Read more from the Oct Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Party at Daybreak with DJ Eloy and State Mgmt’s Coco Yu in mag.
Read more from the Oct Issue of Athleisure Mag and see How to Dress for Tropical Getaways in mag.
Many people spend a good portion of their day walking around in athletic shoes. Some of them wear them while exercising or competing in different sports. Others wear them while going to school or work every day.
There are many different athletic shoe companies on the market today. All of them offer different colors, styles and features for just about any need or want. New products are always coming out.
You can read more online about designer sneakers for women and other types of athletic shoes. You can read reviews and pricing information online at company websites. You can also examine and try out different kinds of athletic shoes at your local shoe store or specialty retailer.
Choosing the right kind of athletic shoe can be confusing. There are so many options to choose from. With that in mind, here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Know your foot size. You should have your feet measured at least once a year. Shoe sizes don't always correspond to foot sizes, so focus on buying a comfortable pair of athletic shoes that actually fits your feet well. If you're shopping in person, it's best to try on shoes at the end of the day, because feet tend to swell during the day.
2. Understand what you're paying for. Athletic shoes can range in price from around ten dollars to several hundred dollars or more. Because of this, make sure you know what shoe features help justify the price tag. For certain shoes, you're paying a lot more just because of the name brand. There may be other similar shoes on the market that work just as well and have everything that you need, but cost a lot less. Make sure the quality, durability and the features are worth the price you're paying.
3. Learn about the extra features. Different features are key selling points for many athletic shoe models. Shoes that have gel inserts provide good shock absorption. There are shoes that offer varied amounts of cushioning depending on the user's needs. There are also athletic shoe models that come in wide widths or come with built-in pumps that allow the user to customize their fit.
4. Consider what the shoes are going to be used for. Many models of athletic shoes are created specifically for different activities. There are basketball shoes, tennis shoes, cross-trainers, trail running shoes, and walking shoes, for example. That's why you need to think about what your new shoes will primarily be used for. This will help you narrow down the selections a bit.
5. Know when it's time to replace your shoes. A good pair of athletic shoes can usually last several hundred miles, but don't base your decision solely on that statistic. Look at them closely. If your shoes are losing cushioning in the heel or toes, the soles are starting to lose traction or crack, or if they just don't feel comfortable anymore, then it's time to replace them.
These are just a few things to contemplate when buying your next pair of athletic shoes. Because there are so many possibilities, it's worth the time and effort to research them before you buy. You want a set of shoes that are stylish and functional. You want them to last for many miles as you take on more future challenges.
We had the pleasure to sit with CNBC anchor, Melissa Lee for this month's cover story and shoot in NYC. We were excited to discuss all things journalism, financial news and markets, and special projects. It's incredible how she fits that into her daily routine, work- out habits and style on set and off.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you first learn you wanted to be a journalist and broadcaster growing up?
MELISSA LEE: I’ve known since middle school! I started developing an interest in the school paper and I even anchored the morning newscast, which was a daily 5 minute, closed-circuit broadcast in the morning. The station was called GNPS TV News, which stood for Great Neck Public Schools Television (I’m sure there is an incriminating take of me out there somewhere.) One day my mom said to me, “You could be like Kaity Tong someday” (Kaity was a star WABC anchor at the time.) That pretty much sealed the deal! Not to say I didn’t flirt with other possible careers -- I had a strong interest in medicine and spent summers doing lab work on colorectal cancer and Lyme disease. But I always came back to journalism!
AM: Our internet game is pretty strong, and we discovered your mother was once a sportswear designer… so we guess athleisure is sort of in your genes?
ML: My mom was a designer, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She stopped designing before I was born, but she made clothes and Halloween costumes for my older sister, younger brother and me. We also made a lot of clothes for dolls and stuffed animals! So I started learning about and appreciating, clothing and fashion at an early age.
AM: What was it like going to Harvard, what pro tips did you develop working at 'The Crimson' that you still use today? What was it like working on the online-side then as well?
ML: The Crimson was like a full-time job and it was a great training ground for the basics of journalism. In fact, many of its alumni are working journalists at The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Dow Jones and many other organizations. There were so many lessons I learned there- it really was sink or swim! But a couple of lessons stand out: 1. How to cold call to find a source or information. I think this skill gets lost in the age of Twitter and email, but picking up the phone and calling people in a particular dorm or on a particular team, getting them not to hang up the phone on you, and coaxing them to actually tell you information is a skill. 2. Networks are important. The Crimson alumni network helped me find internships. Through those internships, I was introduced to professional organizations such as the Asian American Journalists Association. Leveraging the network available to you, and then growing that network, is key.
