At the end of July we launched a very special product in the Shutt range – the Isobel Jersey. We have to wind the clock back to 2012 for the start of the Isobel story.
During the long hot summer of that Olympic year, Shutt had a design internship with then under-graduate Lucy Gardner. Since 2011 we had been discussing the need for greater variety in our women’s range. Since Shutt was established in 2009 we have always had women’s products and sponsored a women’s race team but we knew we needed to do more. Weeks of drawing and re-drawing and tweaking ideas resulted in a complete range of women’s designs. We took all the pictures hanging from one of the walls and covered it in all the different designs – we ran out of sellotape and space, but it helped to edit and see the emerging collection as a whole. We even found time for some riding in between!
Lucy took the Shutt signature stripe and turned it into a motif which could be for our women’s range – polka dots. We also enjoy the subtle nod to the Tour de France’s famous Mountains classification leader’s jersey, with its iconic red polka dots- Find my mini history of the King of the Mountain’s Polka Dot jersey here.
The trademark side panel construction that helps give other Shutt favourite’s like the Sportive, Classic & Signature their excellent gender-neutral fit, was retained on the new Isobel. However it was more delicately sculpted for a truly women’s specific cut. From initial design to sample, to second and third samples to final production the Isobel had a full evolution. Even something as seemingly simple as the size of the polka dots, changed several times to get the look we wanted (first sample shown below).
Choosing fabrics was a bit of a minefield and in the end we selected a fine quality Italian lycra that is super soft to the touch. We wanted something that would be the right combination of performance and comfort next to the skin.
Why Isobel you wonder? We knew the jersey needed a name rather than a title (Queen of the Mountains Jersey was banded around for a while). In the end we named the jersey after a woman close to Shutt’s heart, who originally inspired us to create something a bit more feminine, that stayed true to our classic styling.
The Isobel is available now – full details here.