Equestrian fashion hits a new stride this year as several brands use their experience and innovation to launch expanded collections of riding and lifestyle apparel. The trend seems almost inevitable, as brands become increasingly competitive in this global market. Designers need to keep their customers captivated with artistry, style, and an identifiable silhouette, even if that means designing outside of an established genre.
Three years ago, EGO7 launched a line of boots in the style of Italian boot craftsmanship, with a modern edge and at an accessible price point. Breaking into a competitive market with big hitters like Ariat and Parlanti was no easy task; however, the company delivered on its promise and riders across the globe have taken notice. With the popularity of its brand on the rise, EGO7 jumped in with both booted feet and recently launched an equestrian clothing line. A self-proclaimed Zara of equestrian fashion, it took a proven concept and created a collection inspired by the most popular trends in Italian riding apparel, with a hint of that EGO attitude, once again at a more judicious price point. Its Performance One Riding Jacket, shown in a lively blue, is a perfect complement to the boot line. The classic Italian cut of the coat is counterbalanced by the edgy faux-leather collar and trimmed pockets.
I’ve recently found a high-fashion bag and accessory line inspired by the equestrian world that actually feels authentic to the true equestrian. Any one of the stunning bags from designer Adi Kissilevich appeals to me as a natural companion in my horse life or my regular life, which, to be honest, for horse people are usually the same thing. I particularly love the weight of her bags. The use of custom hardware and bits paired with the suppleness of Italian leather or softness of nylon make for a substantially bold look without appearing pretentiously equestrian. To me this is one of the few designer collections that transcends the fad of equestrian lifestyle and is simply timeless style.
Another company that has thrown its hat (or in this case helmet) into the equestrian fashion arena is the highly esteemed Samshield. Coming off its huge success with the 2017 launch of the sensational Miss Shield helmet, Samshield has proven to be unstoppable with its original clothing collection, launching this year. With so many exquisite clothing lines being produced out of Europe from established apparel designers, I was skeptical if a helmet company could successfully translate its image into equestrian fashion.
Let me be the first to tell you that the few images shown are a mere teaser to what Samshield has accomplished, particularly in regards to its breeches. These are the best designer breeches I have seen in my 14 years of working in this industry. They are authentically different from anything on the market today, and they truly capture the essence of the Samshield helmet and brand in their thoughtful details.
Like European brands before them, Samshield also wants to conquer the U.S. hunter/equitation market. The company’s classic three-button Alix hunt coat will definitely meet this market’s exacting standards. The fit is spot on, and despite its modern technical fabric, it emanates old-school hunter style.
Equiline has taken a different bridle path and translated its ability to combine function, comfort, and beauty into a full line of saddles. I have no doubt the technology, materials, and craftsmanship embody the same luxury and innovation that is synonymous with the Equiline brand. It, too, has embraced our hunter/equitation community by providing our conservative clan with not only a beautifully tailored hunt coat and derby shad but also the perfect hunter saddle to complement your horse and your show ensemble.
On the other side of the fashion pond, one of the darlings in the equestrian fashion world has thrown its line in with the big fish of everyday apparel. Asmar Equestrian, which built an equestrian lifestyle dynasty around a perfectly designed raincoat, seems to be up to the task with this stunning, minimalistic collection of fine apparel. The clean lines and casual elegance of each piece stays true to its design principles, while its fabric choices and color palette offer a lightness that lends itself to an everyday spring collection outside the horse stables.
Asmar is also following the current trend of colored coats. The company’s drop-dead gorgeous, olive London Show Jacket is runway-ready, form-fitting, and extremely lightweight, making it my favorite spring coat for 2018.
And this is only the beginning of a full line up of exciting new fashion in 2018. With the Longines New York Masters just around the corner, and of course the World Equestrian Games this fall, expect to see the unexpected from all of your favorite designers and be on the lookout for the next it brand. A few things to have on your radar: Winston Equestrian’s hunter shadbelly and new children’s show coat, AtelierCG fashion tees, and a stunning line of leather goods and jewelry from Des-ori Horse. Stay tuned, and, of course, stay fashionable.