Let me introduce you to Bande de Filles.
Bande de Filles has many meanings, in some cases it will be “girl gang” or “girls band” to talk about a group, as you would think of a group of friends. This is our Bande de Filles.
Bande de Filles like to play together. She can also do it alone when she has to. But, it’s so much fun to work out with your friends.
Bande de Filles travel together, work hard together. Bande de Filles is aware that there is so much unexplored in this world and she is going to show you the way.
Bande de Filles understand how necessary being alone is, how vital being together is.
Bande de Filles face challenges, together. Whether it’s in the court, on the trails or those hard times that life slams into your face. Bande de Filles bounce back, accept and move on.
Bande de Filles is not just one story, it’s the story of all of us.
I was a professional racer for a long time. And at this point I could write thousands of words about it. But there was a feeling that was with me throughout the years through all the challenges — the feeling of responsibility.
Responsibility for being a human, yes a women, but really a human being. For showing the way to young people, for the fans. I knew it meant something beyond my very own life. That all my actions would impact someone else’s life and I was carrying it with me without knowing what to do with it. I learned later that I was aware of something bigger than my ego. And it scared the shit out of me.
There is not a clear answer yet on how show a better way to those who will come after us. But, I also know that fear paralyzes, so I should start somewhere as we should all do when time comes for change. This somewhere is Bande de Filles — and if you ask me why, I’m going to be honest with you — because friendships saved my life. As a child-athlete I was raised to become the best. That didn’t always happen, because being the best doesn’t really mean anything, so it’s hard to become the ultimate best. You can be relevant in a certain time, in a certain place, but at some point it may become too much. My life was meant for one day of racing at the Olympics or at a National Championship or even just the next race in the next town. And I couldn’t see beyond that or I realized that it wasn’t really my idea in the first place.
Eventually, I stepped out of that and I started to hang out with rad women both in and out of the context of sport. Rad women just being rad women. And it was game changer. I finally had role models in my life who inspired me, I started to see the moment and enjoy it. To slow down my life and shift up a speed at the same time.
I’m not going to complain how sport is a men industry, because humanity have been run by men since the beginning. It’s my responsibility to stand up and inspire other women to take on their life as one big adventures. I think we have a choice as women, as human being, we have the choice to say and act for the best whatever the difficulty.
I wish we all were raised in the school of common sense. Just to see the inevitable truth beyond the époque and time we live in. I love seeing everywhere that women empower women. From supermodels to elite athletes and political personalities. It is happening and it helps take me on the Bande de Filles journey.
Bande de Filles is my crew, it’s your crew, it changes and moves around. Bande de Filles will empower you. You just have to embrace it. And deep down, you know that all the beautiful human being in your life, the men in your life, the other women in your life, the young girls looking up to you have been waiting for the moment you will start to take control of your life and they can not wait to support you in your journey.
The 21st century will be the century of women. I look at Bande de Filles as a movement happening at the social level. How we are going to take on the responsibility of our own life and feel good about it?
When I was 20, I posed for a bikini calendar marketed for the bike industry and I really thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong. My thought at the time was to do it because that was a way to show I was controlling my life. I did it because my ego was telling me to do it. Not only was it wrong from an esthetic standpoint but it also sent the message to my youngest female fans that it was what you are supposed to do. It was this fine line between being proud of my body as a part of who I am and the sexualisation of a young athlete for sales numbers.
All of this happened because I saw other women do it before me, I was really dreaming of Australian bike racer Nikki Gudex and her photoshoot for Maxim Australia and the fame it brought her. She is a really inspiring photographer today but what I’m going to work on for the rest of my life is how we could break this circle of the sexualisation of women and their bodies to reach recognition. And let’s start with athletes. I know they say “sex sells," but to who? Let’s elevate for a minute. Strength, personality, creativity is what should make you successful and make you feel good about yourself. I don’t mean it like in a cheesy romantic comedy, I mean it like - WTF!
People always argue about who did what in the past to justify a present situation. I can not waste one more second of my life to think about who was doing wrong in the past. Instead I need, we need, to focus on the moment and how the little things will change the way we live tomorrow for the best. I want our Bande de Filles to be part of this change, I want you to be part of this change.
We had a ton of fun creating this collection. From collaborating with our friends at Attaquer (rad Illustrator Rachel Peck did the patterns for the kit!) to exchanging ideas about the concept of Bande de Filles with badass ladies from the sports industry for over a year now. We also had a blast riding around in Bend and Portland, Oregon to bring you these pictures and video (thanks Sam Smith!), we rode all day, and road again, and wanted to ride some more. We were exhausted and laughed a lot and I hope you would also enjoy this moment of plenitude by bringing it in your own life. You can check out the entire clothing offering » HERE.
Cheers to an endless summer!
If you want to get in touch, share a story, or just say hi, you can reach me here — J.Krasniak@theathleticcommunity.com — and stay tuned for some more #BandeDeFilles goodness dropping in the coming weeks/months.