Women Behind the Gear: Susan Viscon


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After 20 years in the gear business, Susan Viscon has seen it all. That time she went to Interbike and the only other women were showroom models, for instance. Women’s gear took up a quarter of the sales floor then, and even that was designed for men. “It seems so archaic now,” she says.

Today Susan is the senior vice president of merchandising at REI, and she’s been a driving force for progress in women’s gear and apparel.

Freedom is a perfectly fitting hipbelt. Empowerment is gear designed by and for women.

“It’s been incredible to see the evolution, but we still have more to do,” Susan says.

She’s determined to close the gap on high-performance technical gear. Her team worked with Cannondale and GHOST to create full-suspension mountain bikes for women—in stores this spring—and they’ll keep pushing the industry to innovate.

Other gaps are in colors and sizing. The REI Co-op brand will launch a gender-neutral color palette and extended sizes to be more inclusive of all body types in the fall.

Let’s say it together: One size does not fit all. There’s no such thing as boy and girl colors.

Progress is a beautiful thing.

Learn more about how we are putting women front and center in 2017: Force of Nature.