Designing Riding Legwear
In her last blog, ‘Legwear for every body’, Head of Clothing Design Beth talked briefly about designing ladies jodhpurs. You lovely lot wanted to know more, and your wish is our command - so we asked her to explain more about the design process for men’s and ladies jodhpurs...
March is really not my favourite month. It’s that awful time when nature teases you with a suggestion of Spring, so we bravely and boldly remove 297 of the 300 layers we have been hiding under all winter… we may even opt for just the one pair of socks. But then the weather cruelly changes its mind and slaps us in our poor weather-beaten faces with another blast of winter. Whyyyyyyyyyyy though!?
In my last blog, I talked briefly about part of the design process of men’s and ladies riding legwear - we received some lovely feedback and you wanted to know more! So, if you can tear yourselves away from Googling how to emigrate to warmer climates with two horses, three dogs and a pet lamb (you definitely won’t find this in my search history. Honest!) … then read on!
I’ll keep the process quite broad as each product is unique. They may follow the same development process but not necessarily the same timeline. For example, brand new innovation requires so much more research, development and testing than a new colourway in an established old favourite - I’m looking at you Chester jodhpurs.
Researching men’s and women’s riding legwear:
A huge part of the process is research! The design team visit trade shows in Paris, Munich and Shanghai to research the latest trends, colours and fabric innovation. We also look at alternative sportswear markets such as cycling, running and ski-ing for inspiration on the men’s and women’s jodhpur range. Don’t worry, I am not suggesting for one minute you ride out in trainers, ski goggles and cycling shorts, but it’s always worth looking to other performance industries for inspiration!
Mood boards for riding legwear:
The team then collate all their research and findings into trend boards, these are split between male and female trend boards to really help us get a feel for the overall range. (Check out an example of the women’s jodhpur mood board below.) A lot of information is considered here including sales data, stock levels, range structure and customer feedback. This all needs presenting and signing off by relevant departments in the Harry Hall team before the designing can begin.
We then produce tech packs for the factories which consist of CAD’s (computer aided designs), trim sheets, size specs and testing requirements for every single new product. At this stage we may travel overseas to visit our suppliers and discuss designs, pricing and sample requirements. As you can imagine, by now the design team are made up of 90% coffee and 10% dry shampoo!
Once prices are confirmed we receive prototype samples. This is an exciting time as it is the first time we will see the item in the flesh. We will fit and perform some initial tests and send all our comments back to the factory. The amount of further development samples and amends varies from product to product but once we have a sample we are 100% happy with for construction and fit, we will send out to our pool of product testers. These are mostly riders on busy professional yards who wear and use the products all day every day. We only allow them to take them off when sleeping or washing…. Just joking. Or am I? It’s a super intense testing process and a diary is kept of the product’s performance to make sure we are developing the very best products which stand the test of time.
Before bulk production there are several elements which need approval such as lab dips, bulk fabric, trims, sizing, washing, packaging … it’s one lengthy process and requires a lot of tracking and organisation. Never thought I’d say this but thank goodness for spreadsheets!
This is a massively condensed version of the process as my word count is getting out of control. So I guess I’ll have to tell you all about photoshoots and the launch of a product another day.
In the meantime shop our full collection here
Thanks for reading. Beth x