When I first started Anna´s Legs, I worried that the design process might plateau really quickly.
I initially spent a ton of time on the shape and form of the leggings, and added the colours and prints afterwards. I thought that it would then be a case of looking for seasonal inspiration, both from my riding experiences and the feedback from our customers.
However, as I´ve got deeper into the process, it seems that the design details are limitless - off-setting great colours against making sure that certain areas (especially the bum cheeks) are totally opaque; working out how a repetitive print can be broken up in such a way that it doesn´t rub on the saddle; deciding when dying, heat transferring, screen printing and other colour appying techniques are going to add or detract from the specific panels and stitching needed for a cycling garment.
... we needed lines that worked with the natural movement of your legs, not against it
It´s taken me down the rabbit hole, and I've utterly loved it! Here are my thoughts, designs, dreams and reasons behind this little collection.
This design started as a painting and was loosely inspired from a photoshoot I did in the forest in Southern Spain for a bike company.
The images were stunning. They weren´t blue though.
They were just potent enough to create a feeling that you get when you´re in the forest, but the feeling wasn´t quite right for me.
I was thinking about that feeling when you´re riding through thick, deep trees on an exploring type of pedal out and you can´t hear, see or smell any evidence of humankind.
I was designing something that appeals to women with a love of the forest, who aren´t afraid to go-get-lost.
Once the picture was perfected alongside our designer, we had to work on a new panel design that follows the curve of the calf. The calf expands and shrinks in width during a pedalstroke and a seam cut in the wrong way will end up cutting into the calf itself!
We needed lines that worked with the natural movement of your legs, not against it.
The result is a curved panel that frames our forest image, highlighted with a pop of pink at the ankle. Beautiful as full leggings, but suited to having MTB baggies over the top, with the main event still on show :)
Our original sell-out Star Print generated an influx of "can you make them reflective?" requests from our customers.
I wanted to, but it´s a bit tricky: heat transfers tend to badly crack when printed as large shapes and reflective paint, awesome as it is, is not quite as potent in terms of glow.
And I wanted something that really GLOWED!
A poll carried out to a group of our customers showed that hearts would be really popular (thank you, ladies, for responding - we really do try to listen!) and it's time to move onto a new era of shapes.
I can´t help but harbour a feeling that stars will be back again one day, but it is refreshing to have a new message to play with - hearts, love, glow, shine...these are all things that we get from and give to cycling. It´s perfect!
Sometimes we just want to wear black, that´s fine and totally normal, we all do it, I do it all the time!
However, as there are many black cycling tights already out there on the market, I needed to make sure that our leggings sold on their own merit, not just for their pretty prints (pretty as they really are!).
I cut back the panelling to the bare minimum, because I love the smoothness of a decently clad leg of pure black. However the padding, waistband and fabric make these leggings a cut above the rest.
If you´ve bought Anna´s Legs before because you fell in love with a print, I also recommend that you invest in some Classic Black, because you know now that these are the comfiest leggings in cycling´s existance and we all need a fall-back pair that go with absolutely everything.
Happy riding - happy legs!
Unit 28, Wheatley Business Park, Old London Road, Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1XW // email@example.com // +44 (0) 1302 249 323