By Shawna Healey
Dame Sarah Storey DBE, the most decorated female British Paralympian of all time, has teamed up with students from Manchester Fashion Institute‘s BA (Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandise course to create an ‘off duty’ leisurewear range for female British cyclists in her Storey Racing venture.
Storey Racing launched in 2017, and provides racing opportunities and mentoring to young women, regardless of age, performance level or activity level.
Dame Storey chose to partner with students from Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI) to provide the opportunity for students to work on a live project which they could then put on their CVs to help them stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.
Dame Storey is also a Manchester native and trains in MMU’s Crewe facility, which makes the collaboration a perfect match.
The MMU students involved in the project, Molly Neaery, Kirsten Pittaway, Jemima Kay, Sophie Rundell and Rebecca Franks, will be supplying Storey racing with garments suited to a range of requirements.
The group of student’s didn’t have much time to complete this extra-curricula project – taking over from last year’s students in October, they had under six months to complete the collection.
The women paired with Under Armour, an American sports and leisure merchandise and apparel company with headquarters in London, to produce the garments.
They had to undertake many tasks, including quality control, liaising with Under Armour and communicating with Dame Storey.
The range includes, long and short sleeve tops, jumpers, shorts, tracksuit bottoms and a coat, so the girls involved in Storey Racing have clothes suited for all weather off the track.
There is still significant inequality between men and women in sport, but particularly within cycling, which is one of the reasons Dame Storey has commissioned the collection. There is a lack of funding for young women in the sport, so creating a collection specifically for them not only gives them something to wear, but gives them a confidence boost, as they will be representing not only themselves, but Storey as well.
Dame Storey created the hashtag #BestVersionofYou to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves, and promote a healthy mindset.
Whilst the range isn’t available to the public yet, the women have their eyes set on the future, with plans to get the range into stores for people who want to support the Storey Racing girls, or just want some quality leisurewear!