Robyn Orrett with bicycle on street - GORE-TEX Roadshow

    Robyn Orrett


    Robyn is a product designer for the apparel design team at Rapha, specializing in functional garments and rigorously testing products as an avid cyclist.

    Follow Robyn on Instagram @robyn.arlo

    A Few Minutes with Robyn
    How would you describe yourself?

    Creative, empathetic, opinionated, and self-assured, but to others, I’d say I come across as quite chaotic, ha.

    Tell us a bit about your city’s climate. What are your three favorite spots - in the summer, in the winter (outside)? What is your favorite method of transportation and why? How do you prep for bad weather if you spend time outside?

    London’s climate is also chaotic! Unpredictable and inconsistent, but is not too extreme compared to other cities around the world. My favorite spot to go to in London during all seasons is Hampstead Heath. It’s the closest thing to countryside that you’ll get in London and is beautiful, versatile with loads of space, no matter what the weather is like. Getting around London is best by bike, or just walking if you have the time. But when you’re used to cycling around the city, you’ll realize how small London actually is and how it doesn’t take long to get anywhere at all. I have freedom with a bike (as long as it doesn’t get nicked). As a clothing designer, I am biased to say that prep for bad weather involves well-designed clothes and layering correctly. As the well-known saying goes ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes'... although rain definitely IS considered bad weather, there is always a way to make ourselves more comfortable when exposed in bad weather, and that is through the clothes we wear.


    What are you wearing today? Why are you wearing it, and did you have a particular weather scenario in mind when choosing this piece? What do you love most about your GORE-TEX product?

    I’m wearing my Rapha GORE-TEX Infinium Trail Jacket, which was designed for Mountain Bike riding but admittedly has been appropriated to be a city, non-MTB jacket. Unless I know it’s going to chuck it down that day, I feel like the Infinium technology is enough to get me through and protect me day to day with the standard, unpredictable British weather. It’s my favorite GORE-TEX piece I own as it’s the most versatile and a lot more comfortable than the fully waterproof jackets I own, especially for being active like walking about or riding my bike. Currently reliving my 20-year-old self, pink-loving era too which makes it a winner.


    Where and when did you get this... Do you have any special memories connected to this item? If you could go anywhere, where would you like to take this piece?

    I got it only a few months ago, and one memory pops to mind. I wore it (incorrectly) on a hike during a trail festival in Wales and got completely soaked, caught in the pouring rain. My fault, but that was when I needed a jacket with that black diamond guarantee, and not a jacket only intended for light rain. If I could go anywhere with this jacket, I’d love to try it out for the intended use case it was designed for, which is for mountain biking. If I could go anywhere though, I’m gonna say some MTB trails out in Canada because why would I choose to stay in the UK?


    Why do you think functional clothing has gotten more popular in recent years?

    People are busier, more active, and have more varied lifestyles, and those people want to feel comfortable and prepared. It’s a waste of time being unprepared and uncomfortable. Practicality has become more essential in fashion and dressing, and through brands offering more variety of practical clothing, the concept of practicality and functionality has become more accessible. Gone are the days where you had to compromise on either looking good and feeling comfortable.

    How do you define the term “comfort” in clothing, in particular technical apparel?

    Something that is comfortable should aid you and should make life easier. In my opinion, there is not a worse state than feeling uncomfortable, in any context! Kinda echoing my last point about feeling prepared, comfort in the context of technical apparel is about going out into any scenario or any condition and knowing that the clothing you’ve chosen to wear is part of a toolbox to somehow aid you and make that scenario better for you. When talking about clothes, it’s usually assumed to think something is comfortable when it’s a comfortable fit or physically comfortable against your body, but it’s interesting to think further about comfort as more than just a tangible idea and explore how more intangible concepts relating to the state of feeling comfortable can influence how garments are designed… I could probably go on forever about this concept, a nerdy moment for me, so I’ll leave my answer there.

    What are you looking for in the next six months and what challenges do you see that you’re excited about?

    This is probably not the right type of answer, but in relation to GORE-TEX garments, I’ve been desperately searching for the ultimate city rain shell for my own wardrobe. A long, stylish, relaxed silhouette that is easy to wear and layer pieces under but means my entire outfit is dry... Maybe like an extra-long, old-school fishtail parka. Any brand out there doing this or would let me design one!?

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