Looking for a sportswear designer? Make sure they can take it through to production

We pick up lots of new clients that want to start up their new sportswear brand and have already gone through the design and tech pack process with other sportswear designers and tech pack consultants.

9 times out of 10, our design team needs to address the work carried out and adjust these to fit the needs of the client but also to make sure the performance, detail and manufacturing are suitable for the factory that is going to produce it.

We, therefore, suggest to anyone looking to start a sportswear brand to make sure the designer will follow the project and be responsible for sourcing, samples, development and production, otherwise you may end up with a pretty picture that looks great but you have no idea where this will be produced, where to purchase the fabric and components and also if the factory can actually produce this to cost.

When you work with the sportswear designer, you need to make sure they understand everything about your brand strategy; the targeted consumer, the price point and the performance required. They need to make sure that all the features and details are executed and will perform as your consumer expects and also understand that when they design and specify can be produced to the target costs.

It’s no different to working with an architect if you wanted to self-build. You would talk about size, features, fit, finish, aesthetics, production and ultimately a budget would be agreed upon. If you don’t nail these points from the get-go, then the architect can’t be blamed for something that doesn’t hit your expectations. Ultimately, the architect would project manage the build to make sure the builders and suppliers produced everything to spec, on time and to cost. If they walk away after the design process, then who will manage the development and production, and will they have the same vision and clarity of design as the architect?

Time and time, we receive design packs and tech packs that are completely wrong. The fabrics don’t perform or are not specified apart from approximate fibre content. There is usually little focus on how the garments should be constructed and no reference to what components and trims should be used. Sometimes the design hasn’t been created by a sportswear designer and then we usually have to start again as they just don’t understand the needs of an athlete and how fibre, fit and features make sportswear perform. We do sport. We do sport every week and quite often every day and so understand what athletes need and how to create a kit that will perform.

It’s critical the designer knows exactly which fabric each piece will use, the cost price and ultimately the factory that will produce these products so that they design and specify something that not only looks great but will hit the target price point, perform and can be produced without issues.

Blue Associates Sportswear was established in 1997 as a sportswear design consultancy but our first client requested, we project manage and source the designs all the way through to bulk production. We have been doing this ever since and offers our clients a one-stop solution from an idea to finished bulk production, often saving time and money rather than going through separate designers, tech pack consultants and sourcing agents.

For more information, please get in touch.

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