Sure, there are a number of companies that already make great gloves but that doesn’t mean there’s not room for one more. At least that’s the way Simon Dumont sees it. In order to give consumers and athletes what they want and not what some chubby guy in a suit thinks they want, Dumont formed his own company, EMPIRE Attire. It’s a company based on the premise of ‘made by athletes for athletes’, certainly nothing new there as we’ve heard that mantra a million times now. After all, isn’t Grenade a glove company by the riders for the riders?
Athletes backing Simon and company include the likes of Colby West, Peter Olenick, Jossi Wells and Candide Thovex. As the gloves themselves have not yet hit the market, it’s hard to say for sure if the company is really producing a better product or not. As they hit the market place it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the plethora of other gloves available. Word on the street is that a number of so-called A-list skiers feel the gloves are superior to those currently out there. For all we know at this point though that’s just marketing speak.
So far EMPIRE has produced a small line of beanies and bandannas and teamed up with Akomplice t-shirts to produce a small t-shirt line as well.
I look forward to seeing this product developed by some of the world’s top athletes and I’m expecting nothing short of awesome. I’m always surprised at the lack of other companies out there that are owned by professional athletes. Now don’t get me wrong, I know a majority of the companies in this industry are at least on some level, rider owned. But at the same time it’s the professional athletes themselves that drive a huge majority of the sales for the companies in our industry. Instead of fattening the pockets of Corporate America (which let’s face it, many of the companies in our industry have become) they could be investing in themselves.
Our industry always needs more people willing to get out there and try something new to push the sports further. Props to Simon and the EMPIRE team for getting out there and starting something fresh.
Update: We just received some more information from EMPIRE. The gloves will be available on the website in the beginning of March and will be priced between $45.00 – $65.00, which is a huge relief. I just bought a brand new pair of gloves and they were well north of $100. We’ve also updated this post with pictures of the gloves.
Posted by Derek on Monday, February 18th, 2008 in Brands.