Designer Q&A: New Training Collection

At MP we’re on a mission to make performance activewear accessible to all, so we’re constantly developing our ranges with better design and more technical features. For the second iteration of our new Training Collection, we took our product to the next level to make it even more durable, and we tapped the UK’s Fittest Man, Zack George as the face of the campaign.  

We spoke to clothing designersLloyd Husband and Anna Jarvey, to find out how the collection came together, what went into the making of this new Training range, and what a professional athlete needs from their workout clothes.  

Raw Training collection

Question: Hi guys, can you tell us how this collection came about?

Lloyd: Well, it came about from the rise of the popularity of functional training. We noticed an opportunity to deliver functional, durable product that is fit for purpose. We wanted to offer the athlete a versatile product that performs for a number of training activitiesthat powerlifting in the gym or mobility training at home. This collection has you covered.  

Inspired by the golden era of bodybuilding, this collection pays homage to the oversized sweat silhouettes and incorporates an old school aesthetic through the vintage oversized fits and washes. 

Anna:  For the women’s collection we also looked at functional fitness training for inspiration knowing how demanding this type of all-around training is. We know that these athletes need hard-wearing and durable garments that can cope with plenty of contact with the floor, weight bars, and other rough surfaces inside a training box. 

Question: Who was this range made for?

Lloyd: This new training range consumer is somebody who isnt afraid of that gritty workout. It’s the serious athlete, determined to achieve his or her PB’s, ready to tackle any challenge thrown their way, be it mental or physical. Squats, lunges, push, pull, the collection is designed to enable the athlete the achieve their best, no matter the task.  

We realise the consumer may be training in a warehouse gym where it is a bit colder, therefore we offered layering pieces so that you can outfit build whilst warming up or on your way to and from the gym. We also wanted to cater to the serious lifters, offering oversized fits for the bulking season.  

It’s really important that we also ensure our garments are equally aesthetically pleasing as functional. This collection marries both aesthetics and function together seamlessly. 

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

Lloyd: With everything we design we want to empower the wearer. Through empowering silhouettes and bold designs, we want to ensure the wearer feels like the athlete that they are. We want to ensure that the athlete feels confident training in our apparel, therefore we ensure our garments are fit for purpose to retain our athletes’ trust.  

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

Lloyd: With everything we design at MP, we always have the athlete and activity purpose at the forefront of the design process. We undertake rigorous research to ensure we live and breathe the consumer’s lifestyle. We reach out and speak to athletes who are masters of the activity, we ensure we do field research to actually do the activity ourselves, to really understand the pain points and wants and needs of the consumer when doing said sport. We undergo thorough product testing through wearer trials and lab tests. Its integral that the design process is led by this activity research, to efficiently problem solve and enhance the athlete experience when working out. We aim to be authentic with the product we deliver and always, fit for purpose. 

When the design team aren’t at our desks designing away, we ensure we are out there in the down at the gyms, within the fitness community, speaking to athletes, obtaining information globally on how we can create leading performance sportswear.  

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

Lloyd: With functional training, we highlighted the key areas of focus were mobility, durability, and versatility. We ensured we engineered the garments with rib gussets to enable you to have a full range of motion. We added reinforced taped seams, to ensure no snagging on barbells. We ensured we offered versatile shapes to flatter most bodies with a wide range of garment choices from tanks to hoodies depending on your training styleTops feature stepped backed hems for modesty, and side hem splits for mobility, that we have reinforced with herringbone taping. Women’s styles were also made with durability and support in mind, with high waisted leggings and a medium support bra. 

Question: Why is the colour palette so important in this collection?

Lloyd: We wanted to ensure a real modern, contemporary colour palette that is aligned with the trends of now. Inspired by the old school bodybuilding washed aesthetic our team went through a long, thorough process to ensure we curated the perfect colour and wash effect. The team spent many hours working closely with our factories to achieve this. We also did our first over dye print process within this season too, for our green camo colourway! This was a first for MP and something we will be experimenting with more in the future. 

We love to challenge ourselves as a product team using new techniques to create exciting products.  The amazing thing about the wash technique is that each garment will look slightly different, taking on its own unique life, which will just get better with the age of the product!  

Question: How will these products improve the wearer's workout experience?

Lloyd: As a second iteration of this training range, we have honed in on some more activity-specific features such as a holder on the back of your joggers, for you to hold your t-shirt or towel in during your sweaty workouts. We also had to ensure the fabrics are tough enough to withstand the friction of the barbell. We also maximised durability by using 5-thread overlock stitching on our seams.  The women’s styles were also developed to withstand tough activity, in a tough ribbed knit with plenty of stretch for added movement. 

We have tested these products to ensure they are fit for purpose within the multi-functional space. We truly believe that progress never stops.

Question: Can you tell us more about the fabrics and why you chose them?

Lloyd: We chose heavyweight BCI cotton fabrics to ensure durability and breathability. Constructed with 5 thread overlocked seams, married with taped seams for reinforced durability. Ensuring we use rib in areas where extra mobility is needed to ensure minimal restriction.  

Anna: We chose the most durable knit construction for our women’s pieces to ensure they could perform as well as the other pieces in the range. The ribbed seamless knit is not only durable and sweat-wicking but also flexible, minimising restrictions through a wide range of movement and exercises. The darker contouring areas on the seamless pieces are not only physique enhancing, they are also finer. These are placed in higher heat areas helping with temperature regulation. 

Question: What Is your favourite piece within the collection and why?

Lloyd: For me, it’s got to be the washed pink hoody! This colour was the most complex colour to achieve out of the whole collection. Our team worked around the clock to deliver this colour and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I look forward to taking this hoody down to the gym myself these autumn months and putting it through its paces!  

Anna: I love the seamless leggings. The high waisted fit gives great coverage and in combination with this being our thickest and most durable seamless fabric, you feel supported and held in and really confident no matter what exercise or activity you’re performing 

Question: What is the future looking like for Training ranges in SS21?

Lloyd: As previously mentioned we work on the motto of ‘progress never stops’ and that’s exactly what V3 will be! We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse range appropriate for all athletes, no matter their training preference. Be prepared for us to be even more focused, more technical with some great new fabric innovations! Watch this space…

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.