November 3, 2017 | Rahoul Ghose
North America’s top annual consumer motorcycle show is taking a page out of local community run events this year, debuting a new ‘boutique’ section on the tour designed to highlight some of the smaller moto brands currently garnering success in the industry.
The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows®’ SHIFT concept is described as “a new lifestyle-inspired space to Explore, Shop, Socialize and Experience,” featuring “a rad selection of brands that are both new and known to the industry … which offer a fresh prospective about life on two wheels and beyond.”
"This is a very exciting time for the motorcycling industry as whole," says Meredith Loza, Marketing Manager, Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS) "There’s a growing number of lifestyle-oriented motorcycle brands that represent a new culture of motorcyclists and successfully engage the new and emerging riders, all of whom are looking for gear and products that speak to them directly. We created SHIFT at IMS to bring these brands and riders together and help cultivate further excitement and growth for the industry. The space is highly curated and represented in a way that stays true to these brands’ identities and this culture."
SHIFT at IMS will be present at every stop on the IMS tour, Loza says, adding all of the companies represented are known for two things.
"One is, well-crafted products that are functional and high performance without sacrificing design and style," she says. "The other is, cultivating a community that extends beyond the product and celebrates the joy of riding and like-minded pursuits. This space is about fostering a new norm when it comes to motorcycle apparel, accessories, gear and lifestyle."
-- Meredith Loza, Marketing Manager, Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (IMS)
Several niche brands are represented in the new section – sponsored by the motorcycle culture and lifestyle publication META – which either fill a gap in the product lines from larger companies or offer new alternatives to buyers in fashion styles and technology.
Women’s motowear features prominently with Los Angeles’ ATWYLD and Stellar Moto Brand, and New York’s Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber showing leather jackets, apparel, boots and accessories specifically designed for women riders, a consumer segment which has in the past been ill-served by larger manufacturers. As they say, ‘fit is everything.’
For ATWYLD’s Anya Violet – a co-founder of the Babes Ride Out phenomenon – SHIFT at IMS represents an opportunity for the ‘made in LA’ leather and clothing brand to broaden its audience.
“There are still so many female riders that do not know about us yet and we are hoping to reach a demographic that we are not already speaking to regularly,” says Violet, one of three partners who started the women’s motorcycle gear company last year. “We feel that, as a whole, women are not thrilled with the riding apparel options that are out there. It is our goal to offer more variety in the hopes of inspiring more riders to put a protective layer between themselves and the road.”
-- Anya Violet, ATWYLD
As to the brand name -- the word 'ATWYLD' was something the partners created to represent the single moment that exists between fear and thrill, that moment when you are on the absolute edge of your comfort zone and your adrenaline is pumping, Violet said, adding for SHIFT at IMS, the company will be showing some key new pieces that that they have in the works for delivery in February 2018. They will also be selling motowear on site.
For companies like LA-based leatherwear specialists D73, and NEXX North America – a Portuguese helmet manufacturer with a New Jersey HQ – SHIFT at IMS also offers a new opportunity for some serious brand recognition. D73 and NEXX have in fact partnered up to show at both the Long Beach Convention Center in California, and the Javits Center in NYC, just a few weeks later.
D73 owner and creative director Mark Gamo says the IMS has more traditionally been a direct-to-consumer trade show for merchandise and apparel with the reputation for offering consumers ‘a great deal’ on mass volume products.
“IMS would usually not be our first demographic target, but with the addition of SHIFT as a curated area for up and coming brands that focus on quality and innovation, it’s a definite fit … our main goal as part of the show is brand awareness,” Gamo says, adding while the boutique leather market is quite saturated right now, he hopes to highlight D73’s diverse range of styles and color options, jackets which have crossed over from rider-ready to the mainstream world of fashion.
“You can easily name off five to 10 leather brands out there that can do an amazing black leather biker jackets. But can you name one brand that will do color variations of a Perfecto in oxblood, brandy, or even milk white? We also pride ourselves on the highest quality of leather sourced from around the world ... cowhide for the functional riding jackets ... and then we turn around and create a capsule for the fashion-forward consumers, that has never owned or even operated a motorcycle before, and offer them lighter-weight leather like lambskin, calf, or even split-suede.”
-- Mark Gamo, D73
D73 will be showcasing their medium-weight, cowhide leather REDFORD jackets at SHIFT at IMS, offered in marble brandy, oxblood, and washed black, and will have a selection of jackets for sale.
“The wash black has the effect of an aged leather that’s been through years of wear. So, from first impressions, you would think this jacket has been worn in through years of love and abuse.”
NEXX North America’s sales manager Ricardo Valentim will be using SHIFT at IMS to show off the progressive helmet company’s new line of full-face helmets … the X.G100R, featuring five new graphic designs and a flip up visor, and the brand new X.G200, a retro tip of the hat to motocross helmet design with all the modern safety features and materials available to manufacturers today.
With the opening of a US-based distribution center last year NEXX showed it was serious about the US/Canadian market. Now with a host of new helmet models being introduced for 2018, Valentim says SHIFT will give the riding public a chance to try on the next NEXX collection, and him a chance to get some invaluable direct feedback from the moto community on design, fit and functionality.
“The SHIFT boutique concept offer NEXX the possibility to showcase our products in a lifestyle environment. These boutiques and the products they show/sell are on the rise, and we think our X.Garage collection completely represents the image they are looking for: Modern products with retro looks ... all the safety and modern comfort with the old, classic designs. Our Garage collection goes along with this trending fashion,” he says.
-- Ricardo Valentim, NEXX North America
NEXX will be taking pre-orders from their dealers at the IMS, but will not be selling to consumers directly as that is not their business model.
Other companies currently signed on for the IMS’s SHIFT kickoff in Long Beach, CA, Nov. 17-19 include: Abel Brown (organic cotton shirts), Eunique (denim), Furygan (leather), Husqvarana (motorcycles), Montclair Riding Company (moto apparel and protective gear), and Rev’it (motowear). Rev'it, Husqvarana and Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber have all signed on for the entire IMS US schedule. Fashion motorwear label VKTRE, Abel Brown, Furygan and Montclair Riding Company are also on the ride for IMS NYC.
The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® will tour the US from November 2017 through February 2018, kicking off in Long Beach, CA, Nov. 17-19, and then hitting NYC (Dec. 1-3), Minneapolis, MN (Dec. 8-10), Cleveland, OH (Jan. 25-28), Dallas, TX (Feb. 2-4), Chicago, IL (Feb. 9-11) and Washington DC (Feb. 23-25).
Loza says the exact location of the SHIFT at IMS section will vary from city to city, but attendees can download the IMS mobile app (android on Google Play | iOS on Apple Store to quickly and easily navigate the show floor and locate the space. She added the IMS is also introducing an experiential space for adventure, dual-sport and touring enthusiasts called Adventure Out! for the entire tour.
"Adventure Out! was created as a space for attendees to learn, explore and share the adventure of life on two wheels. There will be a motorcycle campsite, RV lounge, stories and lessons from the road and guidance on what to buy for your next trek or tour."
For more information on IMS visit the official website at http://www.motorcycleshows.com or the show’s social media:
Local clubs with booths at the IMS in LA and NYC include:
Long Beach, CA
SoCal Chapter of the AMCA
New York, NY
NYC Vin Moto
NY Classic Riders
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