OK, I understand
WOW joyce is really getting some good mileage on her bike this week! Today she’s discovering a new-found bike culture in NYC, and she chats to Tyler Clemens of NY-based biking clothing/accessories Outlier! –
Hi, it’s Joyce from CycleStyle again. Are you feeling inspired by the cycle chic guest posts so far? Hope so, because today we cross the Atlantic and land in New York, New York!
New York is another one of those urban centers where you don’t immediately think of using your bike to get around. In our collective imagination of Broadway, Madison Avenue and Wall Street, it’s the yellow cabs and the subway that feature more than two-wheeled pedal-powered vehicles.
Well, New York has really seen a change in the way people think about bikes. Basically, it’s become really cool and lots of bike-based businesses have popped up, not only to sell bikes and accessories to urban cyclists, but using funky cargo bikes and trailers to deliver anything from cupcakes to icecream, jam to organic sandwiches.
Today we head to the Meat Packing District to meet Tyler Clemens of Outlier. Tyler and his business partner Abe Burmeister started Outlier when they met in their local coffee shop, discovered that they shared a passion for cycling and for making high quality products…and within a month Outlier was born.
Outlier now produce a whole range of clothing and accessories for men and women, but the company originally found fame through their slim cut hi-tech cycling pants. CycleStyle currently stocks the Daily Womens Riding Pants and as a daily bike commuter, let me assure you that these are not just any old black pants – they can withstand rain, sweat, dirt and spills and their super-stretchy slim cut means they look great when you’re off the bike.
How would you describe Outlier’s vision of cycle chic style in New York City?
Riding in New York City is never dull. There are bridges to cross, cabs to dodge and in general, a lot of things happening on the street that keep you hyper aware. Compound this with the ever changing weather and it makes for an environment that needs highly functional clothing. Clothing that can handle whatever the road spits at you and clothing that can handle the passing thunderstorms that appear out of nowhere. So we’re very focused on making strong, long lasting, functional garments that can handle the active riding of NYC.
But the other part to this is that once off the bike, you need to look fresh and clean and ready to handle your day. So we spend a lot of time designing clothing that gets as close to form and function as possible.
What is special about cycling in New York City?
New York City is very fun place to ride. The best part about riding in the city is that you will inevitably see friends you know riding around, to and from places they need to be. Because the city is dense and Manhattan is fairly small a lot of people filter through the same traffic routes allowing for chance meetings.
It’s pretty great because that’s partly how Abe and I met. We met through our coffee shop and then bumped into each other another day while riding back to Brooklyn.
Where do you find inspiration for your garments?
We start with what we’d like to see in our clothing. If there is an obvious problem, then we work to solve the problem in the best way we can. When we started with the 4Season OG’s, we were looking for pants that would be abrasion resistant for daily riding, but look professional enough to wear to the office. This did not exist, so we set out to make it happen.
To this day we always ask ourselves, what is the problem and is there a solution already out there that fits the need? If the answer is yes and there is a good solution out there, we stay away. We want to be making unique and valued garments, not just making more skus.
In some cases, we’re just really inspired by the fabric itself. We hunt and hunt and when we see something truly unique and functional, we get really excited and start thinking about what we could use it for. A bit of reverse engineering in a way.
If you’re not convinced that New York City and cycling style go together, you should check out one of some of my favourite New York cycle chic blogs like #BikeNYC and for the love of bikes. Even Elle Magazine has gotten into the cycle chic vibe!
Tomorrow we hit the Midwest to the Windy City, Chicago!