Veronica Bayagich has worked with the Reebok Les Mills team as the apparel Graphic Designer for 5-years. Since working with the team, she has trained in BODYJAM and teaches classes at the Reebok headquarters in Boston.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
Inspiration comes from all sorts of places and changes with each season. I find my inspiration for Les Mills graphic language and imagery from a combination of travel, trend research, and personal experiences.
From my own experience as an instructor, I get a lot of inspiration from learning new material from the master classes. The positive energy and motivation is something I try to evoke within our designs. Some of the phrases used on apparel come straight from instructors such as “raise the bar” and “rise to the challenge.” Then some of the visual cues come from objects used throughout various programs. For example the men’s black “Activchill” tank from spring/summer ’18 with the icons.
In regards to colour, we have a separate internal team that works closely with Les Mills International (LMI) in choosing the right colours that are unique to the Les Mills product. Both teams work together in comparing what we have already explored in seasons before to how we can offer newness and develop style to our loyal community. Once the palette is determined designers will apply it to apparel, accessories, footwear, and graphics.
What information do you need before beginning the design process?
It’s important for us to know how the Les Mills community uses our products and how we can create functional and versatile garments that will support their lifestyle.
Several times a year, feedback sessions are scheduled to get insight from instructors and other fitness enthusiasts that use our products. Some comments involve how the product performs, styling preferences, and/or requests for certain design details. From these sessions we receive valuable information on what does well and where we improve each season. All comments are taken into consideration when designing future product.
What is the design process?
We kick off each season by doing extensive research on new fashion trends and what’s happening within modern pop culture. Some of our research involves traveling to different cities to observe trends, attending Les Mills quarterly events where we meet with instructors to gain valuable feedback, and participate in Les Mills classes.
Taking all the information gained from research, the Reebok team and Les Mills team then meet together at ReebokHQ to collaborate and discuss what the next season will offer. Once designs have been selected and created, our designers and developers work closely with the factories on getting the product to look and fit just right. Design samples are then reviewed and approved by the Les Mills team and afterwards put into production. In a few months’ time, product hits the stores ready for the Les Mills community to wear with pride!
What are some trends we can expect to see in coming months?
From what we have recently observed on a global scale, people are feeling very nostalgic for the 90s at the moment. Can you blame them? It was a great decade! Contrasting silhouettes like crop tops and oversized cover-ups have found their way back on trend, but with less restrictions on who can wear what. More and more brands are offering unisex style clothing. It’s an exciting time for fashion because rules do not apply anymore. More and more people aren’t afraid to be authentic to themselves when it comes to their personal style.
Specifically, what can we expect from Reebok's designs in the next few months?
Autumn/Winter ‘18 has a fresh retro feel to it. The apparel will have our staple pieces with a few new classic 90s silhouettes like high-neck racers, a super cute crop, and an updated length to our basketball shorts.
Graphics will take on minimal aesthetic with a retro twist. For empowering verbiage, we are highlighting the instructor’s values and carry strong statements like “empower greatness” and “change our world” throughout the range.
Are there any rules you have to abide by in your designs or anything specific to Reebok?
Functionality, versatility, and style are some of the guidelines we set for ourselves as a brand.