Can you tell our Central subscribers a little bit about yourself?
Hey!! I’m Isla, I’m 25 and I’m a Womenswear Designer at Gymshark. I’m born and bred in the West Midlands and I fall in love with Birmingham more and more every day!
I’ve been at Gymshark for just over a year (April is my work anniversary)! I can’t believe how fast the year has gone and how much everyone has achieved! It’s incredible to work with such an amazing group of talented people.
Before Gymshark I worked in Australia for 1 year, working for 2 fashion companies in Sydney and Brisbane. I managed to squeeze in some travelling on the way home too.
I studied Contour Fashion (lingerie & swimwear design) at De Montfort university in Leicester. I’d always known I wanted to work in the sports apparel industry and this course just seemed perfect for me! There is a similar course in London, but I just didn’t feel moving to London was right for me, so Leicester it was!
How did you first get into design?
I danced from a very young age and I always helped my mum make my costumes for my shows and competitions, so I guess this really started my interest in design/sewing.
Textiles was my favourite subject at school and when I decided after a year of A-levels that I wanted to pursue fashion properly, I decided not to finish 6th form, and instead study a BTEC in fashion, and I’ve never looked back!
What’s your favourite thing about designing for Gymshark, does one element of your job stand out?
The creative freedom at Gymshark is just amazing! We are always encouraged to create the best and think outside the box, no boundaries!
Can you give us an idea of what you get up to at GSHQ day-to-day? How do you keep yourself on track when there’s so much going on?
So, we are currently mid-season and this means we are full flow into designing SS19. My day normally starts by checking emails and seeing what’s on my to do list for the week.
Then it’s really design design design!
I’ll normally check in with the fabric team on any progress in that area, we also work very closely everyday with the amazing development team on new styles, AW18 styles and SS18 styles. I’ll check in with Lucie the print designer too on any prints she’s creating for me.
We also have fit sessions where we work with development on samples, making changes to fit and design to create the best product we can.
Have you had any embarrassing moments at work? Confess…
Pretty much every day with me…..I have a tendency to say silly things, that I think make sense. I say them with such confidence, It makes everyone laugh! I just really hope they are laughing with me and not at me……..anyway haha
What was the first product you’ve played a part in designing?
I think the first ever product I designed was the So Soft Sweater! It’s an SS18 product so it should be available very soon!
I joined the team mid-way through designing SS18, so as of this season you’ll start to see some of my products. (Swimwear is one to watch!)
What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of Gymshark?
I’m really excited for everyone to see AW18. It was an incredible season of design for Gymshark women, the best season yet! But the more we get into designing SS19, I think it’s going to be even better!
Finally, give us a fact about your time at Gymshark. Something that maybe not everybody knows…
My first week at Gymshark, I (with Lois) nearly set fire to the building! Completely accidentally obviously!
It used to be a bit chilly in the old office and we shared a fan heater under our desk, and basically one day it caught fire! I only noticed as my legs were feeling a lot toastier than normal.
There was a massive commotion of me trying to turn the fan off and Lois dragging it out from under the desk by the plug.
There was black smoke everywhere and it set the fire alarms off. Everyone had to evacuate the building and then all heaters had to be thrown away. Safe to say not everyone was best pleased!
But...we like to laugh about it now!
Isla (@isla_gilbertson1)Meet the rest of our design team.