What’s important when you look for a performance sportswear designer?
We believe the most important aspect to any designer, is their production knowledge. You need to look past the pretty CAD drawings and understand what they know about sportswear production. If a sportswear designer has little or no knowledge of how sportswear is manufactured and is not actively involved in the production, then how can they really understand the design phase.
Sure, Pretty CAD’s look great and may get the look of the garment across, but without in-depth knowledge of each stage of production, then all they are creating is a CAD that directs the look.
We have been designing and producing high performance sportswear since 1997 and it’s the production phase that allows us to really understand each process of manufacture and what is and isn’t possible.
Understanding how the factories machines work also allows us the opportunity to push new concepts and ideas that haven’t been created before.
We also believe a sportswear designer needs to understand fibres as these create the performance aspect of every sports garment. Fibres are like the ingredients of a delicious cake. Get them right and the garment will perform and offer the athlete a real benefit. Get them wrong and the garment is little use to the athlete.
This knowledge of fibres and their performance characteristics is vital as it determines which fabrics are selected for each design. We see so many brands launch product that they claim to offer fantastic performance but the fabrics they have chosen actually work against the requirements of the sport. The brand then hoodwinks consumers by smothering them with techno marketing blurb to blind them with poorly researched stats or phrases that sound promising but offer very little.
If you look at some of the worlds greatest designers and product creators, they fully understand how the whole product works. Look at Gordan Murray, Adrian Newey, Steve Jobs or James Dyson, all pioneers in the design and production of superior product and all with in-depth knowledge of how to produce their product. They fully understand each component, its performance and how it relates to every other component and its only when you understand this can you tweak and push boundaries that will ultimately end up with something unique and superior.
Our approach is identical to these great designers, being that we visit the factories and understand how the process works and their abilities. We understand fibres and how they perform and often develop our own bespoke materials when off the shelf fabrics are not good enough and we stay involved from concept until finished production so we can sign off the development at every stage and make sure the concept is never diluted.