AnaNichoola, stuff a label created by avid cyclist Anna Glowinski, is fast growing fashion brand with a simple idea; attractive, affordable and convenient fashion for female cyclists. With the growing popularity of cycling as a means of exercise, being eco friendly, and indeed for fun, her range of clothing and accessories has catered to a market close to her heart. As Anna explains; ‘We (female cyclists) don’t want to apologise for who we are, or hide our pony tails under our helmets; feminine style doesn’t mean kissing goodbye to performance, and that is what AnaNichoola is trying to embrace.’ I met up with Anna to chat about her designs and passion for the sport.
What made you start designing cycle fashion for women?
It was sort-of an accident, I mean, I’ve always had conversations with women about the lack of nice, practical female cycle clothing. It was always just too practical. So I handmade some fun bits and pieces – the LoveLocks and SPD heels for fun, and people loved them, so I decided to try and do more stuff. Once I committed myself to the plan, the ideas kept on coming! It was obviously a suppressed desire from being a vain lady cyclist my whole life!
With all the media attention you have been getting, have you noticed an increase in sales?
Yes, I have. AnaNichoola is still in the baby stages, so sales are often an after thought. The press happens, the hits to my website go up, someone important e.g. a shop, asks me about my ability to mass produce, I start thinking about that, and then suddenly a member of the public wants something and I’m like, oh yeah, that’s what this is about. Up to Christmas sales increased so I reckon people who saw AnaNichoola two months ago probably held off until later to buy. Ultimately, I’m really glad for the press coverage because for one, it is nice that they believe in my products, and for two, I can’t afford any advertising right now.
Do you have new designs for combating these winter months?
I launched my technical designs at this year’s Cycle Show in October, so it’s quite a funny time to launch. I have tried to think about who will be buying right now, for example, Harrods stock The Curve jacket, but I changed the lining from the one at the show to have a more thermal winter lining. My next range is aimed at Spring/Summer, although some pieces will simply have the technical aspects of the same designs changed.
With people trying to be more environmentally friendly, what would you advise new cyclists, especially when travelling around cities?
I’d advise any new, or experienced, cyclist to get cycle training. I’ve ridden on the roads my whole life and was very confident going for training rides as a young teenager on fast moving roads, but I had cycle training when I was 20 and I can’t bear to think about how I used to ride before! Cycle training was developed after a group of people looked at the stats of cycle incidents, deaths and injuries and they worked out strategies for cyclists to avoid dangerous situations. I think that every cyclist should have it. If they don’t, then the biggest thing I would recommend is never, ever undertake a lorry or a bus- they can’t see you!
Where do you get inspiration for your designs from?
The technical side comes from my experience as a racing cyclist; when you ride hard or for long hours it becomes very evident what a “bad” piece of cycle clothing is. I want my things to be technical, to perform and to look good. I keep up to date with mainstream fashion trends and try to combine that with the performance. I also get inspired by things I like; there is no market strategy, it’s just a thought that I like it, my Mum likes, and my mates like, then I’ll go with it.
What is your personal favourite piece from your collection?
AHHHHH! I don’t know! The things I wear that fit best with my day-to-day living is the Curve Jacket, ball-bearing earrings and a bamboo base layer. However, I feel super cool when I wear the high-heeled SPDs or one of Shannon’s (accessories designer at AnaNichola) lairy belt buckles.
What would be your all-time dream bike to own?
Good question! I want one bike for each type of cycling. I want it to always be ready to go, with no punctures and the correct pedals on it. I need a good off-road bike right now, as I’ve been doing the season on a road bike with knobbly tyres. I need a new set of wheels, and some curly handle bars. I wouldn’t mind a tandem for going on holidays with my boyfriend. I want to re-spray my road bike pink and gold. I need to get the rust off my BMX. I want a lighter jumps bike and a newer track bike. Ooh, I also badly want a Dutch bike, or a Pashley. And maybe an electric bike for when I’m tired. And a friendly talking bike, that knows the route and sings songs to me, that can fly sometimes….
AnaNichoola designs are on sale in Harrods, or www.ananichoola.co.uk where you can read more about Anna and her team.
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