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News

Strange Vacation

Stay Wild

Photo by Molly Quan

Photo by Molly Quan

A Brand that Supports Adventurous Women

by Marjorie Skinner

“I can do this. I need my own bike.” Around four years ago, Jenny Czinder had this thought while riding on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle. Soon after, she became one of an increasing legion of women who are dismantling the image of riding as a manly pursuit—but the world’s still trying to catch up.

Czinder grew up with Harley-Davidson in the periphery. Her stepdad had one, as did her boyfriend, and now she has one of her own. It made sense that a vintage Harley jacket would become her gear of choice, but despite its iconic power… it kind of sucked.

Riding gear in general tends to excel in fashion or performance—rarely both. For women, it’s even more limited. “A lot of the fashion-oriented jackets are shorter in the waist and sleeves,” Czinder notes. “It’s a classic look… maybe because [when it was established] girls were wearing higher-waisted pants.” It looks good, but in practice the cut exposes midriffs and wrists to cold, sun, and added risk of road rash. Frustrated with the lack of options, Czinder rallied friend and fellow rider Kelly Wehner, a designer with years of experience balancing style and performance in apparel while working for Nike.

Photo by Molly Quan

Photo by Molly Quan

The two went in together on Strange Vacation, a newly launched riding brand explicitly for women. The branded tees and “shitty” trucker hats appeal to the rowdier end of the female spectrum, and the hero pieces—a quintessential riding jacket and thick rugby top—bear the hallmarks of quality and street cred that savvy apparel collectors value. Both are produced in collaboration with respected brands and manufactured stateside: Vanson Leathers, one of the most trusted brands in the motorcycle world, produces the jacket, while Columbiaknit partnered on the rugby.

As the products roll out, Czinder and Wehner find themselves part of a wave of new efforts to meet increasing demand. “It’s great that people are realizing women want to be spoken to,” Czinder says, noting the potential for Strange Vacation to evolve out of a motorcycle-specific niche, tossing out swimsuits and leather tube tops by way of example. “We want to be a brand that supports adventurous women. It’s unpretentious.”