Behind every new product is an idea that started small. In the research and development process of Anique’s unique line of athletic wear, much thought was put into how the shirt would set itself apart. The options for sunshirts and athletic wear are seemingly endless. How would Anique show its staying power and uniqueness?
The essential requirements were simple to fulfill but no sun shirts on the market seemed to be able to balance a lightweight, cooling feel with quality. A sunshirt must be UV-protective, offer moisture wicking capabilities, and coo]ling so the wearer can be covered in warm weather. But Anique founder Kelly Artz wanted to take the engineering process even deeper. She wanted them to made from strong enough material that the product would last--thin nylon fabrics and power mesh were not the answer.
Entering into the development process, Kelly worked alongside circular knitting machine engineers bringing her design to life. After more than a year of research and development, the first Anique shirts came out of production.
No detail was left untouched during the development and it all started with the bare fibers the shirt is constructed out of. The seamless weave design is woven out of a carefully
selected and manipulated yarn. This unique, imported type of cooling thread utilizes the physics of the yarn’s flat fibers to . allow the body heat to distribute faster, creating an overall cooling effect on the wearer. Additionally, the thread has antimicrobial capabilities, and because of the overall nature of the weave the entire shirt allows for more breathability and less build-up of body sweat. The yarn is also treated with additional UV protective qualities and was lab tested to reduce body temperature in the wearer.
The difference is easy to feel — gone are the days of a sticky, wet shirt soaked in sweat and smell. An athlete should notfeel dirty and disgusting simply because of a piece of clothing that cannot withstand hard work! Anique accomplishes this goal with ease with its moisture wicking properties and cooling thread.
The next phase of the engineering was addressing how the fibers would connect and still offer these cooling qualities. Intentionally utilizing wider weave patterns (thus eliminated the need for power mesh) in carefully placed ventilation areas were used to create a more flattering silhouette as well. An integral part of the Anique design is the seamless weave that allows for a higher degree of comfort and a more flattering fit for multiple body types. The weave also ensures that no itchy, uncomfortable seams irritate the skin.
Where many other shirts offer a more constricting design, Anique has integrated elements such as a heart-shaped bust, and princess-style style-lines along the sides to create a more flattering silhouette. The heart-shaped bust also enables the busty wearer to enjoy a less revealing look or gives shape to those with more athletic busts.
But it isn’t just about looks — these innovations are also intended to increase moisture wicking in areas that tend to collect more sweat. By placing thoughtful silhouette lines and reinforcing specific areas of the shirt, Kelly created a product that would flatter any shape while redirecting attention away from “problem” areas that tight sports bras or ill-fitting shirts often accentuate.
Textile design is a large undertaking. Through the process of developing Anique, Kelly has learned a lot about what goes into designing a quality product and what it means to listen to the consumer. In finding what was missing in the market, Kelly identified ways to set her line apart.
As women, at Anique we understand that clothing is not one size fits all, nor should it be. What clothing should do is protect its wearer from the elements without sacrificing fit or function. Anique believes that every woman should feel confident in the clothing they choose, and that clothing should offer comfort and style at the same time. This thought process is evident in each and every detail of the design, and we aren’t stopping there.