Fight Like A Girl With Girl Gang Fight Gear
For a little over a year now, Juliana Cardona has been the head fighter in charge for her line of fight gear and apparel, Girl Gang Fight Gear. Her collection ranges from hand wraps used by combat-sport athletes to protect their hands and wrists from injuries, to graphic tees and tanks with empowering statements. She combined her knowledgable background in fashion and love for the martial art of Muay Thai to start her endeavor and is not backing down.
Faced with a lack of options of female-oriented gear for female fighters, Juliana set out to takedown this reality by creating fight gear "for the girl that practices martial arts but also likes making a fashion statement." Underneath her tough exterior during her Muay Thai training is a chica that loves fun, bright colors, cute prints, and being unabashedly feminine. Her background, after all, is in fashion and after years of fashion blogging to go with it, she had learned to express herself through her style--a combination of the bold, bright colors and prints she enjoys with a side of edge. But when it came to dressing for her Muay Thai trainings, she had to settle for wearing apparel and gear designed for and by males; typically produced in solid colors with little to no embellishments or prints. Juliana had enough of being submitted to dull, boring designs, stopped searching, and attacked the industry by designing her own for all the strong, powerful, and feminine fighter babes.
We chatted with the Colombiana to learn a little more about her brand, the inspiration behind it, y un poquito sobre the martial arts world. Plus, get some details on what's to come for Girl Gang Fight Gear and her favorite Colombian slang word to use!
CUÉNTANOS A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF: Your background and how you got into creating gear, hand wraps, and accessories for Mixed martial art babes.
My background is in fashion. I went to fashion school and was a fashion blogger for some years. My husband owns a Muay Thai gym in Miami and that's how I started to do Muay Thai. I created my brand because I saw the lack of options women have in martial arts when it came to gear and apparel.
For us non-fighting girls, what are hand wraps? What are they used for?
Hand wraps are basically a strip of cloth that is used to protect your hands.
What inspires the mood of the brand and the designs on your gear and apparel?
The inspiration for my brand and designs are lots of color; being fun and feminine.
Which hand wrap or design has been your favorite so far? Which is your best-seller?
ABOVE: Girl Gang Fight gears' hand wraps and and wash bag. on the left: the "Black Eyed Unicorn" hand wrap along with their exclusive wash bag that comes with every hand wrap purchase. On the Right: Their best-selling "fight like a girl" hand wrap.
When and why did you start practicing martial arts? Do female figures in your life (like your mom, tias, or abuelas) have a hard time understanding why you train in martial arts?
I started about 2-3 years ago, and it's funny, but my mom loves it. She likes that I can protect myself and I'm doing something good for myself. My mom is a pretty tough woman.
What's a common misconception about female Mixed martial artists?
I think the biggest one I can think of is that women in martial arts are not feminine--that just because you do combat sports you don't like dressing up or love being girly.
Fighting and fight gear is a male dominated industry. what has been the response so far from both female and male fighters after introducing your product line?
I've gotten such a great response from the industry. I get e-mails and messages all the time from women telling me how happy and how thankful they are that they now can do Muay Thai while wearing things they really like!
Have men in the industry been supportive in welcoming your line? Do they purchase and wear your wraps too?
Yes they have! I do get orders from men and the best is when they buy products for their girlfriends, training partners.
Will you be collaborating with fighter babes for future gear or apparel?
Yes, I plan to do some collaborations with fighters that I admire very soon.
Above: Girl gang Fight gear has expanded their line by adding apparel like the "breaking molds, bones, and stereotypes" tank and the "fearless fighter babe" tee along with new hand wraps designs.
When does the next collection drop and any hints on what we can expect too see?
I am currently working on the next collection right now. Hopefully in the next month and a half everything will be ready to purchase.
What does being Latina mean to you?
Being Latina is something I am so proud of. We are strong, nurturing, fearless and never give up. Being Latina is a lot like how I feel about being a woman in martial arts. We have to go the extra mile to prove we are in this for the long run.
Which Colombian slang word do you use the most?
Quiubo and whenever something goes wrong... hijueputa.
Favorite Colombian traditional dish?
Bandeja Paisa of course.
90s rocker Shakira or pop star Shakira?
90's rocker, black hair Shakira.
What's next for Girl Gang fight gear and where do you hope to see your brand in the future?
We are now working on the third collection of handwraps, then some apparel. I hope to see my brand as a staple in martial arts. I want my brand to open up the discussion of women feeling empowered in this male driven industry.