AM: Hosting multiple shows definitely seems challenging! What is a typical day like for you?
ML: Hosting multiple shows definitely requires a strict daily routine! I wake up at around 6am, have breakfast, read emails and prep for what I think will be the big stories of the day will be. Then I hit the gym and get into the studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ by 10:30am for hair and makeup. After that, it’s a race until the end of the day: eat lunch (yes, I have a set time for lunch, which I eat at my desk while prepping for the show), on air for Power Lunch from 1-3pm, brainstorm with the Fast Money team on what the show's lead should be, and leave for the Nasdaq Marketsite by 3:30pm to be on the air at 5pm.
AM: What some differences between hosting “Fast Money,” and co-hosting “Power Lunch.” Do you have a favorite?
ML: The two shows have two completely
different personalitites, so hosting both allows me to flex my different anchor “muscles.” Power Lunch is an ensemble cast, so I have two co-anchors and our task is to provide analysis on stocks in the news, investing, and various political stories and
how they might impact one’s portfolio.
On Fast Money, I am the solo anchor so I have more impact on what stories we tell and how we tell them. FM features a panel of four professional traders/money managers and it was created to be the post-game, after-market show, where we dissect interesting stock moves and market news with a look to the next trading day. It’s also almost entirely unscripted -- from the conversations we have to the interviews, so you have to be on your toes! You never know what anyone will say!
Making me choose a favorite show is like asking which of your children you love more. But, with that said, Fast Money will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first
permanent anchor job, and I’ve been hosting it for about 9 years, so I feel I have really helped evolve the show into what it is today.
AM: For our business and entrepreneur audience, what are some of your best practices in preparing for things that you know will be variable and change in real time?
ML: My philosophy is to build your base of knowledge. Read everything that you think is interesting, or might be of interest in the future. So for instance, of all the preparation I do ahead of any team events one show, I would say I might not use 70% of the information. But that 70% goes in the knowledge bank so when the unexpected happens, I can recall that interesting story about consumer credit trends or the analysis of drug price increases this year.
AM: How long can you go without being connected to Wi-Fi? Do you unplug at certain times of day?
ML: I try to protect certain times of day by unplugging: while I’m working out, meals or time with friends and family. I try not to respond to any work-related emails on weekends, and on vacation, I try to check emails only a couple times a day. (Notice I say “try”- it’s an ongoing battle!)
AM: What sets financial news coverage and analysis apart from reporting on other industries?
ML: I think the challenge for financial news journalists is making the numbers personal. Many people are put off by the numbers in business news - companies’ earnings report, economic data, stock prices, interest rates etc.
They may think it’s hard to understand. But all of that information tells a story. How many widgets is a company selling and is the company selling widgets at a faster pace than last year? How does an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve impact what a consumer pays on her credit card debt?
We have a tremendous responsibility because the stories we report impact people’s money- people’s 401k plans, how they save for college, what stocks they buy. And building financial freedom and wealth can have profound effects for a family. No other area in journalism has that impact.
AM: What do you envision your audience is?
ML: I know CEOs, bankers, traders, portfolio managers all watch us. But I like to think that we are also accessible to the average at-home investor, so I often think that I am talking to my mom!
AM: What are some of your favorite guest interviews you've done thus far?
ML: Many of my favorite interviews were part of documentary or longform reporting. I did a story about mine safety and interviewed a third-generation coal miner (thousands of feet underground, in the mine) named Shag Jr. who chose to be a coal miner despite the risks. The reason was simple: you can earn a six-figure salary with a high school degree. It was the best job available to him, and he viewed his job as a service. Who makes sure the lights go on when you flip the switch? Coalminers, he said.
I also interviewed Cyril Rhamaphosa, now the president of South Africa, during my Coca Cola documentary. His investment firm, Shanduka, owned the only black-owned bottler during Apartheid, a time when Coke chose to stay with the country and take a side. Ramaposa recounted stories of marching with Nelson Mandela in the fight for equal rights. I felt like I was taking a trip back in history.
AM: How did you get involved traveling the world shooting documentaries? Are there any memorable surprise moments that happened during production?
ML: I have pitched almost every documentary I have done, so it was as simple as having a good idea.
