West London-based Iffley Road crafts running gear that’s “minimalist and understated,” said co-founder Claire Kent.

Writer: Carly Terwilliger

Move over, Abbey Road and Baker Street. A new thoroughfare in London is gaining traction, in the form of running apparel brand Iffley Road.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Claire Kent and Bill Byrne and named for the Oxfordshire track where the four-minute mile barrier was broken on May 6, 1954, Iffley Road creates running gear that looks and feels amazing, with hidden technical depths. The name was chosen because Kent herself began running while at Oxford.

“We met through running in the early ‘90s and run most days together,” Kent told SGB in an interview. “We both felt that the kit on the market was somewhat uninspiring. There was no classic British running wear that was both stylish and technical – despite Britain’s running heritage.”

To that end, Kent and Byrne set out to create subtle, classic running apparel that’s “designed always thinking about runners’ needs but at the same time minimalist and understated, with muted colors taken from nature,” said Kent. Iffley Road short-sleeve tops are made from a bespoke dri-release micro-blend, while winter tops and beanies incorporate an Italian 100-percent merino pique fabric. A leading Italian mill sources the fabric for the brand’s running shorts.

“Made in Europe” is part of Iffley Road’s identity, along with “Designed in Britain.” As Kent explained, “Both are important but particularly ‘Made in Europe,’ because we wanted to create kit had ‘no compromises’ in terms of quality and ability to last. Our factory is only a short flight away and the team there provide great design input rather than simply producing our garments.”

Photos courtesy Iffley Road