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Fashion Focus: An Interview with Goode Rider

An Interveiw with Goode Rider

This week we are delighted to have an exclusive interview with the founders and designers of the wildly popular Goode Rider equestrian fashion line.  Both Lorna Goode and Kristin Calandra have extensive professional training in the fashion industry.  Lorna has two degrees in design, one from Sweden, and one from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising; while Kristin has degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as fashion merchandising from the University of Delaware. After their formal educations, they both ended up at Levi Strauss & Co.  Ultimately, they left Levi Strauss to start their own equestrian design company, and Goode Rider was born.
EC: What brought about the creation of Goode Rider?
Kristin: We started the business because we ride and there was a huge lack of fashion and clothing that actually fit.  Lorna has ridden since she was 7 years old and competes in Dressage, and does quadrille events with her Andalusian stallion.  I ride for pleasure and relation to get away from the "office" work.
We know that women live busy lives with work and kids and we wanted to create a lifestyle brand that could take you to the barn and beyon.  SO even if you have ridden and been at the barn, you can continue with your day without looking dull, but actually be fashionable and feel good about what you are wearing.
Making clothes that are feminine, sexy, and actually fit women is what we strive to do.
EC:  Our customers LOVE your Jean Riders, in all their various versions.  They say they are the only breeches that really fit like real jeans.  You are both from Levi Strauss.  Has that impacted your Jean Rider designs?
Lorna:  We also LOVE to wear jeans, but most denim didn't stretch enough to actually be comfortable when riding. Who else could design the perfect riding jean other than the Levi Girls?? We worked very hard together with some of our fabric mills to develop a denim fabric that is bi stretch. Bi stretch is very hard to control in sewing and shrinkage.  Our factories have to test every fabric roll before cutting.  We are very excited about the result and feel we have the best "jean" in the market today.
EC: Aside from the really fantastic location photography you do in Northern California, where to you get your style influence?
Kristin:  We travel to Europe, Asia, and New York to shop and people watch.  We like to infuse the latest trends from across the world into our riding collection.
EC:  Do you have a particular customer in mind when you design? Who is she?  What is she like?
Lorna: As we mentioned earlier, we know that women live busy lives with work, school, and/or kids.  We created a lifestyle brand that can take you from barn and beyond. Our products relate to a broad age group of women.  It is classic yet fashion forward.  We feel like there is something in there for everyone whether you are 15 or 60.  The Goode Rider customer cares about fashion, and what she looks like, and she wants comfort!
EC: Unlike a lot of equestrian attire, Good Rider looks, and wears, like high quality ready to wear fashion.  Is that intentional?
Kristin:  Absolutely intentional!  We are a lifestyle brand.  Uniting fashion with function is what we do.  Good Rider clothing is technical and you can do any sport - ride,ski, hike- in it and stay fashionable enough to wear it out when you are done.  We probably sell our outerwear to as many non-riders as riders.  And we know that our riders wear our products while they are not riding as well.
EC: Last year, you premiered a new line of show clothing.  How does Goode Rider show attire differ from what we've seen before?
Lorna:  We pride ourselves on fit.  So, first of all, we wanted to create show clothing that fit a woman's shape and body.  The four way stretch softshell fabric enables us to make a really streamlined silhouette.  Further, the show season is mostly in the summer months, when it is hot outside, so we added StayCool StayDry moisture wicking properties to the fabric. 
We were also tired of people looking like bumble bees in their shadbellies so we created the Shadbelly Coat with silver vest tips and collar instead of canary.  Then, of course, we need to add the fashion element with the pretty swirl Goode Rider lining and regal looking crest silber buttons.
Lastly, we wanted to have pretty show clothing that looks like custom made pieces, but didn't break your wallet, so our prices are very competitive.
EC:  Love your new Fall '11 line!  It has a retro, almost menswear inspired look.  Can you tell us about it?
Lorna and Kristin: Our theme was  "City sleek on the British country side." Urban meets classic sophistication.  It's got some wonderful new wool plaids and yarn dyes.  Cozy hand knit cashmere cardigans.  Bomber shearlings and cocoa brown denim and then some sleeker silhouette figure flattering down parkas and vests.
EC: Can you tell us anything about what is coming?  Anything new and exciting for Spring 2012?
Lorna and Kristin:  Our spring collection is called "Jackie O goes to the Jungle!" Trendy but sophisticated black, white, and silber with some daring and fun leopard prints and a splash of melon and aqua colors.  Trendy waterproof trench coats, some fun new technical hoodies.  Plus, we are showing white jeans - a very polo inspired look that is fresh and new
EC:  Can't wait to see it!!   


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