Traveling abroad always has its surprises. During a trip to Capetown for my Bitcoin documentary, my producer and I traveled to a township called Khayelitsha, which is a very poor area where people live in tin homes and barely have electricity. Armed security accompanied us. The kids of the township were very excited to see a camera crew and crowded around us. But, one young boy pulled a gun on my producer! (I was shooting something on camera while this happened and found out about this afterwards.) Fortunately it was a toy gun! But given the stories we had read about the crime and given what our security detail told us about the area, that practically gave her a heart attack!
AM: Tell us about your latest documentary, "Bitcoin: Boom or Bust." Are you bullish on blockchain technology and/or cryptocurrency?
ML: The documentary explores the elusive and controversial world of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that sparked a global frenzy. We tried to answer a couple of key questions: Is it the future of finance, a bubble or worse? I think the technology behind cryptocurrencies,
blockchain, has real promise. Corporate America is starting to use blockchain to track provenance of art and property, or improve efficiencies in their supply chain. I believe there are places in the world where cryptocurrencies will have a role-- places where people go unbanked, where there is tremendous volatility in their local currencies. But I think there are still questions as to whether crypto is a good investment.
I’ve done a number of documentaries on CNBC and what was so exciting about this one is the topic- I’ve never reported on a topic that is so divisive. Bitcoin is either a total bubble or the
future of money. And the doc looks and feels very different from more traditional documentaries. Check it out on CNBC, Hulu and Yahoo.
AM: Do you have some suggestions for younger journalists in financial news, and generally?
ML: Don’t be wedded to any particular media. In other words, make sure you love reporting and telling your story, whether it’s online, in print or on TV. And for those who are interested specifically in television, remember your career is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not how fast you can get on air- it’s how long you can stay on air.
AM: With such a busy schedule, how do you take time for yourself?
ML: It’s really important to me to protect personal time. In this day and age, you are accessible all the time. And that tends to mean you are in “work mode” to varying degrees all the time. That is not healthy. So unplugging at certain times of day and making sure you’re doing something for yourself every day (that’s anything from going to the gym, to taking a walk, to calling a friend) is important.
AM: How would you define your style on air versus when you’re out and about running errands?
ML: On air, I like to be on the edgier spectrum of business attire - an occasional leather jacket, a pants suit with a layered necklace. I also like to adjust my hair and makeup according to my wardrobe. But when I’m just running errands it’s definitely jeans, t-shirt and maybe a leather jacket. And I am a fan of athleisure when I’m just going to the grocery or shopping! I also try to give my skin and hair a rest on weekends, so very little to no makeup and a ponytail!
AM: When it comes to working out, what is your fitness method of choice?
ML: My favorite cardio is rowing, but I try to use a couple machines a week to mix it up. I also like to alternate long, steady cardio with HIIT. And weights are a must!
AM: What would we find on your playlist?
ML: Totally eclectic with an alternative bent: Muse, Imagine Dragons, Lana del Rey, Elle King, Beyoncé, Bebe Rexha.
AM: What philanthropic efforts are you engaged in to give back to others/the community?
ML: It’s important to me to stay engaged with Harvard. I’ve been an alumni interviewer for four years now, interviewing applicants in the NYC area. It’s inspiring to meet so many amazing students and even more humbling to find that even some of the most qualified
kids don’t get accepted. I think of it as my way of helping shape the future of an institution I love.
Our Sept Cover shoot was shot at 865 United Nations Plaza #3C courtesy of Louise Phillips Forbes of Halstead Property.
We just released the Sept Issue of Athleisure Mag with our celeb cover, CNBC anchor, Melissa Lee. We talked with her about when she knew she wanted to be a journalist, reporting on finance news, how she approaches hosting 2 shows and how she takes time for herself. In this issue, we also chatted with Boy II Men’s Nathan Morris about his new show, Hit Properties with Nathan Morris on the DIY Network, out next month! We also recap NYFW SS19 and we talked with Dr Rebecca Robbins on how to prepare for your nightly rest as well as Daylight Savings Time.
Read the Sep 2018 Issue here.
This month's cover is a 2 X Team USA Olympian, Dagmara Wozniak who won a Bronze Medal in fencing as a member of the Women's Saber team. With the the Olympics a little less than 2 years away, Athleisure Mag is excited to turn our attention to the upcoming summer Olympic games that will take place in Tokyo 2020. Our shoot took place at the Manhattan Fencing Center where she has trained with her coach since 2005, and we talked about her goals for the upcoming season, what drew her to the sport and the importance of bringing positivity to the game.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When we met you at your shoot, you made a great analogy to what fencing is - can you share with our readers?
