MotoChic Gear Has Arrived
The New Couture Style Bags for Motorcycle Fashionistas or For Any Woman on the Move
Debra Chin founded MotoChic Gear in 2013 to answer the need for high quality, design-conscious clothing and accessories for women. MotoChic is stylish Gear for Women on the Move.
There are 27 million motorcyclists in the United States; one in four, or 7 million riders, are women. Female motorcyclists are multiplying exponentially, attracted to the freedom, adventure, and sense of empowerment motorcycling offers. Since 2003, there’s been a 67% increase in female motorcyclists, compared to the 17% increase seen throughout all riders in general. This large, flourishing, affluent group has been largely ignored by motorcycling apparel and accessory manufacturers.
To bridge the gap, Debra Chin founded MotoChic Gear which is dedicated to designing motorcycling essentials, by and exclusively for women.
The company launched the “Lauren” and “Valerie” bags in the spring of 2015. Sales are global and not just for just motorcycle riders but women who want the style, high fashion and practicality MotoChic Gear bags offer.
Debra answered our Q and A below so our readers can learn more:
Can you share with the Naluda Magazine readers how you conceived MotoChic Gear?
I conceived the idea for MotoChic Gear after discovering the joys of motorcycling and being subsequently disappointed with the clothing and accessory options available for women. Most gear manufacturers take a “pink it and shrink it” approach to designing for women, which means they start with men’s styles and then create a female version by scaling it down in size and making it in “girly” colors.
I started MotoChic Gear in 2013 to design fashionable, functional, accessories for women who ride on two wheels or just have a freewheeling lifestyle.
I designed the bags after researching what female riders want and need: form- fitting functional gear which reflects their active lifestyles and personalities.
Describe in detail how the bags work?
In backpack mode, the Lauren is lightweight and aerodynamic. The harness is stored in a zippered a pocket at the back of the bag and attaches to D-rings on the bottom backside of the bag when in use. A waist belt that offers extra stability can be pulled out from hideaway pockets also located on the bottom back of the bag. Both the waist belt and a sternum strap on the harness are fully adjustable for a tailored fit. There are two side tabs with locking snaps that keep the sides of the bag together in a secure and streamlined manner.
To convert the Lauren bag from backpack to tote mode, there are three simple steps:
1) Unsnap the side closure tabs from the back of the bag and re-attach them behind the front facing of the bag
2) Unclip the harness and tuck it into the zippered pocket on the back of the bag
3) Pull the tote strap handles out of the magnetic pockets at the top of the bag
Here’s a video that shows all of the above in detail:
The Valerie bag is the perfect accessory for carrying essentials. Using the snap hooks on the long nylon strap or the short leather strap, it can be used in five different ways:
– Shoulder bag
– Waist bag
– Cross body bag
Here’s a video that shows all of the above in detail:
Describe the bags/ differences of each.
Whether you’re commuting to the office, getting away for the weekend, or taking a Sunday afternoon ride on curvy back roads, the Lauren is the only bag you’ll ever need! Some of its key features:
– Backpack harness that curves inward to better fit a woman’s shoulders
– Clever hideaway compartments store the backpack harness, tote straps, waist belt, and rainfly
– Soft lined protective pocket fits up to a 13” laptop, 2L hydration pack, or back protector
– Spacious interior features a spacious main compartment with three open pockets and a full length zippered pocket
– Two exterior side pockets and multiple organizer pockets with key clip for easy access to personal items
– Leather side closures reduce wind resistance when Lauren is in backpack mode
– Large reflective panels on the back for nighttime visibility
– Water resistant dust/rain fly with reflective logo keeps the bag protected through wind, rain, and high speed
The Valerie is the perfect accessory for taking your essentials with you. Its features include:
– Adjustable leather strap for carrying as a handbag or wristlet, or attached to the key clip of the Lauren bag
– Adjustable nylon strap for carrying as a shoulder bag, waist bag, or cross body bag
– Six card slots and interior zip pocket with signature moto lining
How can these translate to women who may not ride motorcycles but who bicycle, or travel?
Although the bags are built with motorcyclists in mind, their versatility and style make them perfect for all women with fast paced lifestyles whether they are moms, commuters, students or fashionistas.
For travelers, the Lauren bag’s ability to switch from backpack to tote in seconds makes it indispensable for dashing through airports, hiking foreign lands, or navigating busy tourist areas. With the Valerie, travelers can forego the dowdy fanny pack and keep their essentials close at hand.
The bags are lightweight and can be used hands free, making them perfect accessories for the bicyclist or scooter rider. With its large reflective panels, the Lauren offers enhanced visibility for riding at night.
Did anyone inspire you to design these bags?
Yes! Lauren Hutton, the American model, actress, motorcycle enthusiast and original vice-president of the Guggenheim Museum Motorcycle Club inspired the creation of the Lauren bag. I was inspired by Valerie Thompson, 7x land speed record holding motorcyclist, to create the Valerie bag.
What has been the reaction so far to your bags?
Since launching the “Lauren” and “Valerie” bags in the spring of 2015, we’ve received sales and rave reviews from countries around the globe including Australia, Scotland, Ireland, the UK, Canada and Singapore.
Here is a sampling of the comments we’ve received:
I received my Lauren bag last week. I love it. I’ve been using it for work, even though I’m not riding the moto yet. It looks great and it holds everything I want it to hold. I love the way the bag is set up. My computer fits perfectly; there is even a pocket for the power cord. The bag has just enough pockets for everything I want to carry, but not so many pockets that I lose things. Everything is easy to get to. I don’t have to dig around in it to find what I’m looking for! The bag has enough structure that when I set it down under the desk it does not flop over, and it is small enough that I do not trip over it. Excellent design! Keep up the good work! –
“I wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you how nice and thoughtfully designed the Lauren is. The materials and workmanship are top-notch. Details such as the feel of the magnets, or the cool print in the interior speak to the level of attention that you’ve invested in your design.
– David C.
“The Valerie bag is such a charming and versatile accessory. It’s structured and functional to keep essentials safe and organized. The adjustable strap makes it easy to wear in different situations. All in one stylish design!”
How long has it taken you from idea to product?
It took me approximately two years from concept to product launch, starting in 2013 with a consumer research study. I spent the next year working on designs and developing prototypes, raising funds for sample production via Kickstarter at the end of 2014. The Lauren and Valerie bags were launched in Spring 2015.
Who would you say are your best customers? Women who want high fashion one-of-a-kind items or those seeking practical solutions?
It’s been pretty split down the middle! In keeping with the current “athleisure” trend, the bags appeal to both fashionistas seeking practical solutions and adventure seekers who want fashionable gear.
What plans do you have to expand the lines?
The Lauren bag was launched in black leather, but we are releasing two new colors:
Racy Red and Cool White! The Red is available now and the White is available for pre-order with expected delivery in September:
I have several ideas for new products and will begin the research, design, and development process this Fall.
Are they only sold online?
We’ve been approached by retailers, but they are currently only sold online at motochicgear.com/shop.
Tell us a little about your background?
I’m a native New Yorker and Bay area transplant who loves personal and professional adventures. Before starting MotoChic Gear, I owned and operated a bridesmaid boutique and have 15+ years of experience in senior marketing and consulting positions for start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.
Thank you Debra for this Q and A.
Your Moto Chic Gear bags will be an international success.