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Antonia Maybury, the managing director and founder of UK bicycle clothing brand, Water off a Duck’s Back, answers questions about her successful cycle clothing brand.
Antonia Maybury, the managing director and founder of UK bicycle clothing brand Water off a Duck’s Back, was faced with the problem of needing to be professionally presentable while commuting by bike. She decided that she needed to create garments that would allow professional men and women to commute by bike while still looking smart, from which her successful brand began.
What kind of products does Water off a Duck’s Back provide and who is your target audience?
Our products are cycle clothes that look like beautiful stylish coats and jackets but they are specifically designed for cycling. All of our clothes have hidden reflective panels which are revealed after dark so that the cyclist can be seen and is safe. The clothes are specifically tailored to cycling so are really comfortable to wear without compromising style. They are all waterproof, breathable, and machine washable.
How did Water off a Duck’s Back’s start?
I started the business up in 2010 because I wanted a smart cycle coat that I could wear into the office, to meetings and restaurants that had all of the elements that you would expect from a cycle coat (waterproof, breathable, reflective) without shouting ‘cyclist’ when you wore it. To begin with I simply made a coat for me to wear. Then I realized that I had a good business idea and from there Water off a Duck’s Back was born.
How has the brand evolved into what it is now?
Since our launch in 2010 we have grown and are now in over 40 shops in 3 countries. We are continuing to expand and are now looking for stockists in Canada and the US.
Have there been any surprises along the way?
There was an abundance of surprises. My background was in commercial property, not fashion. 2010 was a very steep learning curve as I learned all about fashion design and production and the overall running of a small business.
What is your favorite piece?
My favorite piece, at the moment (it changes through time!) is The Tessa, a new cycle jacket for spring 2014. It’s a cool short jacket that is perfect for spring and summer. We have used dark grey reflective trim on the hem and the cuffs as well as silver reflective on the underside of the collar. It looks fantastic and is available in bright red (also sold in black) which I love to wear.
What does the future hold for Water off A Duck’s Back?
We are looking to continue to grow and expand. I would love us to have stockists in Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. We are also looking to expand throughout Europe.
Are the products available in North America?
They are indeed. You can buy online at wateroffaducksback.co.uk and for those outside the EU there is no VAT on the sale (making a 20% saving).