Women's Technical Clothing

jmeb

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I would bet that if we had good data on spending by men vs. women on technical gear from small, upstart companies (like Co Freeride, indie ski manufactures etc), that men outspend both in total and per person by an order of magnitude. So unfortunately the environment they operate in (minimizing product development cost, retailing, and advertising costs) it makes fiscal sense to focus on men.

Of course, a small company could probably create (or discover) unrealized demand for women's specific technical garments -- it's just a much riskier venture without as much historic evidence it will work. Chicken or the egg problem.


Edit: Admin Note: This discussion was pulled from another thread.
 
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Monique

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http://fulsususa.com/collections/womens-jackets

They are developing more but its a young company. Cut them a break.
It's just that you said that they said that it was their women's line, so you got my hopes up. And also because it's not just this company. They could really distinguish themselves by catering to female customers as much as male. (And I have my theories about which gender spends more on ski clothing)
 

Monique

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Of course, a small company could probably create (or discover) unrealized demand for women's specific technical garments -- it's just a much riskier venture without as much historic evidence it will work. Chicken or the egg problem.
That's why I brought up Coalition Skis - it seems like the person/people who would take this chance would be people who were already invested in wanting such a product, themselves. Sadly, I have zero skills that would apply to that sort of business.
 

Ron

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I would bet that if we had good data on spending by men vs. women on technical gear from small, upstart companies (like Co Freeride, indie ski manufactures etc), that men outspend both in total and per person by an order of magnitude. So unfortunately the environment they operate in (minimizing product development cost, retailing, and advertising costs) it makes fiscal sense to focus on men.

Of course, a small company could probably create (or discover) unrealized demand for women's specific technical garments -- it's just a much riskier venture without as much historic evidence it will work. Chicken or the egg problem.
Next time you are on the lifts with some real women skiers, and asked, you would hear they are not happy with whats available in the market for them. I think there's a real need for technical clothing built for women.
 
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Monique

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This conversation seems both valuable and off-topic from the original intent of the thread - I wonder if mods would break it out into its own thread?
 
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jmeb

jmeb

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Next time you are on the lifts with some real women skiers, and asked, you would hear they are not happy with whats available in the market for them. I think there's a real need for technical clothing built for women.
I ski regularly with real women (more often than I ski with men) -- i'm not sure what distinguishes a real skier from a fake one. They complain about gear less, and buy way less ski gear and clothing than almost all my male skiing companions. Whether this is driven by lack of good women's gear to buy, or different spending priorities in general I don't know.

My point is that these companies may be making these production decisions off of a) outdated ideas about what women want/will buy, b) data on gender-specific spending at similar companies (small indies) or c) (most likely) some interaction between the two. We all have theories/belief on who spends/doesn't spend, on what, at what kind of companies and for what reason. I don't know that any of us have more than anecdotal information.

I agree that there probably is a market for such gear, probably a bigger one than most expect (especially if designs are for women, by women...my regular skiing companion won't even think about buying half the market of women's skis because the graphics are atrocious). But I'd also suspect its a harder market to enter than becoming just another run-of-the-mill, indie company focusing first on men and including women primarily as an afterthought.
 

Ron

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I ski regularly with real women (more often than I ski with men) -- i'm not sure what distinguishes a real skier from a fake one. They complain about gear less, and buy way less ski gear and clothing than almost all my male skiing companions. Whether this is driven by lack of good women's gear to buy, or different spending priorities in general I don't know.

My point is that these companies may be making these production decisions off of a) outdated ideas about what women want/will buy, b) data on gender-specific spending at similar companies (small indies) or c) (most likely) some interaction between the two. We all have theories/belief on who spends/doesn't spend, on what, at what kind of companies and for what reason. I don't know that any of us have more than anecdotal information.

I agree that there probably is a market for such gear, probably a bigger one than most expect (especially if designs are for women, by women...my regular skiing companion won't even think about buying half the market of women's skis because the graphics are atrocious). But I'd also suspect its a harder market to enter than becoming just another run-of-the-mill, indie company focusing first on men and including women primarily as an afterthought.

@Monique can start a thread on this. You just hit on part of it. "real" meaning core or serious. Not fake. Its a great topic.
 

Monique

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I asked the mods to separate it out so we don't lose context - but if they decide not to, I can start a new thread.
 

