Outdoors Magic have featured me and my job in the The Ten Best Outdoors Jobs
“Posted: 8 May 2014 by Edward Greenland
Outdoor Clothing Designer
What the job entails
All the outdoor kit we wear needs to be designed by someone and those people belong to all the top outdoor brands or working as freelancers. Unfortunately, they get relatively little recognition as they work behind the scenes but that dosen’t make the job any less important.
We spoke to freelance outdoors clothing designer Julie Greengrass – pictured shredding the gnar above – who has been in the industry for almost 20 years and worked with some of the top outdoors brands including Montane, Sprayway and Rab.
So Julie, how did you become an outdoors clothing designer?
‘Making clothes was always a hobby of mine from an early age ever since my mum and nan made me clothes as a child.
‘I did art at A level before an art foundation course, which is where I realised how much I liked working with clothes so as a result I did a degree in fashion design.
‘However, I became disillusioned with fashion and instead realised a strong interest in synthetic fabrics and performance textiles, which was the first step to working in the outdoors industry.
‘During a masters in performance sportswear design I learnt the commercial side of fabrics and from there I’ve had spells at some of the top outdoors brands, learning something new at each step along the way.’
‘Probably the biggest pro and most satisfying thing as an outdoors clothes designer is seeing someone wearing the garment I made, it shows people really appreciate your work.
‘Winning awards is obviously great and having a range in the market over a long period of time is also very rewarding.
‘The job also allows me to be very creative and innovative as well as enabling me to meet a number of talented people within this industry who give it a real community feel.’
‘The deadlines are very tight and it requires a lot of work, if you miss one deadline it’s a snowball effect and all the other ones get pushed back, which is no good for anyone!
‘Especially as a freelancer you need to be very good at juggling lots of tasks at once, but you get used to it through experience.’
So would the job suit you?
The best outdoors designers mix top-level design talent with a hands-on understanding of how technical clothing functions so kit not only looks good but works well too. It’s not all about creativity though, designers are under serious commercial and deadline pressures and also need to work within tight budgets and with an eye on reality.”
To see the article and other jobs in the outdoors visit outdoorsmagic.com