PEARL iZUMI (to give it its official capitalised title!) came about thanks to one man in Japan. So far, so unusual for VeloVixen, you cry. Far off lands and male protagonists.
Back in the 1950s, Kinji Shimizu used to ride his bike 38 miles every day, delivering almost 20kg of clothing to his customers.
By 1964, one of Kinji’s sons, Hiro, was racing for the Japanese national team. The team ordered its usual fourteen cotton kits. Plus a special fifteenth. After the race, the team director pulled names out of a helmet to decide who would win the special one. Hiro won the jersey - 100% nylon and made in Italy. It changed everything for him.
Later that year, Kinji created his first kit based on that made in Italy design, using the best materials he could lay his hands on.
Over the next half a century and more, Pearl Izumi grew from a one man band into one of the most recognised cycling clothing brands in the world.
They're among the biggest supporters of women's cycling we've encountered. They continue to innovate, obsess and lead on fit, fabrics and how the body moves on a bike.
Their designs show clearly how big a role female designers play in Pearl Izumi today, and the quality and fit are second to none. We're proud to work with them.
We love how they encapsulate the Pearl Izumi culture themselves: "We are innovators, product testers, cyclists, marathoners, triathletes, rec league all-stars, dog lovers, thrill seekers, gluttons for punishment, brew masters, skiers, coffee fiends, nature advocates, mountain dwellers, bike hoarders, weekend warriors, Kona champions, parents, craftsmen and so much more. But most of all, we are PEARL iZUMi."