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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Paving the Way in Equestrian Fashion: For Horses' "Firsts"

For Horses' Gioconda sun shirt offers UV protection with a lightweight silky feel and freshness.

When Giovanna Novello approached her husband in 2015 about her idea for a pair of equestrian leggings, Andrea Piovan was skeptical—to say the least.

"When I created the leggings in 2015, Andrea said, ‘You’re crazy!’" Novello recalled.

Novello and Piovan, who together own and operate the For Horses brand, boast a unique skillset. Both are equestrians, Piovan's background is in chemical engineering, while Novello's foray into fashion stems from a dance career. After a bit of discussion, the couple concurred that perhaps a different kind of style of breeches might catch on in the horse show industry.

"I wanted to be comfortable, like I was as a dancer—to use the same technology that's in the breeches with the comfort of a second skin," Novello said. "When people tried them, they fell in love, so I’m very partial to this product, because we were the first one to create it. I think it’s very representative of our brand."

The Ella leggings.

For Horses has truly been a pathfinder when it comes to industry style trends. The concept of a leggings-style of breeches is just one groundbreaking idea in an impressive line of For Horses "firsts." FH leggings caught on as a popular option for schooling; different models were designed specifically for warm and cold-weather climates.

"People caught on principally because of the comfort. Suddenly, here was a pair of breeches with no zippers, buttons or snaps, which allowed for complete freedom of movement while riding," said For Horses U.S. Sales Manager Anita Sguigna. "Coming from a background of dance and designing for comfort with advanced textiles allowed [Novello and Piovan] to design with features that a rider would want. The leggings are made with lycra and multi-stretch fabrics that are resistant enough for riding: You can put your boots over them, and they're durable enough to withstand work in the saddle."

Emie Show Shirt (taupe), worn with Adelia Breeches (beige) and FH Belt (navy/black reversible).

Collaborating with textile experts in their culturally rich area of Veneto, Italy, Piovan and Novello regularly participate in the creation of new fabrics, which has allowed them to continually innovate. For Horses is particularly proud of the UV protection incorporated into all of its fabrics—from leggings to jackets, breeches and shirts.

"They are not going to a trade show and selecting a fabric—they are going out and making it themselves," Sguigna said.

For Horses was the first to incorporate lace inserts into its clothing, which stemmed from Novello's desire to add more feminism and fashion into ladies' equestrian apparel. This has become a signature look, and the For Horses Stella shirt remains a treasured piece of FH clothing. The 2021 collection of show and schooling shirts features the most lightweight UV protection fabric with unique designer prints and soft pastel shades.

The women's line of FH Ultra Move Breeches: Emilia (black), Francesca (chianti) and Ennie (dove grey)

The most recent "first" for the company comes to life in the FH Ultra Move breeches. An enhanced concept of FH fabric has led to the creation of a most luxurious, silk-like comfort breech. The pants are also tailored in a way that is figure-enhancing, creating a push-up-like effect. There are models for women (Ennie, Emilia and Francesca), men (Sansone) and junior girls (Poppy).

"Andrea and Giovanna are constantly looking for innovation in styling, comfort, and the fabric of breeches, one of the most important, frequently used pieces of clothing for a rider," Sguigna said. "The FH Ultra Move breeches are particularly flattering in fit, and they are so lightweight, they feel like a second skin. This is truly a lifestyle breech: It maintains its shape while still being comfortable to ride in, giving you a nice figure and a nice look in and out of the saddle."

Comfort and elegance have remained the pillars of the For Horses brand since its inception, but the brand's evolution in pursuit of these qualities is a continuous study.

"It's a concept they're constantly pushing for," Sguigna said. "Every design has a specific purpose, always with horse and rider in mind."


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