Pearl Izumi

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Pearl Izumi
Founded 1950
Headquarters Louisville, CO, USA
Key people
Chris Sword, President
Products Cycling and triathlon apparel and footwear

Pearl Izumi is a company that produces sports apparel, primarily focusing on cycling and triathlon.[1]

More than 60 years ago in Tokyo, a father produced Japan's first bicycle racing apparel for his son, a promising racer. Today, Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. has evolved into a major brand of technical-performing cycling and triathlon apparel.

The Founding Story of Pearl Izumi

In 1950 Kinji Shimizu rode his bike 38 miles every day to deliver up to 90 pounds of clothing to his customers in a neighboring village. In 1964, one of Kinji’s sons, Hiro, raced for the Japanese national team at the Asian Cycling Championships. The team ordered its usual fourteen cotton kits. And a special fifteenth. After the races, the team director filled a helmet with scraps of paper with each racer’s name. As fate would have it, Hiro’s name was pulled. He won the special jersey. It was made in Italy and 100% nylon. Unlike anything he’d ever seen before. Later that year, Kinji created his first kit based on that Italian design. He used the best materials he could find. Kinji continued researching new fabrics and studying the body in motion. Over the next five decades, this approach led to many innovations. Building the foundation for what Pearl Izumi does today. [2]

The name Pearl Izumi is derived from the gem "pearl" and an area of Japan known for its clear water "Izumi." Literally translated, the name means, "fountain of pearls."

Products (apparel and footwear)


Below are a few of Pearl Izumi's innovations over the last 60 years.

  • Industry First: Technical denier gradient fabrics for moisture transfer
  • Industry First: Licensed sublimated jerseys
  • Industry First: Mountain bike-specific apparel
  • Industry First: Multi-density 3D chamois

Pearl Izumi Teams and Athletes

Pearl Izumi has sponsored many cycling teams, including the 1984 USA Olympic team. Here are today's sponsored athletes:

  • Brian Lopes (Mountain Bike)
  • Angela Naeth (Triathlete)
  • Ambador Team: In 2017, Pearl Izumi recruited a team of both professional and amateur mountain bikers, road bikers and triathletes throughout the U.S. as brand ambassadors. [3]
  • USA Triathlon: In April 2017, Pearl Izumi was named the exclusive training apparel and cycling footwear sponsor of USA Triathlon [4]

Pearl Izumi's Parent Company

Pearl Izumi was purchased by Shimano for $70M in 2008.[5]

DASH America (trading as Pearl Izumi USA) was founded by Stan Mavis, & Hugh Walton who purchased the trademark from Dave Jacobs (founder of Spyder, and the original distributor of Pearl Izumi in the USA) and traveled to Japan to meet with the Shimano family and were given the legal rights from the parent company to do business as Pearl Izumi in the US.[citation needed] After several years of growth Mavis and Walton were given the rights to distribute the product everywhere in the world except Asia.[citation needed] Pearl Izumi USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Shimano America, Inc.[6]


  1. ^ "Pearl Izumi History". Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Pearl Izumi Origins | Pearl Izumi Cycling Gear". Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  3. ^ "Pearl Izumi Announces 2017 US Ambador Team". Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  4. ^ "Pearl Izumi Named Exclusive Training Apparel and Cycling Shoe Sponsor of USA Triathlon". Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  5. ^ "Pearl Izumi Sale Closes". 
  6. ^ "Shimano Corporate Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2012-06-21. 

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