Wiggle customers know and love dhb, but mainly for their awesome cycle kit. This year however, there is a whole new run collection to check out as well. This was a huge task for our in-house designer and developer; so, to learn some more about the processes and thinking behind this season's revitalised range, I spoke to Sam - our in-house product developer on dhb Run.
It takes at least nine months to develop a new product; which really puts the hard work done by the dhb team this season into perspective. But how does a new collection even come about? Sam told me: "we get a brief from the Wiggle buying team, which details opportunities within the market; key trends and any potential innovation entering the category. It is then over to our designer to create the look and feel of the whole collection. It is all about ensuring things work together as outfits, as well as perform during an intense workout."
Once the team are clear on what they are looking to create, it gets incredibly specialised, as the developer begins to source fabrics and develop the designs into reality. Sam explains the process: "we start with fabric and trim development. There is A LOT of testing to make sure it holds up against our rigorous internal standards. We need to ensure it performs and ensure it lasts. Once we've sourced or developed our fabrics, we go through at least 2 prototypes; before making up all the sizes to check they work. We refine the fit with models, and then we're back to more testing. This might be with staff, bloggers, or industry influencers. They give us some feedback, we do some further refinements, and then finally we place the order!"
Versatility is key
One of the real strengths of the whole dhb run collection is its versatility. For Sam, this was a key objective of the whole collection, she told me, "it's all about sports participation of all varieties; whether that's a marathon, or your first training session. The range is designed to feel comfortable next to the skin; with quick dry and wicking properties. We added Polygiene to ensure it lasts so it's always something you can rely on." A key driver of this flexibility and reliability is the fit, which Sam spent a lot of time refining: "this collection is full of what we'd call lifestyle product - the fit is more relaxed, and it's all about maximum comfort, which allows you to move in the way you need to".
With the entire new dhb Run collection now available exclusively at Wiggle, I asked Sam if she could pick a favourite product.
It wasn't an easy one to answer, but she's a big fan of the dhb Women's Lightweight Packable Run Jacket; something she often wears herself; "It looks amazing! And they're so versatile; I wear mine out running, but also to and from the gym where it's the perfect layer. It blocks out the wind and gives you some protection from any unexpected rain mid-run. The design is really flattering and we've had some great feedback from staff testers as well".
Available now! More to come...
So with all the work that's gone into the dhb Run spring/summer 2016 collection, and considering the great reviews we're seeing; is there more to come for Autumn/Winter?
"Absolutely!" says Sam. "I'm really excited about some new reflective garments - they're totally different from anything else out there at the moment. It is all about style AND visibility, with no fluro in sight!" There are also some more winter-specific products in the pipeline, which Sam explains "add more interesting, style conscious pieces to the dhb Run offering".