Behind the scenes of design at Racer

Go backstage at the Racer workshop. Discover the design of our flagship products and meet our team.

It is the first step in the chain of product creation, the design of models. In our workshops located in the heart of Provence, the design of a product takes time. Our teams work for more than six months to imagine, create and manufacture a new model. At RACER, your satisfaction is at the heart of our concerns. Since 1927, we have been manufacturing your gloves with always the same requirement: comfort, elegance and quality.
Today, Elisabeth Le Dez, our R&D engineer and designer, reveals her job, the first step in the design of our products.

INTERVIEW OF Elisabeth LE DEZ

Introduce yourself, what is your role in RACER?

With an engineering background in Ergonomics, Design and Mechanical Engineering, I joined the Racer team more than 2 years ago. My role consists in a global way in designing user-centered products. In other words, I develop products adapted to the different sports disciplines covered by Racer. This consideration of the user in all his body movements is essential for the realization of ergonomic and technical products.

How is the idea of a new product born?

The birth of a new product is always a very rich and intense moment. I pay very special attention to the feedback from our customers and athletes. They give me essential elements for the realization of functional products adapted to all practices. Moreover, I consider that each universe enriches the others. That's why we organize many meetings with all the product managers: riding, cycling, motorcycle and skiing.

Finally, it is necessary for me to nourish my creativity. This involves formal and stylistic research inspired by all imaginable worlds: automotive, architecture, fashion, fauna and flora, graphics, art, films, ... and many others!

Could you tell us what are the stages of product design?

Once the first idea becomes clear in my head, I try to make this thought more concrete by making drawings. I like the spontaneous side of drawing on paper, it even allows me to let myself be surprised and move from one idea to another until I feel that one concept is better than the others.

This one is then drawn on 2d software for textile elements, and when the manufacturing process requires it, I use 3d modeling software.

The transition from paper drawing, with all its sensitivity and feeling, to a digital version (2d or 3d) is always a delicate transition because it is a question of rendering the same intensity of the sketch through the computer, which has the unfortunate tendency to rationalize and simplify shapes.

But it is thanks to these digital elements that we can establish the patterns and other technical supports essential to communicate with our seamstress who plays a key role in the realization of the prototypes. They guarantee the verification of the last details of a product since we test them all in real conditions. It is sometimes necessary to go through several prototypes to offer our customers the most suitable one for their sport.

What is the flagship product of Racer for you?

The Racer product that is especially close to my heart is the Flexair knee brace. It is the result of a long upstream ergonomic study and intense downstream functional research. Many athletes had to be questioned in order to guarantee the best comfort and lightness.

The Flexair is both discreet and remarkable, since it can be forgotten by the wearer, but it has a very Iron Man look that I particularly like. Comfortable, functional and ultra stylish, I love it!

Credits : Elisabeth LE DEZ