DAGMARA WOZNIAK: I look at fencing as a sport with three different weapons (Epee, Foil and Saber) and you specialize in one because the tactics and training is so different in an of itself. I compare Saber, the one that I do as the Sprinter of the sport. If you look at the sport like Track & Field you have sprinting, hurdles and marathon, it’s completely different. You may have some athletes that do both, but you’re working on specific techniques for the sport itself which is very similar to fencing. People think it’s one sport and that we just change weapons, but it’s like 3 mini sports within the sport. It differs by target area, differs by tactic, and differs by training, so it’s very specific and different then what most people think.
AM: What drew you to fencing initially and then the discipline of saber?
DW: I actually started off with the original weapon which is Epee when I came first. My dad just took me to a fencing class one day and it was at the Polish Cultural Foundation and I think it was more to keep me busy and to help me practice the language as my coach was Polish. It was an after school program kind of thing and I did it once or twice a week and I just started falling in love with it.
AM: What did you like about it after you started playing in the sport?
DW: I liked how different it was. People laugh, but I was definitely a tomboy, still am and beatng up kids and not getting in trouble was great. I did karate before that and I had a lot of fun with that. I had friends who were in it with me and when I had to go up to get a new belt or whatever, they would say, “don’t hit me too hard.” I was very ready to go all out. There is something on the line, “sorry we’re not friends right now.” The whole aspect of combat sport is just very appealing to me and I liked it a lot and it’s challenging. One of the things that I have grown to like about it is that there’s a lot of unpredictable factors. You might know what someone generally does and let’s say they are having a bad day or they’re fencing much better than they have ever done before, you need to be able to adjust to things like that. So the fact that you’re not sure how someone is going to necessarily compete, you can make a plan, but that’s not what’s going on and you need to adjust or you are going to lose.
So not to take away from swimming or track and field, but the ground is never going to move from you, the water is never going to dip and become a crazy wave. It’s the fact that it’s really a battle against you and yourself. And fencing and combat sports is a battle against you and yourself and you have the variable of someone else who also has a brain and can adapt to situations and make mistakes as well and capitalize on your mistakes. I like the cliché way of explaining fencing that it’s a physical chess game and it’s spot on. I love that about it.
AM: So what was the moment that you went from enjoying this personally to realizing that you could compete professionally and go to an Olympic stage?
DW: It came very late for me I guess! It was only when I qualified as an alternate for the Beijing Olympics that I even thought about it because people said that that would be my next step to go to the games and I would say, “you’re crazy.” But in the end it was like, if I wasn’t gunning for the Olympics then why the hell was I training so hard? For me it was the whole idea of wanting to be the best and doing something that I was good at and I loved it. I was nev-er upset or felt forced that I was going to practice – I was excited. The losses were so personal for me that I would cry for hours and keep telling my mom that it would never happen again, but even though it did – I was just driven to it without having a goal. I just wanted to win and that was the first goal. But then when I was graduating highschool, I had some teachers that were like, “you know what’s next – the Olympics,” and I was like, “no my God, don’t push it.” But shortly after that, my coach was like you should start thinking about it and I thought, “wow I didn’t know that this was possible for me.” Once my coach and I kind of made a plan, it was up from there.
AM: Your first trip to the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 was as an alternate, how did that affect 2012?
DW: I qualified in 2008 as a replacement athlete and the only way that I was able to compete is if someone from my team got injured. That didn’t happen and they got the Bronze medal and because I never set foot on the actual playing field, I went home with nothing. I remember a lot of people were saying that that was as far as where I could potentially reach and what was I expecting and why I was so upset. They kind of wrote me off from ever being an actual Olympic athlete and I told my mom, "I was there for the experience and I saw how it was and these next 4 years it will be different.” I made sure that I made a plan that was going to get me there as an actual competing athlete. So qualifying for the team for the Olympic Games in London 2012 was a highlight and so much more meaningful because of the people that said I couldn’t do it.
AM: We know that you have a 4 year gap between each Summer Games. There are a number of championships and tournaments that you do in a given period of time to get onto the team for your sport (the process is different for each of the Olympic sports). What is that snapshot like for you in terms of qualifying when you are getting into the next Team USA as we’re looking for The Road to Tokyo 2020?
