As one of the most prominent and successful names in the equestrian fashion industry, I am honored that Noel Asmar is a part of my Designer Highlight Series. Check out more details and the inside scoop with Noel Asmar below.
You are the name behind one of the biggest and best brands in the equestrian designer community, how did you come up with starting an equestrian line to your already successful uniform line?
We built our home in an Equestrian community and moved in late spring of 2009, our horses moved in a month later and I soon realized I wasn’t able to find equestrian apparel that reflected my style & approach to dressing for the barn. With an existing premium apparel brand in play already (we dress some of the world's most beautiful hotels & spas around the world) I found myself inspired to spend some time in the Vancouver Factory to design & sample a few key pieces for myself to wear riding… it all started with the infamous Trademarked The All Weather Rider… which is uniquely designed to transform from a chic coat to a cleverly vented jacket that unzips to reveal a skirt to cover the rider & saddle from the weather … because that’s what I needed in my closet in order to be out with our horses rain or shine. The second style was the Long Sleeve Asmar Equestrian T-s that are sunscreen, lightweight & colorful, then the short Rider Jacket.
In early 2011, a few members from my uniforms team and I flew to the UK with this tiny collection and showed it at BETA ( British Equestrian Trade Association’s annual convention) and entered the All Weather Rider into a highly anticipated contest for Most Innovative Rider Apparel and won…. Which left me debating… Do I get serious and start an Equestrian Apparel brand ??.... and that was the official start of Asmar Equestrian in 2011.
What inspiration do you gather before creating your new equestrian designs?
I have a passion for extending the equestrian lifestyle beyond the ride, to all areas of a women's life. My ultimate goal is to design Equestrian Fashion & Handbags that facilitate her pursuit of happiness … so understanding how she starts & ends her day is our first step in the design process. Our trademarked slogan is “Made for the Way you Move”.
We begin designing a collection 12-18 months before the launch of a season… it’s a long thoughtful process.. and inspiration comes in many forms. As I am not a trained designer, design for me is about leading with instinct & embracing the freedom to be creative & innovative, without being influenced by what others may be doing. If we find a particular fabric we love, it will inspire us to create select pieces we love, - of course my trips to Florence Italy to work on our Handbags & Belts is a very inspirational trip – the Italians have a very chic, tailored, beautiful approach to layered dressing that translates beautifully into the equestrian lifestyle & our collections… My team also inspires me… I really enjoy working with the design team & we have several riders in our office in all disciplines that are always talking about the little details that would make the ride even more fluid….
What is the biggest hurtle to the equestrian design market?
The Equestrian Sport is highly segmented…. We can’t be everything to everyone so we stay true to our clear sense of self, our brand aesthetic, style, quality and Fit. The key to being around another 10-20 years from now is to stay connected to our “why” which for us is the “ Mind , Body Soul of our riders” through clever design “Made for the Way you Move”.
Divisions of Noel Asmar Group Inc include: