Q&A w/ Christine Hychalk


Christine Hychalk has been the designer of Fidelity Sportswear for the last 5 years. She is an extraordinary women who centers her life around the cultivation of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In addition to eating healthy, working out and caring for her two sons, she has won numerous awards in WBFF (World Beauty Fitness & Fashion) & OCB (Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders) fitness competitions, specializing in bikini masters and bikini open class. Not to mention she is a real deal biker babe. For the sake of time, we only had the opportunity to speak to Christine about a fraction of her talents. Read more about her work for Fidelity Sportswear below.

How long have you been designing for Fidelity Sportswear? Describe the basic concept for your pieces.
I have been with Fidelity 5 years. I like to design using classic silhouettes and find keeping it simple works well for us, with small details for interest.Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you fall into outerwear design?
I’m somewhat dating myself but I have been in the fashion industry for 25 years. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a Fashion Design degree and a Production Management degree, with an internship at Cynthia Rowley. After college I moved up to Massachusetts where I was hired by a well known Outerwear company in Boston in 1994. There I had an excellent mentoring in the entire garment cycle. In 2008 their operations shifted and so began my journey with Fidelity Sportswear.

Your work stands out for its subtle details. Can you speak more about this?
It works best for our customer. For example, I like to take our classic Pea Coat and mix it up a little by adding biker inspiration… The Baseball Jacket did well for us but if you look up military coats online you can see that is what inspired the garment and we were able to work it in with that trend.

You have really come a long way with the women’s collection. What are your goals for 2015 and what have been the challenges along the way?
The ladies’ collection has definitely been a challenge. We have so many markets that we sell. Some prefer tight fitted silhouettes, some looser boxier fits. This year we are trying to really create more fit options for our consumer. In addition, we are going for a very classic look that is more appealing to a woman 20′ – 40’s.

What Fidelity garments do you think are the most successful and why?
The Pea Coat. It’s classic, part of our history and the consumer is familiar with the styling.

What Fidelity garments do you think are the least successful and why?
The Duffle Coat. When it is a trend, we do well, but there are enough companies out there that have a Duffle Coat as their core style. The Mantle (a men’s cape) is another possibility. It was a great conversation piece, but we only sold a handful of them. It did, however, make it onto a blog where we received a very flattering review.

Where do you go for inspiration for a new collection? What is catching your eye for 2015?
I like to think about our roots and find ways to keep the brand looking iconic. To keep it current, I like trend following whether it be shopping in NY, looking to Japan or what’s in the news, listening to our buyers. Let me just say for next season our clients will be very happy with the collection. We are making some changes to the labeling with a hint of 80’s-90’s iconic Americana for inspiration.

What changes would you like to make to the collection and where do you see it going in the next few years?
If I had my wish, I would love to add some sportswear pieces into the line. The Fidelity outerwear collection will continue to be a recognized, international brand with a great history. The next few years look promising with more effort being put into marketing and distribution of the brand.

Many thanks to Christine Hychalk! Be sure to view our A/W’14 lookbook with her most recent designs.