DW: Right so there are many sports that just went to one competition closer to Rio and it could be as soon as just a month out! But that’s just what they are used to and it’s a completely different stressful situation. For us, it’s a year long process so when we start the actual Olympic year, we go to about 10 International competitions where we compete and we get points based off of that. Because now, all the team events are allotted under one big medal, before in 2012, our team event was rotated out so the IOC didn’t allow all of the events to compete at the Olympics so 2 of the team events – all of the individual team events were there so that’s 6 events and then we only received 4 team events the - relay. So in 2012, Women’s Saber got rotated out and we only got to qualify individually. In 2016, we had the opportunity to qualify as a team and we did. It’s a different qualification process, but now we have team events for everyone which is amazing and everyone has the opportunity which is more chances for Team USA as we’re doing well right now and we can bring more medals home, and it’s great for fencing, the sport and the development.
The qualification process is different. We go to competitions, we get points based on how high we rank and it’s the first 4 teams that qualify automatically and then to finish the bracket it goes by zone!
AM: So your Olympic year would start summer of next year. But yet, you are still doing championships and competitions leading into that.
AM: You’re having a well deserved rest.
DW: Right. Our season typically started in Oct and then we have 1 competition every month. It was ok, but then I felt like it never gave me an opportunity to necessarily peak. Now, they're giving us quite a bit of an off season which is going to let us have more competitions condensed together, but right now there is an opportunity to kind of change the training style, to change the schedule and to be able to capitalize physically and mentally and then just to ride out how much work you have put in through the season. You won't feel the need to play catch up and your peeked and you're ready to go.
AM: What is your training like when you’re preparing for a typical tournament, an Olympic one and then just maintaining in general?
DW: I don’t necessarily treat the Olympics any different then any other competition. I just think that you can’t treat it differently because of the environment because that is when you are going to put the pressure on yourself and I know that there are differences as there are more people, there’s more press and more points – everything that’s for sure. That’s why going into the Olympics for London 2012 which was my first time competing, I told myself that I wasn’t going to do a lot of interviews because we don’t usually get a lot of that stuff usually during the competition and I know that that’s at least how I work as an athlete as I would get distracted by trying to give everyone a story and all of that. I felt that if the result was going to be there, then people would want to talk to me after.
I focus on preparing just like I would for any other competition. I know that a lot of people function better when they are exposed to something for the first time. I’m not going to say beginner’s luck as they go in with no expectation and for me, it’s the opposite I put more expectation in when I am doing something for the first time. Now if I qualify for Tokyo which I am very confident that I will and that it’s going that way.
I feel more confident the more times that I have been on the Olympic stage. Through loss, through heartbreak, through everything all together it’s learning experiences that make me stronger.
AM: What does your workout look like?
DW: Right now, I’m not fencing so I am taking a small break from that, but I am working with my trainer on capitalizing on endurance. Fencing during competitions lasts throughout a whole day. There is a lot of stop and go! You compete and sit around for an hour and a half, then compete and sit around for another hour and a half. Not necessarily until you get into the finals you win and keep going and you have about an hour and a half and maybe even 2-3 hours before the next match. So it gets tedious in terms of keeping up the endurance, the stamina and the focus. What we have been doing right now as you can’t really simulate an actual competition, but we have been training really early in the morning, I have been doing a lot of crossfit lately and catering more to fencing specific stuff. I’m not going really crazy with the weight, but focusing on building short muscle and fast push muscle – going down and up. I am driving really fast up and again focusing specifically on what will benefit me and my sport, but at the same time, having the intensity of the class and the timer. The repetitiveness is all there and that benefits me. I like to change things up when I feel that I am pushing myself a little too hard. There was a good portion of the time that I was doing pilates with the reformer and some mat work. What’s great about fencing and in fitness in general. Your body is always changing whether you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, a women, a male, come down with a sickness etc – there are so many things that are constantly changing. I never really like to stick to something all the time and kind of plateau. Keeping the body not in a rhythm in terms of a workout which is why I like crossfit so much as there is always a way to challenge yourself. It’s not more weight in terms of taking more time if there is a 12 minute gap, so maybe you get less rounds in or you put less weight and you gauge how many rounds you get in and next time you can keep the same weight and just try to push how many things you can do to fit in the time frame.
