I love showcasing new businesses in the cycling industry and had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Goldman, the founder of women’s cycling brand, Victor and Leap. Rose quit her city job to start something that she was passionate about and which she felt the women’s cycling industry needed. This is her story.
What inspired you to launch a cycling brand?
It was driven out of necessity really. I wanted something to wear on my bike that I felt good in but that was also performance wear – that is it actually lived up to the demands of doing sport. I worked in the city and I spent time doing exercise around my day, cycling to work, running at lunch and yoga on the way home but I had to go into work in these clothes, meet friends in them, I wanted something that looked good in all those situations. I started talking to friends to find out if they felt the same and they did. It grew from there, more and more women saying yes please make those kind of clothes, that’s exactly the sort of thing we’re looking for – why doesn’t it exist already? So I did.
What kind of message do you want to convey with this range?
I think that there is a strong correlation between being happy with what you’re wearing and feeling confident to go out there and do the sport you love. I want to remove as many barriers to that as possible, to get as many women out there enjoying sport – walking, running, cycling – whatever works for them. To provide women with clothes that they feel great it, to support them in their day well that’s what I want. So I made a small range of clothes that I felt didn’t exist in the marketplace already, they were developed in conjunction with feedback and testing by women telling me what they wanted. The clothes are classic and subtle, no highlighter colours, no pink it and shrink it just loads of research into what works and what flatters.
Anyone who has spent any time road cycling has come across certain rules – the length of your socks, that you should never wear a vest top – thanks to the Velominati there’s an actual list. I’m not against it, I just wanted to ask why? A lot of those rules were developed for the pros, a lot by men for men. Can we offer women something that works better for them? To get rid of this slightly intimidating atmosphere that often surrounds cycling and just make the most stylish, high performance clothes that fit and flatter women regardless of whether they follows the rules or not. You can still take a sport seriously without taking yourself too seriously. Women have given us a strong positive reaction so it seems like what we are doing is resonating with them.
Victor is for personal victories be completing you first 10km run, Sportive or an Etape du Tour. Leap is about jumping into your next challenge whatever it is. When I first got my clip in pedals my challenge was to remember to clip out in time at traffic lights, now it’s working out how to train for the Maratona.
What has been a highlight for Victor and Leap so far?
Our launch at Psycle was a highlight, to show people the clothes and get the word out but also for the overwhelmingly positive feedback we got. Overall I would say it’s been about getting out and meeting new people, not just on the bike but in other start-ups, hearing all the exciting things they have going on and generally being inspired.
What have you got planned for the brand in 2016?
We’ve got some exciting new clothes up our sleeves that we’ll bring out next year – high performance and beautiful on, a yoga club in London for runners and cyclists and some exciting events like Be:Fit, SpinLondon and hopefully some Cyclettas, so watch this space!
You can check out Victor and Leap here: http://www.victorandleap.com/