cycle for survival equinox

Editor’s journal: a guide to “move” activewear into your store

by Stephen Garner

It was for the first time at MRket NY that we saw the debut of MOVE, a new section in Vanguard’s Gallery full of high-end active wear and performance tailoring brands, in partnership with upscale full-service health club Equinox.

During my time spent in the section I learned all about improving my nutrition, new movements to stay active and important regeneration steps I should take to improve my well-being by certified Equinox trainers. Did you know you aren’t supposed to use any electronics an hour before you want to go to bed? I know I sure didn’t.

I also sweated it out for a cause with our fashion director William Buckley, having raised over $300 for Cycle For Survival in our one- hour time slot (even our editor-in-chief Karen Alberg took a spin on the bike). By the way, you can still donate to support lifesaving research of rare cancers by clicking here.

While Equinox served as the core of the section, what made MOVE come to life was the opportunity for retailers to explore nine different brands that share the same ethos, while seeing how these brands could be merchandised into their stores through Equinox’s concept shop.

Fortunately, I had the chance to meet with all of the brands and want to share with you my top five brands that you should have on your radar.

BRANDBLACK

Brandblack is undoubtedly at the intersection of sports and fashion. With pieces like the Running Wind Shell jacket ($120 retail) and the Shanty French classic pant ($80 retail), the collection manages to marry the two categories together with sporty fashion staples that style-conscious guys would definitely wear. This LA-based performance lifestyle brand must be doing something right, as its key accounts reads like a who’s who in retail: American Rag, Bodega, Fred Segal, Equinox, Extra Butter NY, Matches Fashion, Need Supply, Oshmans Japan, Selfridges London, Storm Copenhagen and WISM Japan, just to name a few. Make sure to check them out.

RHONE

As Rhone CEO Nate Checketts walked me through the highlights of the fall/winter 2016 collection, he was also telling me all about the brand’s mantra: activewear built to stand up to the rigors of daily life, the demands of the gym and everything in between. Indeed, with a distribution that boasts accounts at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Equinox, the brand’s merchandise appeals to a wide variety of guys. Be sure to check out the Fuse tee ($72 retail), the Sequoia pullover ($98 retail) and the Bullitt short ($68 retail) to ensure a great product is landing in your customer’s hands.

EYSOM

The newest kid on the block, Eysom (which is a clever acronym for Exercise Your State of Mind), was founded just last year by industry veteran Stan Cheung. With a collection that retails anywhere from $65 to $155 for tops and $155 to $220 for bottoms, Cheung’s biggest challenge is acquiring that guy who wants quality activewear as well as the exclusivity of a new brand. “Every fabric used in the collection has the same level of performance as Lululemon and Nike,” Cheung says, “we just use more elevated fabrics for the quality of hand that I want to achieve and to set us apart from the pack.” Read more about Eysom in our February “Ones To Watch” column.

HPE CLOTHING

Nicholas Harris, human performance specialist, has been at the forefront of human science for over 15 years, having worked with multiple world champions from Formula 1, Olympians and Grand Slam-winning tennis players. In 2013, he applied the systems and science used to accelerate performance, increase recovery and reduces inflammation to create the truly innovative HPE Clothing. All HPE garments are engineered for performance and designed to withstand the rigors of intense training for all conditions. Key retailers include Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Barry’s Bootcamp, Equinox and Harrods London. Be sure to check out the Combat Compression tights ($130 retail) and the Formula 40 Ultimate polo ($87 retail).

MIZZEN + MAIN

Probably the most familiar brand here in the section, Mizzen + Main injects performance fabrics into traditional menswear garments. Starting in 2013 with a four-way stretch with anti-microbial woven shirt, the collection has evolved to offer chinos, polos, henleys, pullovers and even sweaters. This collection is so comfortable it has even attracted sports starts, including Houston Texans’ defensive end JJ Watt, who is the brand’s newest spokesperson. Meanwhile, Saks Fifth Avenue, Stanley Korshak, Country Club Prep, Norton Ditto and Man Outfitters have all become key retailers for the brand. Some highlights of the collection include the Lewis chino ($135 retail), the War Admiral polo ($80) and the Fairbanks herringbone sweater ($105 retail).