Old Principles & New Challenges of Apparel Design (Ep.147)

Carl Moriarty, design director for Rapha cycling apparel, goes on Blister's GEAR:30 podcast to discuss the past and future design paradigms of apparel design and development, "breathable" vs "air-permeable" fabrics, DWRs and fluorocarbons, and more
Carl Moriarty on Baffin Island (photo by Kari Medig)

Our guest today is Carl Moriarty, who was previously the Design Director at Arc’teryx, and is currently the Design Director at Rapha.

We discuss Carl’s interesting background and career in the outdoor industry, and then we dive into several principles of technical apparel design; the pros and cons of various technologies; the challenge of balancing high performance with sustainability; and how being clear on these things can help us evaluate advertising claims about new pieces.


  • From New Zealand to Australia to Vancouver to London (2:28)
  • Waterproof / Breathable Apparel (10:32)
  • Breathable vs. Air Permeable Apparel (15:34)
  • DWRs & fluorocarbons: truth in advertising (24:07)
  • What We’re Celebrating (39:52)

2 comments on “Old Principles & New Challenges of Apparel Design (Ep.147)”

  1. Fascinating podcast. Carl nails the details. Thanks for putting together content that digs so deep into the outdoor gear industry.

  2. Great guest and great podcast. I’d have been interested to hear Carl’s thoughts on the necessary tradeoffs between technical performance, fashion and budget. Rapha especially seems highly design lead. Has he ever designed anything that they know would outperform but is just too different to current style trends?

    Keep up the great work!

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