“Awesome quads deserve awesome jeans” isn’t a mantra often heard with respect to shopping for well-fitting, comfortable denim. But this is the introductory line on the Kickstarter campaign page for Keirin Cut Jeans, a newly-designed jean specifically engineered for the athletic physique. These jeans claim to offer extra room to accommodate highly developed legs and gluteus muscles, while maintaining a trim waistline.
Keirin Cut Jeans is the brainchild of champion cyclist and aspiring Olympian Beth Newell, who began working on the project in 2012. That year, she was interviewed for a New York Times article regarding the importance of large thighs to a competitive cyclist. In the article, Newell referred to herself as “a crusader to glorify the big quad.” The article caught the attention of Adil Abubakar, who contacted Newell and proposed that they become business partners.
Newell and Abubakar began the design process for Keirin Cut Jeans by collecting body measurements of over 100 athletes before creating the first prototype. The company launched a campaign on Kickstarter in mid-October which to date has attracted 475 backers and a total of $56,750 (exceeding goal by nearly $20,000). With such an enthusiastic response, Keirin Cut has been able to partner with an (undisclosed) U.S. based manufacturer and is ready to start production. The first delivery of product is estimated for February 2015. According to Abubakar, gross sales for the first year are projected to be at least $100,000. He also commented that the company is working diligently to “revolutionize the industry by introducing our designs [for our niche] on a zero waste model”, meaning that any discarded materials will be reusable.
Comfortable jeans is not a new concept. In September, VF Corp.-owned Riders by Lee announced the launch of Heavenly Touch Denim, a hybrid jean with the softness and comfort of yoga pants and a slimming fit. According to Shanna McKinnon, editor of the popular blog DenimHunt.com, joggers—a loose style, lightweight denim or chambray, often with an elastic ankle—might be this season’s buzzword. Diesel now offers the Jogg Jean, although McKinnon noted that the brand also offered a jogger four years ago. AG has brought the Contour 360 jean to the market, which is said to “defy the expectations of traditional denim, sculpting the body with all-direction stretch.” The company’s website illustrates this claim through images of ballerinas stretching and dancing in the product.
According to Newell, the Keirin Cut Jeans differs from the other sport jeans on the market because of its unique pattern and design. In an email, Newell said that her product is made for a “different body type.” She said that many athletes have to buy jeans that are several sizes too large to accommodate their muscular legs and glutes, and are left with excessive gapping around the waist. She noted that while many of the sport jeans, “have a similar fabric, a cotton [spandex] blend”, their patterns are designed for “the general population, not a subset of athletes who have a different shape.”
In a video posted on Kickstarter, Newell poses the question, “If I can be comfortable at 40 miles an hour on a bike, why can’t I be comfortable in a pair of jeans when I’m out to dinner with friends?” Judging from the overwhelming response to her new idea, it may be a question that resonates with a wide range of jeans shoppers, whether or not they ride a bike.