Sportswear

Success in women's cycling apparel with Jelenew

by Rob Fletcher | 07/03/2024
Success in women's cycling apparel with Jelenew

While the sportswear market is already a busy segment with plenty of providers vying for business, there are still plenty of newcomer. Rob Fletcher speaks to Jelenew who specialises in providing sportswear and accessories for women in cycling.

Launching a new business in any market is a challenge, given the wider economic concerns we all face. But if you are eying up an area that is already packed with leading names and brands, this task becomes even trickier.

However, this has not put off newcomers making a go of things in the sportswear segment. While this is an area of great competition and many different providers, many businesses are finding success by rolling out new products to rival more established offerings.

One such business is Jelenew, which specialises in providing sportswear and accessories for women in cycling. Founded in 2021, the company has secured the support of former world women's cycling champion Marion Clignet for technical guidance on creating products that stand out from the competition.

Together with Clignet, Jelenew founded the ‘Sprinters Jersey Lab’, based on Jelenew's core, proprietary technology CurveTec, to achieve just this. Combining this tech with eye-catching designs, applied using specialist print techniques, Jelenew has been able to draw plenty of interest from across the world of women’s cycling, attracting customers in countries worldwide.

“Jelenew's mission is to promote global women's cycling and encourage women to be their authentic selves and push through boundaries,” Jelenew said. “We combine cycling functionality with haute couture technique and aesthetics, making professional cycling apparel for women of all shapes and sizes worldwide.”

Hunting for ‘true’ women’s cycling wear

Delving further into the relationship with Clignet, this reveals more about Jelenew’s focus on growth in a crowded market.

During a professional career launched back in 1990, Clignet won six world championship events and two silver medals while representing France at the Olympic Games. In total, Clignet secured more than 350 victories during her career including stage wins and winning jerseys in the women's Tour de France and the Giro Women's Tour.

As if all this was not impressive enough, Clignet achieved all this as an epilepsy patient. With her diagnosis costing Clignet her driving licence at the age of 22, it led her to begin community cycling, pathing the way for her hugely successful cycling career.

After retiring from competitive cycling, Clignet continued to invest in cycling education and the rights of female cyclists, dedicated to advancing women’s cycling. This in turn led her to work with Jelenew, having previously spoken about her difficulties of finding cycling apparel that is truly designed for women, fitting their anatomical structure, physiological needs, and aesthetic demands.

“Whether in training or competition, she looked for cycling apparel that perfectly addressed muscle protection, comfort, and aesthetics,” Jelenew said. “She believed that solving these issues could make more women fall in love with the sport of cycling.

“However, most women's cycling apparel on the market was just a scaled-down version of men's with a different print, until she encountered Jelenew, a women's sports brand genuinely committed to addressing these issues.”

Giving back to women’s cycling

Clignet chose to join Jelenew and begin her new venture: creating cycling apparel that meets women’s needs and promotes the development of women's cycling.

“Just as she overcame the obstacles of her illness and continuously broke her records, creating high-performance and aesthetically pleasing cycling apparel became her new challenge,” Jelenew said.

To achieve its goal of true women’s cycling wear, Jelenew used haute couture draping techniques to solve issues for female cyclists. These include chest pressure, weak waist and abdominal core muscle support, and insufficient fit and flexibility in shoulders and armpits area.

This is when the Sprinters Jersey Lab was born, with Clignet working with Jelenew to turn her past issues into research topics and support other female cyclists around the world.

“She works with our design team to derive solutions from haute couture techniques, addressing fitting issues with CurveTec technology, reducing friction, providing muscle protection, and aiding in power generation,” Jelenew said.

“The Sprinters Jersey Lab created an internal climate control system with fabric technology tailored for different body zones. We also developed cutting-edge seamless fit technology, friction-free stitching technology, and scientific seam positions to avoid wear and damage to sensitive areas.”

To ensure the apparel fully met women’s needs, Clignet personally tested and helped refine the products. In fact, she wore Jelenew's cycling apparel to the ‘Le Marion Clignet’ epilepsy charity bike race, where she was praised for the design of the apparel.

“Following the haute couture approach, Clignet and the design team continuously sought outstanding collaborators in the industry, applying top garment-making techniques to upgrade the performance of sportswear while also adding a touch of fashion,” Jelenew said.

To follow in the footsteps of Jelenew and Clignet and succeed in the sportswear market, a good place to start would be Sportswear Pro 2024, which takes place this month alongside the FESPA Global Print Expo 2024 in Amsterdam.

Sportswear Pro 2024 runs from 19-22 March and will welcome exhibitors from a range of backgrounds, all of which will be on hand to speak with visitors about opportunities for growth in this market and how they can support attendees with their growth goals.

Discover the latest innovations in sportswear at Sportswear Pro 2024, taking place from 19th – 22nd March 2024. Sportswear Pro will showcase the very latest technologies and solutions for on-demand and customised sportswear production. From sample design and automated digital workflows, to innovative materials and integrated wearable technologies, the exhibition and visionary trend forum will present sustainable, faster and leaner production solutions to sports and activewear brands and manufacturers. Register here and use code SWPJ402.

by Rob Fletcher Back to News

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