THE SIMPLEST IDEAS ARE THE BEST:
It occured to us that if we couldn’t find top quality cycling gear, in proper manly man sizes, then probably, no one else could, so we took a bit of a punt and set up a sportswear brand which didn't just do 'usual sizes' but it also did bigger sizes.
WHAT'S IN A NAME:
By happy coincidence Fat Lad At The Back had been the nickname of founding Fat Lad and our Lad In Charge, Richard for around 20 years – He had other nick-names but none of those are publishable and anyway, in Yorkshire, Fat Lad At The Back is a term of endearment and we think a pretty cool name for a sportswear brand.
BIGGER AND BETTER:
We didn’t just want to size up our gear, we wanted to redesign traditional garments so that they would properly fit and flatter the new ‘average’ size of cyclist. It took months to track down a manufacturer prepared to make the larger sizes and pattern changes we required and we finally found a superb family run company in Italy who had been making sportswear for 35 years and who understood that we wanted cyclewear which didn’t make the wearer look like a shrink wrapped chicken.
The Fat Lad brand was created for Mr Averages, MAMIL’s with a 44” chest and a 38” waist but it quickly became apparent that there were bigger cyclists who needed something to wear too, so we introduced larger sizes. More and more Lads said to us, “as soon as I read it, I knew you were talking to me!” and a community started growing. The lads started sending us photos of themselves wearing their FLAB jersey’s and having fun on their bikes and posting funny and supportive comments on social media.
Then we met Geoff, at 23 stone he had already shed 15 stone, but our largest jersey didn’t go anywhere near him. Geoff’s story touched and inspired us, so we designed the Spare Tyre range, a collection specifically tailored for Geoff shape and all the other lads like him.
HERE COME THE LASSES:
In no time, the lasses were saying “what about us?” so we began work on our women’s range. It has to be said it was a touchy subject with the lasses – some loved Fat Lass, some hated it, but on the basis that we were sure you didn’t have to be a virgin to travel Virgin, we persevered and designed a lasses range which took into consideration women’s curves and women’s comfort.
We have extended the range to include triathlon wear and running wear and will continue to bring new colours, designs and garments into the collections.
Core to our success have been our customers. They help us develop our product range, they fill our social media with comments and hilarious one-liners and great photos, they take part in our photoshoots, they come and chat to us at events and they generally keep us on the right path.
FLAB continues to grow (no pun intended) and in a short space of time it has become a people brands. Key to that is encouraging everyone to have fun and enjoy their sport. We don’t differentiate between lads and lasses, skinny and fat, beginners and pro’s. The only thing that matters is we’re all part of the bulge.
Sticking with the simple theme, our values are pretty simple. We're serious about our sportswear but we don't take ourselves too seriously. We make top quality sportswear that does what it says on the jersey.
We are the Fat Lads and Lasses at the back, Join us and be proud.