From the Ground Up:
Designs for Women, by Women
“We are very excited about our new and refreshing approach to our Women’s styles and are looking forward to continue growing this part of our business.”
– Jenny Grad
Sr. Product Designer
For over 40 years Stormtech founder Blake Annable has passionately focused on design excellence by developing premium outerwear with an emphasis on technical designs, on-trend styling, while offering both men’s and women’s silhouettes. When it comes to female apparel, Stormtech is devoted to producing functional, fashionable apparel with gender-specific designs, from the ground up. This is where Stormtech’s female-led design team comes in.
Stormtech’s Senior Apparel Designer Jenny Grad and her team are committed to creating female-first garments. “We are very excited about our new and refreshing approach to our Women’s styles and are looking forward to continue growing this part of our business,” Jenny says. “We recognize the different shapes and sizes of women so we have been working on addressing the needs of our female customers by extending our fit offering, styling and color palette.”
Jenny and the team start a new design with movement in mind and test and refine prototypes until they fit their needs—and those of other active women. “Product testing is an essential part of the Stormtech design process. Early in development, we will take our samples out for a test drive to ensure the concept translates well in end use. We look for comfort, appropriate articulation, functionality, ease of use and any fit issues as they arise so we can address them right away.”
Beyond functionality, Jenny notes that appearance is very important. “When it comes to the design lines, we like to emphasize and balance the natural curves of a women. Softer lines and strategically placed seaming is fundamental for women styling.”
With this baseline feedback, the team refines the product until it both looks and feels good. Apparel that works becomes part of the Stormtech DNA, just as design elements from current and past offerings can then be integrated into new pieces. “When it comes to style lines we pay a lot of attention to seaming that pertains to the Stormtech DNA and we apply this to the natural shapes of women,” Jenny says. “Our intention is for the customer to know it’s a Stormtech garment without the need to see our branding. Some distinct characteristics include consistent style lines, articulation, and specific hood and cuff details, are all integrated based on what we already know works well.”
One example of a female-first product for this spring season is the Waterfall Rain Jacket. It shares ultrasonically welded seams and other technical features with the men’s version but is styled to fit a women’s body, with an extra-long silhouette and a stylish self-fabric waist belt. “We are really excited about the women’s Waterfall Jacket as this is something new for us at Stormtech. It is trench coat-inspired and is offered in a beautiful and trending raspberry color. A color that is fitting with most women.”
To further address fit, Jenny and the design team have been developing what they call “all-inclusive sizing.” Rather than just scaling up or down the dimensions of a garment, “We recognize that women are all different shapes and sizes,” Jenny explains, “On a garment pattern level, we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure our customer is confident that what they are purchasing will fit them well.”
Jenny points to the Mistral Heathered Polo as another example of how Stormtech is developing female- friendly designs. For the Mistral, “We have been having such great feedback from our customers since we moved away from heavier neck lines and began to offer more flattering ones like a narrow three button V neck. This season we are expanding this by introducing even more polos with styling suitable and flattering for women and offered in a selection of favorable and on trend colors.”
“We are fortunate to have a strong team of women in our product design and development department. We all have different lifestyles and intention behind the use of our product. This allows for a broad range of useful feedback and gives us the opportunity to apply this to our product so all of our needs are met.”
To view Stormtech’s entire Spring’19 Women’s collection that Jenny and the design team has produced, please visit the Women’s Collection page.