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Apparel brand responds to growth of women ridership

“Women have a place in motorsports and powersports,” says Anya Violet. “In order for motorcycling to continue to grow, this is probably the number one priority demographic that everyone should be focusing on.”

Anya Violet and co-founders Jaime Dempsey and Corinne Mayer founded ATWYLD in 2016. The apparel brand is based out of California and provides a fashionable and functional product for women riders. “It’s something new and maybe a bit bold compared to what you’re seeing out there. We’re shaking things up a bit,” she says.

(From left) Jaime Dempsey, Corinne Mayer and Anya Violet founded ATWYLD in 2016. Photos courtesy of ATWYLD

Although the female demographic makes up a smaller percentage of ridership than males, it’s an influential and growing market. Violet explained that she can see the demographic’s growth in ATWYLD’s sales and in other company’s marketing approaches.

“You have brands like ATWYLD that are designed specifically for women who ride. And you have bike manufacturers that are starting to put more women in their marketing. All around you’re seeing better representation and that’s what translates into more people feeling like riding is for them. Just by there being a brand that exists that is a women’s motorcycle brand says something. There are enough women riding motorcycles for this brand to thrive.”

According to Violet, women are encouraged to ride when products are made for them. And as women begin to see other female motorcyclists more frequently, because of a welcoming industry, they are more likely to view riding as a hobby or sport they can pursue. This ripple effect is why the female demographic continues to grow, and it starts with the availability of women specific products.

“I would challenge the entire dealer community to think about the future and be ahead of the curve, because the same old thing isn’t going to grow your business,” Violet adds.

Dealer support

While Violet never experienced self-doubt on a bike, raised around the normalization of riding as a female, she recognized that most woman riders likely do not share a similar experience.

“Many dealers don’t have a solution for women riders who visit their store. They typically have a small offering because most brands don’t specialize in women, or they only have a few pieces. So by carrying our product line, it gives the rider a reason to come in the store, and through our imagery that we provide the dealers, it helps promote [women ridership].”

ATWYLD’s range of apparel includes jumpsuits, leather and jean jackets, leggings, riding shorts, leather pants, shirts, helmets and gloves.

Consumer studies show that women hold a significant influence on purchasing decisions in a household. So including their needs in the industry affects both ridership and sales growth. Violet explained that when dealers utilize ATWYLD’s assets to promote across social media or in-store displays – or promote any brand that provides women specific products – that creates representation and an invitation.

“We see a ton of value, especially now, in what we call experiential marketing. People want to get out and to touch and feel and talk,” she says. “We’re bombarded constantly with digital ads and things on the internet, so it can fall flat. Whereas actually meeting the people behind the brand and having that human connection is invaluable.”

ATWYLD participates in pop up events, hosts experimental events and supports dealership’s existing events. “We have a wholesale team that is building partnerships with dealers and boutiques across the U.S. and Canada, but we’re also working on some international as well,” she said.

Although she mentioned the abundance of digital ads, ATWYLD has a strong digital presence. ATWYLD’s key demographic is active on social media and is engaged with the brand’s Instagram and Facebook.

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Encourage an ATWYLD moment

ATWYLD is a term that represents the common feeling riders experience between thrill and fear. “When you’re at the edge of your comfort zone and you’re pushing it, it’s this wild feeling that comes over you. Arriving at that moment on a motorcycle, for us founders, that’s why we ride,” Violet says. “I think anyone who rides can attest to feeling that and it being this addictive craving you have.”

She described the adrenaline rush as having an ATWYLD moment that can come from different hobbies, which is why, “You will see ATWYLD branching into other product categories that we feel are adjacent to motorcycles.”

Founder Anya Violet explained that ATWYLD is a term that describes the adrenalin rush that bikers feel while riding, which is why she and ATWYLD co-founders love to ride.

Fashion, function and confidence

Most apparel brands in dealerships are designed with function at top of mind, then fashion, Violet notes. ATWYLD on the other hand, appears to have adopted the opposite approach. She says ATWYLD products are not designed with a “fashion first” mentality, though they may appear that way.

Violet says there was a white space in the market when it came to the type of product women are comfortable wearing on and off the bike that can transition throughout the day. “I think that is an overlooked category.”

She continues, “We found that many people hesitate to put gear on when it’s overly bulky, uncomfortable or they don’t feel like themselves when they’re wearing it.” ATWYLD incorporates functionality into fashionable gear by hiding the technical features within the apparel, so it looks like regular street wear. It provides an option that fits riders well as they boast a modern and stylish look.

“We’ve seen riders wearing gear that have never worn gear before,” she adds. Along with encouraging riders to protect themselves while riding, as a women specific brand, ATWYLD inherently builds confidence, according to Violet.

“It’s by not giving any power or attention to a confidence issue. We make product for you; you ride motorcycles; we don’t shed light on the possibility that it’s going to be an intimidating experience or that you should have any lack of confidence. We’ve seen it – it works.”

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