The Specialized-owned inclusionary women’s cycling clothing brand, Machines For Freedom, has announced it is being dissolved.
In an announcement on the Machines For Freedom Instagram page, founder Jenn Kriske broke the news: “It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement. After eight incredible years, the difficult decision was made to shutter the Machines For Freedom brand.”
The brand was founded in 2014 by Kriske following an inability to find cycling shorts that fit. In the years since it has been at the forefront of championing inclusivity within cycling and beyond.
It describes itself as a brand that “started out as a road cycling brand, making women’s cycling clothing that challenges the status quo,” and that nowadays it is “designed at the intersection of athleticism and femininity, Machines For Freedom brings its signature shape-inclusive fit and high-level of performance to riders everywhere.”
When pressed for more information, Cyclingnews received a longer statement that went further in thanking those who helped the brand through the years. In it, Kriske goes on to say she would “like to thank my amazing team of designers, creatives, marketers, and retailers for joining me on this journey, as well as my parent company for financial support over the years.”
The parent company in question is the bicycle industry behemoth, Specialized.
Although Kriske lists her start of the brand as being August 2014, Specialized purchased Machines For Freedom in June 2018. A year later, in a medium post discussing “Cycling’s Body Problem” Specialized made a point of saying the involvement from above is “hands-off and focused on giving Jenn all the tools she needs to thrive.”
At the time the idea seemed to be one of mutual benefit and support from a large company with deep pockets. It would seem that five years later, things have changed.
The move also marks the continuation of change at the doors of the American company. At the end of 2022, Specialized cut ties with a large number of its ambassadors, marking a shift away from adventure and towards racing. Later, at the beginning of 2023, news broke that the company had laid off roughly 8% its workforce. That came alongside news of Specialized’s commitment to the $14.9m purchase of a new office building in Colorado.
When pressed for a statement after this latest headline, Specialized said: “Specialized will always be grateful to Machines For Freedom and the way it inspired the brand to reimagine…
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