Nestled away in our North London studio, you’ll find old sketches, forgotten fabrics, trims and lab dips which didn’t quite make the cut. These are a result of months, if not years, of design meetings and decision making. Product development is a journey; a journey which as a founder I am completely consumed by. The product, and the people behind the product is what makes the brand what it is. Building it is what drives me every day, finding ways to add value through fabric, construction and consideration.
Having previously worked at a fast-moving global sportswear brand, I saw first-hand the demand and obsession with newness. I get it, new product is exciting and helps brands stay relevant. What I quickly learnt is that it often came at the expense of integrity. The product being created lost its value, as it provided no value. This was something I told myself when starting Torsa I wouldn’t do. My goal was, and always will be; create product for purpose, not for newness.
A very deliberate range
The concept for our 5-piece collection that we launched late last year actually started back in 2017. It might sound crazy that it took three years to build five products, but we were committed to launching products we were truly proud of. Setting out with the intention of ensuring every style had a purpose, it was evident that this was going to take time. This involved months of fabric sourcing, followed by testing, re-sourcing and further testing. It involved exploring different construction methods, countless trims, varying pocket placements, stitching, you name it.
Every piece has its place in an essential activewear wardrobe. Whether it’s a featherweight performance t-shirt for your toughest workouts, or a second layer for trips to-and-from the gym.
The search for ultimate performance
I didn’t set out to have a signature product, but our Onyx has taken that mantle through what I’d argue is what innovation means to me. Besides the signature lilac colour, the way that colour has been applied is truly unique here. When we came across the fabric, a lightweight micro-mesh article from Spain, we thought it would be perfect for our performance t-shirt. It had the right hand-feel, softness, stretch and wicking properties, it was ideal.
Through testing, however, we found out why mesh is used pretty infrequently for base layers; it was sheer. It was a tough situation. Here we had a fabric that we loved, but couldn’t use because it was see-through in nature. Here is where having an ex-Rapha designer on my team helped immensely. She recommended a process called sublimation, in which the colour is actually printed on the white fabric, like a laser printer would do. Incredibly, the process of printing the colour on the fabric completely eliminated the sheerness, whilst maintaining the fabric’s natural breathability. It was the key to unlock ultimate performance.
New product, new colours
I appreciate that new product is important to grow, and we are well underway working on designing and developing new styles, and introducing new seasonal colours of existing styles. As I alluded to earlier, these things take time to get right, but the time spent now will ultimately lead to a better product in the future. New colours of the Onyx are being sublimated and tested at our factory, think sage green and blue-grey (sneak peak coming soon). These are on track to launch before the end of the year.
Working alongside a new designer, we're also developing a lightweight training jacket, currently on the sample line in Portugal. This is going to be truly functional piece, combining fabric innovation with signature Torsa styling, and i'm really excited to share more during the process.
For now, keep making moves and any questions, future product requests, fire over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.