Lucy Gardner graduated in 2013 from Falmouth University, she studied for a BA in Performance Sportswear Design.
‘Falmouth is such a great university for creative subjects, it’s a tiny seaside town packed with these incredibly talented people. I was lucky that I had my work photographed by the very talented Hasan Bitirim and Damian Malicki in third year- and I work with James Bannister to do the Fierlan shoots now.
Between my second and third years I’d started to take cycling a little bit more seriously than I had been, and got out on longer and faster rides. I spent a summer at Shutt VR, working on new designs for them and that was really when I realised that I definitely wanted to design for cycling.’
‘For my graduate collection “Hello Vélo” I created a collection of cycling garments for a road and urban cyclists. I used a mix of high performance fabrics with Lycra fibre and heritage fabrics like Ventile. I was really inspired by the Beatles film, Yellow Submarine. I love the colours and the movement in that film, and it takes me to a really happy place as I remember watching it with my late uncle. It’s one of the influencers I always come back to when I’m feeling a bit uninspired, it’s just got this crazy energy that I absolutely love.
I entered my graduate collection into the WGSN fashion awards as a bit of a punt, and noone was more surprised than me when I won the award for the Lycra Future Designers. I’d already been working on developing my own label, but this gave me the confidence and some of the funding I needed to make it happen. I launched Fierlan in 2014 and since then it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! We had a great reception and are building a lovely community of women cyclists. It’s been a steep learning curve of learning how to work with supply chains and manufacturers, and how to make a product commercial. It all seems to be working out though, I’m now at the point where my womens cycling clothing is going to be stocked in the UK’s best independent bike shops which is really exciting.’
‘Since graduating I’ve worked on a wide variety of freelance projects, from MTB clothing to licensee products for international sports events. I basically just took on any project I was offered, and learnt a lot in a very short space of time.
I slowly moved more and more into graphic design and branding and I’m now working full time on the creative for NEOS Cycling, a distribution company that works exclusively with independent bike shops and emerging brands.’
‘It’s a bit more difficult to stay inspired when you work full time, even in a creative job, which is why I am so lucky I live in Bristol! It’s such an amazing city where you’re basically surrounded by creative people and art all the time, sometimes it just takes a walk around town or out in the countryside to get my head into a project. I’ve got a fairly extensive collection of art/design books and I’m also a big fan of Pinterest, it’s such a great resource for visuals.’