I like pilates, I was spinning for awhile but it’s about more sport specific stuff. Making sure that the right muscles are firing.
AM: What are three go to foods for the gym and what are your splurges?
DW: You say splurge foods and it’s the first thing that comes to my mind! I love donuts – I have loved donuts forever and if you give me one, I can’t resist. The homemade ones are amazing. I love how pretty they are and how creative they can be. I’m not a fan of cupcakes or cake, but donuts – yes donuts are my thing. It’s first, second and third. I can’t choose ha!
My go-to in terms of what I’m eating when training. I like protein shakes. They are something that I definitely include post workout as a meal replacement. There is a company I like, Athletic Greens and they are safe for athletes to use and they have dehydrated greens that you can throw in your smoothie as well or in your shakes and it’s easy on your stomach and doesn’t have a metallic aftertaste like most of them do. I’m all about safety and a clean sport. Having a trusted product like that makes me feel great and since I started using that which has been awhile now – maybe a year. I have really decreased how much coffee I have been drinking. I love the taste of coffee but sometimes I forget when the last time was that I had it because the proteins and the greens give me so much energy. Thats what I'm about.
Clean food yes – I think I’d have to say that I am a Paleo/Ketogenic diet – obviously not Keto like what people are doing out there limiting carbs etc., as I think after what I have read a lot about as athletes, it's not the best things especially for women. But keeping high protein and high fat and carbs is something that I have found has given me the optimal training and recovery.
AM: We enjoyed shooting at the Manhattan Fencing Center. How long have you trained here and do you have responsibilities there as well?
DW: There aren’t necessarily responsibilities, but I do think of it as a helping hand in terms of talking to my coach about athletes and my opinion. I am more of a mentor. My fencing gym is my second home. I’m a big stickler for organization, cleaning up after or organizing the lost and found and even small tasks. I love to be respectful of it and take care of it. I hope that others do the same.
I’ve been with my coach since 2005!
AM: Beyond your sport, what else are you interested in doing?
DW: For me, I feel like I have definitely gotten involved in and interested in clean eating and watching documentaries about processed items that are in our foods and how we are slowly killing ourselves with the items that are in our foods. Like a bunch of fries that are really filling is $1 but healthy vegetables for a little snack pack is $6 or $7. A family that can’t really afford too much will go for McDonald’s and fast food stuff. It breaks my heart that there are all these monsters in our country that are destroying food. So healthy food has been a huge working area for me. I love learning about it and I am very intuitive with my body. The second I eat something, I can feel how upset my stomach is and I know it's not good for me. It sucks because donuts have a lot of sugar, not just in terms of weight gain, but it upsets my gut bacteria and I am in tons of pain. Just seeing that I want to spread the knowledge because even healthy peanut butters are actually not healthy. People think that they always have to work out and work out to do so 2-3 times a day to get to whatever your fitness is, but there is so much that can be achieved through diet and what you put into your body. I’m passionate about that.
In terms of athlete preparation, I would like to be a strength and conditioning coach myself and it has become dear to me. Not necessarily just for fencing. I think being able to compete at the highest level mentally and physically – I may not always do it, but being there and known what it takes, and having that knowledge because of my experience, I would like to take that step and prepare those athletes that want to take it to this level and if not higher.
AM: You travel a lot. What have been your favorite places?
DW: I get that question a lot and people are always surprised at my answer. I have fallen in love with Belgium. I’ve never said that I could retire and live in Europe but it’s the first place I went to when I was like, I could see myself living there in terms of the food, the culture, the people are so nice and the architecture is beautiful. There’s a coffee shop and then there is a castle around the corner, you don’t get that in the United States. It’s very interesting to see that kind of setup. This past summer, we had a training camp in Japan before our World Championships in China and I have to say that Japan is such a cool place. The people are so cool and it's just a different world over there! I enjoyed my time in Japan and you know, my heart is in Cuba and I love that place and it's the top three of where I would love to go to.
AM: Where can we find you eating and shopping?
DW: The things that I love about Jersey City and Hoboken is that there are a lot of boutique places in terms of clothing that you can find great stuff and I'm not into labels, but when I do shop for that, I love All Saints - they're rugged and raw with colors that aren't too bright. I love denim with raw materials in terms of dressing up. So I love jean shorts and a black tank top which is my go to. I'm about comfort while still being able to express myself.
