Bicycle Diaries: From <i>Lycra</i> to <i>Lumatwill</i>

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18.3.09

From Lycra to Lumatwill

Gary Fisher adds
a Dashing Tweeds Suit
to His Wardrobe



Last October, I posted about Guy Hills, the London photographer and biker who's working with weaver Kirsty MacDougall to develop a new fabric called Lumatwill. Their company, Dashing Tweeds, has been getting quite a bit of attention of late. The latest issue of Momentum features an interview of Gary Fisher about his recent conversion to tweed-based bikewear.
What evidence have you seen of tweed (and bespoke tailoring) making a comeback?

There is a definite resurgence in bespoke tailoring. All the tailors I know are doing very well and say that more young people are interested. People are bored of mass culture and big brands, so once they discover they can order exactly what they want from a tailor and it will be unique, they don’t want to go back. Tweed is the original choice for sportswear: it tailors very well and holds its shape. Tweed also has a fun quality in terms of colour as well as being waterproof and breathable. Dashing Tweeds includes all this, modern designs, and Lumatwill technology.

What proportion of dashing tweeds clients are cyclists?

The ethos of Dashing Tweeds is that anyone can happily jump on a bike without it being a big deal. Clothes tailored in Dashing Tweeds are not just for cycling, but have cycling in mind, as well as looking good and working in city and country environments. So I’d say most Dashing Tweed customers ride a bike at some time.

Have any clothing makers featured lumatwill or a similar reflective tweed fabric in pret à porter / “ready to wear” designs?

Lumatwill is our name for tweed fabric with reflective yarn woven in. Dashing Tweeds is the name of our cloth collection and brand. We have designed Lumatwill cloth for other designers such as House of Holland and English American and we are happy for them to use our Lumatwill label.

How are dashing tweeds / lumatwill faring in a business sense?

Dashing Tweeds is doing very well. We have books of cloth in all the best tailors, and are launching a small ready to wear collection in Japan this autumn in the best Tokyo menswear store, Beams.

What is your definition of “style?”

We try to achieve an elegant British sporting style but with modernity, no fear of technology, and, of course, a sense of fun. It is also very important that the clothes are very well made and should last for many, many years.

What can we expect to see from dashing tweeds in the future?

We have an exciting men’s cape coming soon, as well as special trousers that can be worn as plus-fours (breeches) and trousers, also some hats and a jacket are on the way.

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