In sportswear some people are 'The Designers', born with a flair for imagining the garment and putting it on the page. Some are more suited to development and making the 2D real, through measurements, calculations and copious amounts of detailed emails. But fewer than these are the ones who are a font of all knowledge, the go to guys, the experts.
Mr Charles Ross falls into the later category
In the industry for over 30 years, my path first crossed with Charles when I was a student and he was a whizzy lecturer, bring in cool brands and samples, making us think beyond our immediate boxes and generally confusing the status quo. Since then he's helped me land my first job, been a sounding board and a wealth of knowledge on all things performance wear and he still keeps me thinking! His experience stretches from not only education but to contributing to many journals and projects as well as being a speaker at the upcoming Performance Days.
I cornered him on the internet to peel back what he's up to now and what we can expect looking forward in sportswear design:
Who are you and what do you do?
Charles - a consultant within the Outdoor Industry; have a number of roles from educating the next generation of PSDesigners to assisting some international ingredient brands wanting to break into the European market. Gladwell would refer to me as a Connector. Others call me a Fabric Geek
What are you currently working on?
Lots on provenance of materials, especially around plastics-in-the-ocean (which is not what you think it is!), as well as Future Financial Planning for new technologies coming into the industry (raising cash for new developments), but right now preparing a couple of presentations to be given at PerformanceDays.com next week - theme of The Beauty of Function
What excites you?
Seeing my graduates succeed; enabling new tech to win through over just marketing messages; being a parent; doing better things; being part of the Do Lecture set up
Can you tell me the future of sportswear?
Yes; it will be enabled by the next generation of graduates being allowed to work on projects that are their passion, rather than just turning out more gunk for brands to meet sales targets
What will you be doing in 5 years?
More of the same I hope; I take pride in my work & want it to make a difference