There are a lot of cool cafés here. Recently, my boyfriend and I got interested in some refreshing drinks, cheese and meat platters which I love. There is a place called The Archer which has a great selection of this. Down by Grove there are a lot of cool restaurants. We don’t go out too much because we try to just focus on eating healthy and when we go out, I love outside dining and the gardens. There is a lot of that here and it’s fun to jump around.
AM: Do you do any philanthropy?
DW: I find myself getting involved with the athletes in my club and giving advice. I have worked one on one with girls in my club. The pressure of being a female athlete and it’s interesting as everyone always deals with their problems and I don’t necessarily showcase what is going on with me as I have gone through some troubled times. When they talk to me and say, "how do you seem so calm and confident?" I'm like, "woo you have no idea! That's so far from the truth." I am a thankful that I come across that way and everyone is dealing with their issues and I try to impart some wisdom on the girls and the guys at the club.
I talk to my middle school in Avenel, NJ and I have done a few high school talks in terms of setting goals and how many times that people have come and said I couldn't do something. If you listen to what people say, you're just going to dig your own hole and never crawl out of there. Especially when you're doing well, people seem to have more things to say. I think I did a lot of listening to those people for a long time and at 21, I thought that I had it all figured out, by 26 I thought I knew more and now at 30 I'm like, "damn I'm so far from when I thought I did have it figured out!" Life is a constant learning experience and being able to walk away from people that aren't good for you and are negative – I just get involved with the kids at my club. I have had the harsh talks with other coaches on what I am capable of and am supposed to do but when you follow your own plan, that’s when you can really blossom!
AM: What are your goals for the Summer Games?
DW: I’ve set the goal of coming home with 2 gold medals for individual and the team. It’s that goal or no goal for me. Maybe it’s my last time competing or I go another 4 years, who knows. I’m doing everything I can now and not looking back to say shoulda, coulda, woulda and I have a new game plan now. I don’t have injuries, there are a lot of things that are different then when I was training for Rio than how it is now. I may not be the kid that went to every Olympics and medaled in every one, but I have the opportunity to go out there and do some damage with an individual gold medal and team gold medal - even if it's one time. That's very important to me and that puts the icing on my cake in terms of a career.
The second day of NYFW continued with one of our favorite shows that showcases a number of Australian designers known as Fashion Palette. A few seasons ago, our Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director had the pleasure of styling their show. This season, we truly got an athleisure experience across the brands from looks to wear to the gym and studio, date night, running errands, lounge and evening wear. Above we have 3 of our favorite images and below, the entire video of all the designers that participated! The eleven designers that participated in this show include: Bronx & Banco, Elliatt, Saski Collection, Elle Zeitoune, Santina-Nicole, Harvey the Label, NNCY, DA by Daniel, Jagger & Stone, Avery Verse and The Blonde Republic.
Above are 3 of our favorite looks across the show courtesy of Fashion Palette and below is the full video.
It's the second day of NYFW and we're already hitting shows that actually showcase a number of designers within each one. This afternoon, we enjoyed a show entitled, Indonesian Diversity (in cooperation with Indonesia Fashion Gallery) whose three designers included one that was traditional, modern and also looking to future. From headwear, handbags, ornate jackets and phenomenal fabrications, we're excited to share these three designers who took our breath away. Each line showcases Batik. The 3 designers are Vivi Zubedi, Kimberly Tandra and Coreta
Above, our favorite image from each of the designers and below, the full video.
Read more from the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
On the first day of NYFW, our second show brought us the Australian brand, nANA jUDY (photos courtesy of nANA jUDY) which brought athleisure looks for men and women to the next level! Each look rocked a number of athleisure oriented looks that were perfect for prior to the studio, at the studio and of course outside as well. We even loved the Dalmation tie in to the show. Models such as Winnie Harlow looked phenomenal throughout the show.
We will also include an update to this post with our backstage conversation with IGK who was the hair sponsor of this show. Their Co-Founder Aaron talked about creating this look and gives us a how to. This update will be here AND In a future episode of our podcast network Athleisure Studio under #TribeGoals as we all know the cult status of this brand.
Above are our 3 favorite looks of the show courtesy of E!
Check out our latest issue of Athleisure Mag here.
Each season, we always enjoy heading to a number of Fashion Shows that take place during NYFW. This year, we had a number of shows on our list that are core to Athleisure in the style that we shoot a number of our pieces with our celebrities and models. We were pumped to attend Hardware LDN (photos courtesy of Hardware LDN), a UK based brand which kicked off our first show on the first day of NYFW for the SS19 season. We loved the edge style of sport bras, see through lined biker shorts, cropped tops and more!
