Designer Q&A: MP Power Ultra Collection

At MP we’re on a mission to make performance activewear available to all, so we’re constantly developing our ranges with better design and more technical features. For AW20, we elevated our best-selling Power Range to create Power Ultra, a new collection stacked with brand new features, to help you feel even more powerful as you work out. 

We spoke to Power Ultra designer, Anna Jarvey, and Garment Tech expert, Kandy Ellershaw, to find out how the collection came together, what went into the making of Power Ultra, and how your favourite range just got better. 




Question: Hey Anna, can you tell us how Power Ultra came about?

Power is one of our best selling collections. It appeals to a wide range of customers, whether you are a beginner or someone who trains more regularly. The styles, fabrics and details all perform well, but we have had some feedback from people telling us the fabric we use for the leggings and bras is too thick and too warm. Exactly the reason why a lot of people love it!  

It got us thinking about developing a product that would have all of the great features of Power and perform at aintense level for a really demanding customer. Power but even better. Power Ultra. 

Question: Who was Power Ultra made for?

The Power Ultra customer is a woman who makes fitness a priority. She is someone who trains at least three times a week, because how her training makes her feel is important to her. She likes to switch up her training to keep things interesting, so she mixes gym and strength training with spin or HIIT classes, and running too. 

Question: How do you want someone to feel when they wear the collection?

We wanted the Power Ultra styles to be able to keep up with these high demands whilst empowering the wearer so that she feels unstoppable. Nothing is holding her back from a great workout.  

Question: What were your main considerations when designing this collection?

We looked at different types of training and gathered feedback from women about what they liked and disliked about gym clothing. Some of the main complaints they had were visible sweat patches and leggings not being squat proof! 

The fabric that we chose for the leggings, bra, and jacket is a lightweight but densely knitted double-faced fabric with a lot of stretch in it. This means that the gaps between the yarns are smaller, which makes it appear more opaque/solid. When you are lunging, stretching, squatting, or jumping, the fabric of a correctly fitting garment will stretch in all directions with you, without becoming see-through. 

This fabric also has a special finish which means that it will wick sweat away from the body quickly to keep you feeling comfortable. It will also evaporate more quickly too so sweat patches should be a minimal badge of honor! 

The vest and ¼ zip long sleeve top are made from different fabrics but still follow the same principles – both are lightweight, have good stretch and are sweat-wicking. 

Question: Can you tell us more about the design process?

During the design process, we looked at areas of the body where heat is generated during exercise. We placed perforated fabric panels on those areas of the body so that body heat can escape.  We also incorporated this into jacket too, so it looks great going to and from the gym, but you can also use it in the gym or on a run outside. 

Question: Why is the colour palette important?

I wanted to use bright, high energy colours for this range but truthfully the majority of people feel more confident in dark or more subdued colours. I picked a base palette of Midnight (navy), Galaxy (a feminine grey shade which has a blue tint to it) and Black and then layered on the super intense shades of Lime (green), Danger (red) and Jade (green) as highlights.

I used the highlights inside the waistband and ankles on the leggings, and for the lining of the bra. It’s like a secret – you know it’s there but you’re not shouting about it! You can turn the ankles of the leggings up if you want to show off a little bit.

The Midnight and Galaxy leggings and bra also use those highlight colours in the reflective print and MP logo and the elastic on the bra. 

Question: Kandy, the Garment Tech team worked closely to help elevate this collection. How will these features improve a wearer's workout experience?

We are constantly reading customer reviews to find ways we can continue to elevate our products. Many reviewers commented that they wanted the waist on Power Leggings to sit a little higher, so we listened and implemented this within the Power Ultra Leggings

We also carried out a lot of research into gusset shaping and through many trials have implemented a new gusset to this style. The new gusset offers more movement and sits slightly to the front rise giving a much more flattering fit.  The panel seams have been designed to better follow the contours of the body, and in high heat areas, there are laser cut perforated panels. 

The Power Ultra Sports Bra is the first bra we have produced with adjustable straps, to really allow the fit to be customised for everyone. There is a clip at the center back which increases compression (makes a tighter fit) which really elevates the support.

The bra should be worn with the clip fastened for high-intensity workouts but can be worn un-clipped for added comfort for lower impact activities.  The bra still features the hidden power mesh inner as loved on our existing power bras for that added support. 

The Power Ultra jacket has an updated thumbhole construction. We gave careful consideration to the seam lines to ensure added comfort for the wearer.  Underarm panels in the perforated fabric improve the breathability of the garment further.

Question: Can you tell us more about the fabrics and why they were chosen?

The new Power Ultra fabric has a finer yarn, allowing for a closer-knit construction. This allows less light to pass through the fabric when at full stretch, making them much more squat proof.  

This fabric has 30% more stretch in the warp than the weft. This allows for much more movement when bending and ensures that the waistband stays in place during all movements.  You really do need to try these leggings on to feel just how good this fabric feels, they feel really supportive but stretch perfectly with your body. 

We also carried out tests on the stretch and recovery. The recovery was amazing, meaning that when stretched the fabric quickly contracts to its original size, so no baggy knees, they won’t stretch out of shape! 

This is also our fastest wicking fabric to date. The capillary action of the fabric moves the liquid through the structure so fast.  Any sweat is quickly dispersed through the fabric and across the surface allowing it to evaporate much quicker. 

Question: How were the garments researched, tested and developed? Has this changed from previous collections?

We carry out in-house wearer trials on all MP garments as part of the development process, but this is the first collection where we have reached out to our ambassadors to get involved. We gained some really valuable feedback doing this. We know all of the garments have really been put through their paces ahead of going into production, to ensure performance is guaranteed.  We also tested on a wider number of people for this range, incorporating may different body shapes and sizes. 

Question: Anna, having designed the collection, what is your favourite piece?

My favourite piece is the Reversible Headband! The smallest and least flashy piece from the range but one that does it’s job perfectly if you like to run or workout outside in the cooler months!  

It keeps your ears warmholds your hair off your face, and helps keep sweat out of your eyes. The silicone print on the inner side helps to keep it in place. Reflective prints on the outer side will help you to be more visible to cars in low light conditions. It’s made from the same super soft and lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric as the ¼ zip top and it’s the first time that we have had a headband in the range.

We want to keep on improving our ranges and adding in more functional pieces like these to our collections that will support our customers in performing their best workouts. 


Question: What is the future looking like for Power Ultra in SS21?

For S/S ‘21, we are developing new designs and fits to build out the choice within the range. There will be new shapes and silhouettes using the same hero fabrics to target the same high function needs of a demanding customer. 

Georgie Gilbert

Georgie Gilbert

Writer and expert

Georgie is a Fashion Marketing and Communications MA graduate originally from the south. After University she went on to work in Sports for a leading sports equipment manufacturer, where she was lucky enough to work with world-class athletes, top trainers, and inspiring customers alike before taking the experience forward to MP. A somewhat reluctant early bird, Georgie manages to drag herself to the gym most mornings for 7:00 am HIIT sessions or weight training under the watchful eyes of a virtual PT. For some reason, Saturday night takeout always tastes better when accompanied by DOMS.