A peek at how we design our leotards
We decided to invite you into our design studio to show you what happens behind the scenes at Wear Moi. We are lifting the curtain on our product design process and showing you how we create our leotards, from selecting raw materials to sewing the model.
Before we even imagine a new leotard, the first step is to meet with our suppliers to unearth new fabrics we can work with. Next, our staff will meet to discuss the initial selections, then the art department makes a final decision as to the fabrics that will make up the next collection. After they are chosen, these materials will undergo a battery of tests to check their quality, in terms of resistance, elasticity, wear, washability and more. Because our leotards are meant for vigorous, physical use, testing the raw materials is critical so that we can deliver a technically vetted product.
The next step is for our artistic director to sketch the models she has envisioned for the new collection, before sending them to the research department. Our modelists draw up the technical specifications that contain all the information needed to establish an actual product design: materials, accessories, technical blueprints, measurement charts, descriptions, trim details, etc.
The project becomes tangible with the next step, which is to produce a prototype. Our patterns and prototypes are created at our facilities in La Garde, France. When the prototype is ready, the development department submits it to our artistic director. She will confirm whether the prototype matches her original idea by conducting a series of very thorough fitting sessions. In most cases, we must produce several prototypes before we arrive at the final version of a model. This is because we are committed to producing sophisticated leotards, which are sometimes hard to model. In many cases, we are combining materials that do not necessarily share the same technical properties. The more complex a model, the more difficult it is to produce the prototype. That translates to more time in research and development.
Once our artistic director has approved the prototypes, it is time to focus on the collection plan. The collection plan defines the product names, size ranges and color assortments. When the department approves the collection plan, we can move on to pattern grading. Pattern grading means converting the base pattern into smaller and larger sizes to cover the full range of sizes.
When prototypes have been produces in the full size range, the research office can conduct final fittings. Dancers of all ages take part in the fittings to give us their feedback and we carefully note all their comments and critiques. Many scenarios are possible: we may have to revisit the original product and its grading or modify certain subtle details or the prototype may receive definitive approval.
The design process ends with the final stage of product development. After ordering the raw materials, preparing all the patterns and validating our measurement charts, our factory can start manufacturing the new leotard models. In parallel, we get to work on planning a professional photo shoot to showcase our new collection so that we can present it to you.