Page 30 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 30

 A lot goes into the design and development of a
new performance sports
kit. We spoke to Rebecca,
a professionally trained bespoke tailor and cutter with a BA(Hons) in Fashion design, to find out how you can upgrade your kit.
Rebecca manages the Garment Technology Department at Perry. Her team is made up of design specialists with degrees in fashion and marketing as well as extensive industry knowledge from working with top end sports brands.
This team is at the heart of what makes a Perry sports kit so unique whilst also being fit for purpose and brilliant value for money.
Designed to Perform
 To find out how you can introduce a performance sports kit to your school, contact Caroline Bunting at: or call 0113 238 9520
  What do you think are the most important factors when designing a new sports kit?
I believe an understanding of pattern manipulation is vital.
No two people are the same, however, with my team’s collective knowledge, we have developed a range of pattern styles that really do flatter all shapes and sizes.
You also need to understand cloth – how it moves, hangs and how to cut shape into it. We test a large variety of materials to ensure the best quality and fit; understanding how fabric performs and reacts within its environment is also important.
It’s the small details that can really make a garment stand out from the crowd. We really take our time to consider every component from the zips, drawstrings and even
the colour thread that is used. All of these things add up to create something truly unique.
How do you work with schools to interpret their brief?
Firstly my team will carry out research. We need to understand who the school is, its heritage and history, in order to ensure we are going to deliver the right tone and branding to make your kit unique.
We then use the latest technology, such as sublimation with performance fabrics, to ensure your kit will be cutting edge, modern and original whilst promoting the school’s essence and brand.
What can Perry bring to the school sports kit market, as a uniform supplier, as opposed to a sportswear supplier?
As a uniform supplier we have the school and parents, as opposed to professional sports teams, at the forefront of our minds.
Furthermore, Perry works with the same manufacturers and materials as the branded sports kit suppliers. Schools can therefore be confident that the quality of Perry kit matches and in some cases outperforms branded kit.
It’s also important to remember not every student has sports as a key focus at school; having an
affordable curriculum kit which still looks and performs well is vital for many schools.
Another key factor is that whilst we ensure our sports kit is both current and modern, we also don’t want
to re-invent the wheel – a big part of my job is identifying trends in sportswear from big name brands and then distinguishing between what is a genuine enhancement in performance wear and what’s just a trend of the moment.
How do you design the style and fit of the kit?
We use our knowledge of future trends and past experience together with specific requests from the school sports staff. For example, some schools want a slim leg tracksuit whereas others prefer straight leg.
As we develop our own patterns on site we can be really adaptable, meeting these requirements and developing a sports kit that is right for your school.
It not only has to look good, but also feel good and perform well, to be a successful garment.
What do you look for when sourcing cloth and materials? When looking at cloth, we think about what garment we are making and what its purpose is.
For example, is it supposed to be waterproof and breathable or stretchy and move well on the body?
Then it comes down to performance! Our cloths are checked and tested to ensure they will perform and meet the everyday requirements and demands of the school environment.
All of these factors mean that we can always ensure that the Perry sports kit performs as well as sports teachers expect; looks as professional as students want and is still the good value that parents need.
  30 Independent Schools Magazine

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