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It's just that you said that they said that it was their women's line, so you got my hopes up. And also because it's not just this company. They could really distinguish themselves by catering to female customers as much as male. (And I have my theories about which gender spends more on ski clothing)
Are figuring @Ron and @Jed Peters into you theories?
 
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jmeb

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Agree a good separate thread, and an important one -- perhaps we can migrate the off-topic posts too?

The "real" women I ski with are primarily weekend warriors getting in 20-40 days a year. As do the men I know who spend way more. How does one distinguish seriousness or core -- days on the slopes? Amount you spend / obsess about gear?
 

coskigirl

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Women may spend more per person on ski clothing but as a total market I would agree that men probably spend more only because there tend to be more male skiers. At least that's my guess. Sure, it would be nice if companies got male and female lines up at the same rate but simple cash flow just may not allow it. They need the incoming cash to fund development of the next product. If the numbers show that more cash will come in from the male lines then I can't say I blame them.
 
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Monique

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Are figuring @Ron and @Jed Peters into you theories?
Perhaps not. I am figuring into my theories the number of posts on SkiDiva on various jackets and pants and base layers etc etc, not to mention the "Jacket Slut" thread Tricia started there that has run for 1893 posts and counting. Skier ladies like looking good, as a rule, and also prioritize comfort and features.
 

Ron

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Until this gets broken out..... I know my wife is always looking for good quality; comfort and performance wear for her running and hiking gear. She has hips (in a good way of course) and is frustrated at the fit options.

Perhaps if women had better options, maybe they'd spend more?
 

Ron

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Agree a good separate thread, and an important one -- perhaps we can migrate the off-topic posts too?

The "real" women I ski with are primarily weekend warriors getting in 20-40 days a year. As do the men I know who spend way more. How does one distinguish seriousness or core -- days on the slopes? Amount you spend / obsess about gear?
I can list off a bunch of serious women skiers right here. I will let them explain :daffy:
 

SBrown

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Tbh, were I a clothing manufacturer, I'd be scared poopless to attempt this. If you take 20 women, you have at least 15 different sizes and shapes. With 20 men, maybe 7 or 8. And the men don't have curves to worry about. If their jackets or pants are too baggy they don't care, either.

Some companies do it well, but it's $$$. And then you have to order online most of the time, because the majority of what sells in stores leans toward the cute and less technical.
 

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I am not sure about per person spending women vs men, but I'm certain the market is much larger for men. As an example, last season I was on my guys' trip to Steamboat sitting outside the Slopeside on an all too warm January day. There was a group of women nearby and we began talking with them about how you see many groups of men skiing but very few groups of women. The conclusion was that, generally speaking, women prefer warm weather/beach vacations.
 

Monique

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Tbh, were I a clothing manufacturer, I'd be scared poopless to attempt this. If you take 20 women, you have at least 15 different sizes and shapes. With 20 men, maybe 7 or 8. And the men don't have curves to worry about. If their jackets or pants are too baggy they don't care, either.
I am not sure about per person spending women vs men, but I'm certain the market is much larger for men. As an example, last season I was on my guys' trip to Steamboat sitting outside the Slopeside on an all too warm January day. There was a group of women nearby and we began talking with them about how you see many groups of men skiing but very few groups of women. The conclusion was that, generally speaking, women prefer warm weather/beach vacations.
You both have valid points, but to me the question is not, is men's gear easy to make and more popular? It's more, would a technical clothing company by women, for women - the way Coalition is for skis - be profitable? Once women skiers find a company that does work for them, they can be incredibly brand loyal. And I know that I personally feel more than a personal stake in wanting companies that cater to women to succeed. It's not just that I want to find a pair of pants or a jacket that fits (after all, I do have Arc'teryx!), but I really want to show that a company catering to women can succeed. Look at prana and climbing.

I understand that small companies starting out want to follow the best possible means to succeed. But obviously they think they have something special, and just as obviously, the female customer is a distant second priority. It's like when I open Powder magazine - which has generally impressed me as being fairly woman-positive - and I see all these categories for men's skis in the buyer's guide, and then "skis for women" like women don't have differentiated ski needs, too. Same for bikes - it's rare to see WSDs available across a bike lineup. But the thing is, women (unless they are very short and need a very short ski) can ski a men's/unisex ski, or a men's/unisex bike. But very few of us can rock men's technical clothing.
 

Monique

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I did just remember the brand Roxy exists for women's snow and bike wear. I don't know how technical it is, though.
 
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