Fashion graduate makes waves with new rowing fashion line

Posted by Bengtsson on December 10th, 2015

Now the graduate - who studied on the former BA Retail Buying course, now redesigned as Fashion Buying BA - and former President of DMU Rowing Club has combined the two to launch an exclusive, luxury range of sportswear under her own Blue Heron label.

Demi, who graduated in 2013 with a first, has spent the last two years pursuing her dream of designing rowing kit for fellow athletes after living with the frustrations of getting kitted out in gear that didn't seem up to the job.

From her vast experience of competitive rowing with the DMU team, and after taking the fashion pathway in her Retail Buying degree, Demi has just launched her new collection of three garments for men and three garments for women.

Every length of material, every colour combination, every shape and stitch, has been hand-picked and designed by Demi in a bid to meet a glaring gap in the rowing gear market.

Demi, who lives in Northants, is already setting her sights on expanding the Blue Heron brand into other markets, hoping to offer a full wardrobe of performance and casual wear that would appeal to customers other than just rowers - in the same way that many successful sports retailers have done before her.

Women's Henley

photo: school formal dresses

Demi said: “I loved rowing at DMU but the gear was a problem. It was all pretty standard, not very flattering and the fabric wasn’t very nice. I am 5ft 5ins and I found myself wearing the same gear as someone who was a foot taller than me. When you are competing as an athlete that’s not very good!

“While I was studying Retail Buying I took the Fashion Pathway and our final year Major Project was to come up with a niche collection of clothing, so I decided to produce rowing kit. I had such great feedback from the rowers I knew I was on to something.

“I took up an internship with surf brand O’Neill in Holland and then I worked for Rapha, a luxury cycle brand in London and all the time I was working in my spare evenings and weekends on my own rowing gear brand.

“Eventually I gave up London, moved back in with my parents and decided to dedicate all my time to creating the business.

“So now I am launching my own collection of luxury rowing apparel. They are six garments very specific to rowing but the idea is to build a brand and look at expanding the range.

“The rowing community is pretty close knit and I consulted many people around the country. When I spoke to them the reaction was brilliant. One simple detail I came up with was putting a pocket in the back of the rowing suit. I knew that when people carried their boat down to the water they would usually have spare socks, a spanner, a water bottle and other equipment with them. So I incorporated pockets into the back, and it completely blew the rowers’ minds.

"I’ve also designed seams that mean there is no chafing and most of the fabrics have a DWR coating meaning they're really water repellant. They’re simple ideas but really matter to rowers.”

Demi has worked long and hard to get to this point after designing the gear, sourcing fabrics, finding a factory, testing the gear, organising photo shoots and designing websites and social media pages.

She added: “I am really excited. It’s my passion. And if I don’t do this now I will always be left thinking “what if?”.”

see more: cheap formal dresses


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Joined: July 27th, 2015
Articles Posted: 73

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