Western & English Today

Summer 2016

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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18 Western & English Today SUMMER 2016 classic equestrian look, but the practice and performance bootcuts are most impressive. Featuring zipper gussets along the lower legs, they can be zipped down to create a straight- leg silhouette. Best of all, the various EQ Wear riding pant designs can be ordered in a variety of premium knits; stretch, washable lambskin; stretch suede; and leather combos. Te piece de resistance of the collection: the Choctaw — a ftted bootcut pant perfect for riding that pairs panels of midnight denim with native buckskin tanned and dyed by the artisans of Oklahoma's Choctaw Nation. KNOWS HER MARKET Sure, she's a self-proclaimed horse enthusi- ast, but those who have watched Anderson grow her startup apparel company know she's also one very smart cookie. It's one thing "to like horses" and make riding appar- el. It's quite another to be a former structural engineer who was the frst female assigned to work in the Persian Gulf right out of univer- sity in 1982, and then in the British sector of the North Sea in 1985. Anderson holds an MBA from the Stan- ford University Graduate School of Business and was president of a management consult- ing frm — a background that has equipped her with the savvy she needs to manage, market, and grow her own business. First and foremost, it's about knowing your audience. Anderson believes that 60 percent of growth in the equestrian market is in the age 45+ demographic. "Tose with disposable income want to spend money on the things they want and treat themselves — and their horses — well," she says. She aimed straight for them and has hit her mark. Although, coincidentally, An- derson says more than 80 percent of her customers today never intend to get on a horse — they just like the tailored equestri- an style — and that's fne with her, too. In fact, Anderson has since rounded out her collection with a modest selection of coor- dinating "about-town" fashion-forward piec- es — including leather jackets, stretch leather skirts, suede tops, and even a tweed pencil skirt. "My clothes are for women who feel like they have an active, adventuresome lifestyle. Tey want clothes that 'keep up' with them, are beautiful, but also need to work for them." For Anderson, the focus remains on pro- viding women with comfortable yet chic riding pants — the best any woman could hope for in style and performance. Avid customers attest there isn't anything like them in the marketplace. WORD GETS AROUND "Te pants have a lot of give, but they're ftted and classic looking — great com- fort and 'movability,'" says Melissa Moore, owner and a top trainer at Sunrise Stables, specializing in American Saddle Horses in Versailles, Kentucky. "People send me lot of jodhpurs to try, but I really like EQ Wear. When I wear them, clients ask me where I got them." At Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Bozeman, Montana, owner Margaret Burns Vap rec- ommends EQ Wear as standard packing gear for incoming guests. Tey work per- fectly for her Cowgirl Yoga on the ranch, fea- turing — of course — yoga, as well as riding excursions, upscale dinners, and glam photo shoots, she says. A newbie to equestrian fash- ion, Vap's apparel taste wasn't hardcore En- glish or Western. "I love the fashionable side of EQ Wear, and that it stands up to riding and being around horses," she says. "Bev's attention to product detail is exquisite. Her pieces are a total splurge, and you get what you pay for!" "I see the longevity in my brand, and would love to fnd ways to work with more tack stores," says Anderson, who also wants to do a children's line. "It's like Nike and Adidas — people who buy them for fashion don't always use them for performance, un- til later." Store owners can gauge wholesale prices at half of the retail prices listed on the EQ Wear website, and there's no need to worry about order minimums. "I'm happy for re- tailers to try two or three pairs and see how they work in the store," Anderson says. Also ask her about custom pieces. 918.921.3533, www.eq-wear.com

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