Our History and Philosophy
History of Design IQ
Founded by fashion sports designer; Guy Mathiot, Design IQ started out as a Sports Fashion Design consultancy in 1987. Designing mostly fashion sports clothing, from running apparel to ski-wear, and textile equipment such as tents, bags and travel luggage. With a strong background in fashion design we broadly focused upon markets where our styling skills and understanding of performance textile products could benefit our customers.
Our customers have been in a wide variety of active lifestyle markets such as Cycle / Climbing / Gym / Running / Ski / Urban wear / Travel / Soccer / Swimming / Tennis / Formula One teams / Camping, and Promotional goods for sports.
A selection of the brands we have worked for include outdoor specialist Berghaus and Vango, running brands New Balance and Asics, Swiss budget retailer Migross, Travel brand Rohan, Italian soccer brand Lotto and Uhlsport of Germany, swim specialist Speedo, Dutch Tennis brand Rucanoor, Motor sport teams British American Racing & Subaru World Rally Team, Atlanta based drinks brand Coca Cola, UK outdoor value brands such as Mountain Warehouse and Hi Tec; the list goes on…
We now specialise in designing bags and luggage…
When we were approached by Berghaus, and Lotto of Italy to design bags for them – and they sold very well, (even though we were not specialists in bags at the time)… we concluded the sales results said that we should concentrate even more on bag design!
Bags and luggage have often been treated as the second cousins to apparel – but we felt that there was a place in the market for fashionable and practical bags that are aesthetically pleasing, ergonomically structured and clearly focused upon users needs.
Over the years we become more and more active in the sourcing and product manufacturing alongside our design work, and became very experienced in bag design and the production processes.
Design IQ become a ‘turnkey’ supplier:
The fact that our designs seemed to sell well led us through personal contacts to working with retailers who wanted a finished product – not just design. We took a major decision in 2004 , and completed the transition of Design IQ from being a design consultancy to being a designer and supplier of finished product so we could offer our customers a more complete – “concept to design to sample development and delivery of finished goods” service.
So in recent years we have supplied retailers such at Tog 24, Mountain Warehouse, Sweaty Betty and Oswald Bailey complete designer ranges of bags and luggage to be sold under their labels.
In this age of Kick-starter and crowdfunded business launches we have also been in demand by entrepreneurs who need a collaborative consultant to help them bring their bright new ideas to market.
Today we have a highly diverse range of products in design and development for different kinds of clients worldwide.
Design philosophy of Design IQ
Design IQ is a practical and thoughtful design company. Guy Mathiot, the creative director of Design IQ says “I insist that every product that Design IQ develops is aesthetically pleasing, elegant or has a certain ‘flow’ to it’s appearance.”
“I am impatient with design that does not work – and am my own toughest critic when I see a design on paper or a sample that does not work well. Everyday we seek to be better at what we do and love to meet the end customers face to face and hear about their experience with our bags – that way we can evolve products season on season and create products we are proud of.”
“We subscribe broadly to the Ten principles of good design by Dieter Rams – basically we believe in aesthetically pleasing purposeful design.”
“We work hard with our suppliers and customers as a team to get the price ‘just right’ and consider the smallest details in light of both aesthetics and cost with the same attention to detail. The end objective is to make a product we are confident will sell, and represent the clients brand narrative.”
“With every new project we start from the perspective – “what do you what the customer to experience and benefit from your product?”. At the beginning of the design process we need to understand what your brand’s narrative will be – this is very important. We seek to learn about the clients channels to market, and what competitive advantage you seek long before we get involved in the styling.”
“Our objective is to understand the design objectives in the users terms – and then we can design with confidence that we hitting the commercial objectives while we ( have fun!) doing the design itself.”
“The design process we generally go through is explained under “How we Work” on this web site – but basically we seek to learn about the clients commercial objectives – what they want to supply the end customer with and how they want the designs to solve their problems. Only after we have thoroughly done our groundwork do we start designing.”
“We believe that a process of team work with the client produces the best results- so our methods of working are very “step by step” involving the client all along the way.”
“Once we have created a product for a client the best sight we ever see is a customer in the high street using one of our bags… and the best commercial result is a trade customer who places repeat orders because of good ‘sell through’.”osophy
Design IQ believe good business is “no surprises” business . You will find our style very direct and to the point. We do not hide anything and we set out to make sure you know what is involved at every stage so you can be confident you can afford the project from the start. We put everything in writing in advance and you can challenge us about any aspect.
Bottom line is we will be very clear about commercial issues, are open to discuss what suits you best, and will agree everything ‘up front’ with you so everything about what we are going to do – when we are doing it and what will be delivered is transparent in advance. We will treat you the way we would like to be treated ourselves.