Sisters Jewel Jones and Amanda Roth have spent the past two years collaborating on a project to provide comfortable, functional clothing specifically for truckers.
Trucker-tested Over the Road Apparel is designed to ward off dirt and perspiration, while remaining comfortable after long hours behind the wheel.
“We don’t use the word ‘fashion’; we use the word ‘function,’ ” Jones said. “It’s pro-functional work wear for truckers.”
The new line was introduced Friday at Meadow Lark, a family of trucking-related companies that provides services such as transportation and supply management, freight brokerage and owner-operator fleets. OTR Apparel is Meadow Lark’s newest subsidiary.
The project got started while Jones was completing her degree in fashion at the Art Institute of California-Hollywood.
She told her sister that she was looking for a senior internship. Roth, who is chief executive of Meadow Lark, mentioned that she had been thinking about the need for a line of clothing for truckers.
The idea excited Jones, and Over the Road Apparel was born. As part of the design process, she contacted truckers and asked for feedback on their clothing needs. They wanted garments that shed dirt and perspiration and didn’t wrinkle.
The line features snap-front shirts tailored in either a traditional or a Western cut, with plenty of pockets to accommodate cellphones, pens and notebooks. OTR’s T-shirts are breathable, 100 percent polyester knit and are treated to combat odor-causing bacteria.
Roth said truckers’ initial response to the clothing was so positive that commercializing the line made sense.
The clothing will be launched at the Great American Truck Show in August. “We’ll have drivers demonstrate them in a fashion show,” Roth said.
Roth said the clothing can be customized to include company logos.
Jones plans to add trousers within a few months. A women’s line is also in the works.
“The way you reconstruct the garments to fit a women’s body is so detailed,” Jones said. “You have to add darts so that it’s more flattering.”
Building brand awareness is part of the launch.
“OTR is industry jargon for a long-haul driver,” Jones said. “They’re driving long distances, living in their trucks. They’re alone from their families, and they know what it’s like to live that hard life; there’s an awareness, an essence.”
As kids, Roth and Jones both started working at the company that their father, Rick Jones, started 30 years ago.
“My first job was emptying waste baskets,” Roth said.
“I used to be a receptionist,” Jones said.