling across the country and attending various motorcycle events, Ginger sees first-hand that OEM’s are struggling to have this conversation. So she declares that a different and a real conversation needs to be had:
I think it’s a natural alliance and progression as to why women are riding. Women are generally advancing by means of education, jobs, owning businesses, etc. Women are GETTING, not just finding, their voice. Females are revving up the motorcycle industry and Gigi Montrose Moto Couture is here to represent the community and get on your radar. See me as an individual, a woman, a moto enthusiast. Think about it, men have iconic figures like Steve McQueen the ‘King of Cool’ or Marlon Brando the ‘Wild One’ and that’s great if you’re a man. But, who are our icons? No one mentions Ann-Margret being a moto enthusiast and still an avid rider! Today, women are beginning to fill that void.
She says that Gigi Montrose is more than a product, that it’s a philosophy, that it’s about building an identity for women riders. Ginger admits there is apparel available which is generally a man’s jacket made smaller with a splash of pink, quipping, “We call it ‘shrink it and pink it. But it feels like something that has no intention for me.”
That inspired her to create a line of fashionable motorcycle apparel built specifically for a women’s body for comfort, performance and safety. “Prada meets the Rolling Stones” is the driving mission statement behind Gigi Montrose: “We deserve great as women riders. When you wear Gigi Montrose it’s your identity, you belong to that culture/lifestyle of being a female rider. Individual. This creates a new space for women riders and complements our male motorcyclists while strengthening our overall community.”
Indeed the stats don’t lie about the evolution of the female rider. Among the younger Gen X and Gen Y riders, females account for 18% of bike owners. And, female riders are getting serious, they make up about 60% who have taken motorcycle safety courses increasing women’s presence in the motorcycle world. Protective apparel is important to them.
Flying this “we deserve great as women riders” flag, Ginger continues to take her refreshing philosophy and her awesome product, literally on the road to places where motorcycles bring people together, including: the recent IMS (January 26–28) in Cleveland; she’ll also be attending the Quail Motorcycle Gathering (May 5) while helping to promote International Female Ride Day; and also appearing on AMC’s award-winning TV show, NewsWatch on February 5.
So, what does the growing and evolving female rider want? Well, first off it’s about function and style:
For me, the importance is the focus of the function and technical design — it’s architecture and it’s couture. It’s built and constructed with an aesthetically appealing fashion statement as a bonus. I’m always looking for the latest in technology to work with the jacket’s design and performance yet maintaining a feminine profile. But I keep it simple — think of basic, iconic styles like Levi’s jeans and Schott’s motorcycle jackets. Gigi Montrose creates timeless classics that you can personalize to make your own — the female motorcyclist’s new little black dress!
Gigi Montrose is now collaborating with DuPont ® Kevlar (™) because she says they make fiber and fabrics they stand behind. Ginger Montrose and DuPont also share the same ideas about integrity in protective materials and longevity. So, this continually involves testing materials to meet high motorcycle standards and fabrics that DuPont ® stands behind.
Gigi Montrose’s unique line, which features her classic ‘Speed’ and ‘Fearless’ jackets, is about providing appealing protective apparel for women who ride, and an individual style, to make it their own and inspire other women to ride.
Ginger is essentially setting a new standard and helping to change the perceptions of motorcyclists, especially women motorcyclists. In a presentation at the 2017 AIMExpo, she compared the multi-trillion dollar fashion industry to the multi-billion dollar motorcycle industry, declaring, “Women are the new audience, the focus needs to shift.”
And while she takes this philosophy and her awesome product on the road — “no more apologizing for how you look” — she can ride all day out in the dirt, canyons, or by the beach in ‘Fearless,’ then put on fresh lipstick and meet friends at a cool restaurant feeling great with helmet in hand.
Ginger coined the awesome phrase “the new outlaw” and that’s the new woman rider, who loves action, adventure and feels protected. “We can go anywhere!”
Gigi Montrose — Prada meets the Rolling Stones, indeed!