Women’s Biker Fashions Revisited

I started Diva Customs three years ago out of the frustration of not having any nice clothing to ride in. It seemed that everything on the market for women riders was originally designed for a man, just downsized for a woman.

–Tami Walker, Diva Customs

This same sentiment is what motivated me last March to write the post “Women’s Biker Fashions.”  I also submitted the article for First State HOG’s newsletter, which was then forwarded to the regional manager and drew the attention of high-ranking officials at Harley-Davidson MotorClothes Division!

Admittedly, even at the time I wrote the article I had begun to see some improvements in the ladies’ apparel at Harley-Davidson.  Nonetheless, H-D officials contacted our HOG chapter in an effort to draw recommendations of what our lady riders would like to see in the MotorClothes line.

I am very glad to see the many improvements that have been made in the past few seasons.  The MoCo really does have an eye out for its market, and is constantly working to satisfy our wants and needs.  Harley-Davidson has made so many improvements in the ladies MotorClothes selections that I felt it appropriate to post a follow-up to my original article.

I recently contacted Kathy Whalen, General Merchandise Category Manager, and was able to ask her a few questions regarding the changes in her division.

Q – I have noticed great changes in the MotorClothes offerings in the past year, particularly in attire that is appropriate for lady riders to wear to work in their professional-type careers.  Has that been a focus of your attention of late?

A – We understand that the passion for the Harley-Davidson brand continues after the ride ends. Offering lifestyle-appropriate apparel along with riding-appropriate gear allows people to express their passion no matter where they are or what they are doing.

Q – Thank you so much for eliminating the “boob pockets” that previously adorned so many of the ladies tops.  Have you received a lot of feedback regarding that particular feature?

A – We listen to our customer’s feedback when designing products. When we develop new products, we look at every way to make it flattering for as many customers as possible.  We strive to provide a balanced assortment of product that appeal to our customers’ diverse needs. We feature products that are custom designed for women, so they are much more than just scaled-down versions of men’s products.

Q – In what ways do you typically conduct research to determine what women are looking for?

A – We talk to our customers throughout the year, especially at events like Daytona, Sturgis. We also gather feedback through our dealer network and receive input from letters customers send us. In fact, our recent Skyline helmets for women were developed after specific customer input to MotorClothes staff at Daytona Bike Week.

Q – A few years ago, H-D offered a purple-trimmed reflective rain suit for lady riders.  I was in love with that thing, but as a brand new rider I wasn’t really planning on doing much riding in the rain.  By the time I decided it was a necessary evil, my purple rain suit was no longer available.   Any talk about bringing it back?

A – That rain suit received a lot of attention…in fact women’s gear in any color (more than just basic black) continues to be in demand. I can’t really comment on future products, however, we have a variety of new rain gear designed just for women with more feminine styling and graphics, including the Women’s Jettison Rain Suit and Women’s Spirited Rain Jacket & Pant, which changes pattern when it gets wet.

Q – I see you have recently unveiled the new Black Label clothing line for men.  Can you give us any advance hints of what is coming in the ladies department?

A – Right now, the Black Label line currently features only men’s styles. However, we’re always listening to customers and will take their input into consideration.

Q – I am so pleased with much of the new selection in women’s MotorClothes, but I still have to do quite a bit of shopping around to find everything that is available.  Obviously every dealer cannot afford to stock every item in their inventory. I see items at Harley-Davidson.com that are listed as “in store purchase only,” but I also see items in stores that are not even shown on the MoCo website.  And the seasonal catalogs I get in the mail only advertise the hot new merchandise for that season.  Is there any plan to provide one central resource that would show everything that is available?

A – Because there are so many products available and availability can change from month to month, it’s not always easy to show absolutely everything available all the time. Harley-Davidson.com is always a great starting point and will show you the newest products available to you.

It appears that women’s biker fashions are taking some giant leaps in a good direction.  I hope to see even more improvements in the riding seasons to come.   (I still want that purple rain suit!)  Until then, let me leave you with this video fashion show featuring me and all of my wonderful new Harley-Davidson apparel… and my new vest.

10 Responses to “Women’s Biker Fashions Revisited”

  1. You’ve done a great job here, and given a great example of the difference between just complaining about a product line not meeting your needs, and actually doing something about it. It’s also nice to see another example of the gang in Milwaukee not just listening to the riders, but acting on what they hear.

    As far as the fashion show goes….out-effing-standing. Looking good there Mrs. Green!

    (I was going to ask about the wet t-shirt fashion show, but I don’t want to piss Jay off, so don’t tell him , OK?)

  2. How did I guess that Joker would be the first to comment?!!! I had a few other pics that Jay edited out…wouldn’t want my students to have access to them!
    Hey, when are you coming through on your way to Myrtle Beach? Our calendar is getting pretty full, need to make plans soon…

  3. Hey if you’re gonna get dressed in front of a window, then I’m gonna peek! LOL on the students. That’s a good point. All the rules have changed because of the internet – shit like that could get you fired. I guess I’m pretty much barred from future employment anywhere but a H-D Dealer or a strip joint. As far as Myrtle goes, that’s been nixed. There has been talk of us riding back out to Bloomsburg PA and terrorizing the Quaker Steak and Lube again, but nothing written in stone yet.

  4. Keep us in the loop on the Bloomsburg schedule Mr Joker, that is not outside the realm of possibilities for us. Also, we have connections here in the strip joint business. Maybe we could hook you up with a job.

  5. Diana, I agree completely that HD is doing much better at providing women’s clothing that meets our needs. I had talked with the merchandising manager at our local dealership about the lack of larger sizes and the fact that so little of what they offered was “age appropriate” for the middle-aged women who were buying their bikes. She really seemed to listen, and today they do a much better job with both of those issues. Of course, my “new” issue is that, now that they have clothes that fit me, I feel somewhat obligated to occasionally shell out $50 to buy something. LOL

  6. Well, I agree with Joker’s comment. At least you are going for the throat on this issue. Alot of ladies just sit around and bitch…which gets you really nothing but the rep as being a bitch. Good job on HD interactions and your efforts. Congrats! You’re not a bitch! You did something to let the “powers” know what you were thinking and wanted.

    Nice dud’s teach. Poor schoolboys just don’t know what to do with themselves already and you go posting that? Heartless…just heartless. 😉 I did notice the “sans boob pockets” by the way.

  7. […] View original here: Women’s Biker Fashions Revisited […]

  8. Cool, biker fashions for women are finally being focused on

  9. Great site! Good layout and content! I love sexy good looking motorcycle clothing. However, as far as being a size “0”, I am not. Glad to see that women that are more mature can find GREAT clothing to wear (even though they do have to shell out some of their hard earned money occasionally.) LOL We deserve it!

  10. JParks,
    Thank you for your comments. We are very proud of the job we are doing here on this site, I’m glad you like it.
    We are about to add a new product to our online store for the ladies. Hand-made biker earrings! A friend of ours who makes jewelry gave me a pair, and I just thought they were sooooo adorable! So we have made arrangements with her to sell them in our online store. Check back soon at http://www.shop.roadcaptainusa.com to check them out.

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