Behind every item is a history of techniques preserved over time, enriched by life experiences of the artisans who made it. It exists as a result of a long progression through many pairs of hands.
At Descente, the whole ethos of craftsmanship is sustained by a large number of people. From the marketing team’s initial concept, the creativity of the designers used to develop an initial image. That becomes the basis of the manufacturing process starting with more detailed design and creation of paper patterns. With sportswear, there are many things to consider: what kind of pattern to follow, how it should be sewn, and what the process of production should be. As it passes through the hands of specialists, it takes shape in each relevant stage of development, the transition of the original, flat image into a real, three dimensional product.
The production specifications stemming from the original flat image become a multi-page document, evolving into an intricate instruction manual setting out exactly what sort of product it will become, and the detail of the steps to be taken to achieve it.
This process is at the very heart of Descente’s craftsmanship ethos. It is here that the DNA of Descente becomes deeply imbedded in the product.
The rock upon which Descente’s ability to work through this concept-to-commercialization process stands is – as it has been since the company’s foundation – its solid core of superior technical staff. They are the ones who wrestle with the many problems and challenges that arise along the way to transforming the line drawings and concept images of the designers into the final, finished shape of the product. Tirelessly, often through repeated trial and error, they overcome the hurdles – no matter how high they are – and make the end result their own. It is their spirit of challenge and breakthrough that defines the success of Descente’s craftsmanship.
In bringing a design concept drawing to fruition as a finished product, the technicians have to pay close attention to a very wide range of issues. To ensure ultimate freedom of movement by the wearer, all of Descente’s paper patterns are created using a 3D design technique known as Motion 3D. These patterns are actually 3D garment simulations made of paper, rather than soft fabric, in order to ensure exact confirmation of the finer details. This method makes the verification process much more precise and ultimately results in superior comfort when actively worn.
At Descente’s production facility, all of the sewing is done by technicians with recognized national skill qualifications. These qualifications are only awarded to those who have not only passed difficult practical skill examinations, but have also demonstrated a strong theoretical appreciation of technical sewing. The factory where these skilled professionals have brought together all of their craftsmanship abilities also has a particular Descente atmosphere about it.
Most garment factories demand high productivity and efficiency of their workers, but they also tend to turn out products that have the simplest specifications and are easy to sew. For Descente’s true craftsmen, however, the comfort and functionality they create for Descente’s customers is uppermost in their minds. This means a very great deal of intricate and time-consuming sewing.
And so, at the end of a long process – passing from one craftsman’s hand to the next – a garment reaches the end of the production line. Because of this complex and demanding process, each and every garment incorporates a great deal of individual thought and care as it takes its final shape.
The path that leads to a customer taking delivery of a superior product is a long one that involves a large number of important steps – from meticulous planning, through rigorous verification and testing, and endless trial and error experimentation by absolute professionals. But the efforts of all these craftsmen are supported and appreciated by athletes and all who truly love sport.
In all of this, the true spirit of Descente can be found.
Our product development is based on a collaboration in technical fabric development and extensive research into the mechanics of peak body performance. Because of this, we are able to apply the technical and theoretical knowledge gained from this high performance field research to the development of sportswear that allows a much wider spectrum of sports that allow all to enjoy the quality of Descente.
Compared with everyday clothing, sportswear needs to function well in a variety of conditions, demanding higher levels of durability and quality. To ensure that our products meet the demands of our customers around the world, we have to stay constantly up-to-date with not only the quality standards that apply in Japan, where the research and development takes place, but also worldwide.
Descente's self-imposed quality criteria meet the highest global standards, due to our global product strategy - to ensure we can meet and exceed the expectations of customers everywhere. We are extremely conscious of the need to maintain the high standards our customers have come to expect from Descente by making sure that customer feedback is reflected in our product development.
To maintaining technical standards, great care is taken to ensure that material used in a product has passed the quality testing process. It has to undergo the same scrutiny when combined with another material. Similarly, a material's suitability for its intended use is always rigorously tested and confirmed.
Always conscious of our own high standards of design, quality and functionality, Descente attaches great importance to our customer's expectations, quality and performance. As a result, the production process reflects the fact that all staff adhere to the strict quality control criteria. We have ongoing internal review procedures in place to ensure that our rigorous testing procedures and standards are maintained as a responsible sportswear manufacturer. We feel very strongly that this is our duty to our customers.