Above are our 3 favorite shows and below the show in full! Keep checking back for the shows we're watching each day from now through Sept 14th.
Check out out latest issue on Athleisure Mag.
We attended the launch of the BAPE X Wilson Camo Edition Collection launch at the BAPE store right before the US Open. We took some time to talk to Kristina Peterson-Lohman of Wilson to find out how this collaboration came about.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us about the relationships between the heritage of Wilson as a brand and it's relationship to tennis.
KRISTINA PETERSON-LOHMAN: Wilson was founded in 1914 and one of the very first sports it made gear for was tennis. We've been at the heart of the sport since that time.
AM: How did the partnership with BAPE come about and why is this a collaboration that Wilson would want to do?
KPL: We know that people who love tennis are looking for ways to stand out on court - even challenge the status quo of what traditional tennis gear looks like. A few weeks ago, we introduced our new camouflage "CAMO" Edition collection of performance tennis gear. The inspiration for this collection was New York - a youthful, vibrant, bustling city - and home to the only grand slam in Amerca.
The BAPE Wilson collaboration is a next step in our mission to change the game, give our players more vibrant and contemporary choices, and better connect to the lives of our players... both on and off the court. It's a unique partnership between the leader in performance tennis and the leader in premium street-style apparel, shoes and accessories. And in our eyes, there is no other apparel brand that is more synonymous with camouflage, urban, edgy street-style, and premium high end clothing than BAPE.
AM: What items are within this collaboration?
KPL: The BAPE Wilson camo racket will be available a bit later this year in BAPE stores around the world. And we look forward to sharing additional BAPE Wilson products with everyone in the next few months.
AM: In addition to purchasing at the BAPE store, is this racket available at Wilson's pop up store at the US Open?
KPL: The Wilson CAMO Edition collection is available at our retail store on the US Open grounds. The BAPE Wilson racket will be available a bit later this year in BAPE stores in the US and in Japan.
Check out the August Issue of Athleisure Mag
We have yet to hit our stride in terms of the weather. On those days that the temperatures hit beyond believable temperatures, you want to wear looks that keep your style easy and allows you to truly transition throughout your day and on until the night. Our fashion editorial focuses on musts from fashion to beauty! and the most important part, hydration. One of our favorite parts of the city is Flatiron which has a number of historic and iconic buildings, our favorite eateries, lounges and workout studios! When it comes to meeting up with your girlfriends during the week or on the weekend, it's equidistant from whatever neighborhood you're coming from. We have some tips to help you navigate this season.
KEEP IT EASY
From a style perspective, we love rompers because they allow you to take on a number of activities from a meeting, heading to the office, Happy Hour cocktails, shopping and date night. With the challenges of hot temperatures you want to be able to wear an outfit that you can pull on and not have to think about it again. Romply has a number of fun prints and the way you can accessorize it makes it your own!
Any look is enhanced with the power of an accessory. Fans of the magazine know that we love statement jewelry whether stacked or worn alone. In this month's editorial, we showcased an assortment of Virgins, Saints & Angels which has a number of pieces that have that perfect herital look and adds great visual texture to your look. We also love Talia which allows you to customize your look and brings amazing bling to your look no matter how casual or glam it is.
No matter the season, we believe there is a boot that can be paired with what you're rocking. in the summer, we love an ankle boot which is a great way to elongate the look and for this shoot, we included Qupid which has a massive collection of shoes that are on trend across your lifestyle.
When it's hot, we love a sunkissed glow which will only increase when the weather gets steamier! This looks incorporates bronzer and fun lip hues that are neutral as well as vibrant to play up your features as you choose.
For hair, we love letting those natural curls flow, rocking those side ponys and a well placed messy do! To keep your hair looking amazing, we suggest having the right tools - Bed Head Culipops 1875 Watt Diffuser Dryer and Hot Tools 1" 24K Gold Flipperless Curling Wand. In terms of finishing sprays, IGK Intern Flexible Hairspray, IGK Laid Back Defrizz and Anti-Static Spray, OUAI Volumizing Hair Spray, Oribe Shine Light and Reflecting Spray, R+Co Trophy Shine + Texture Spray and R+Co Viscious Strong Hold Flexible Spray. Always have Revlon Hair ties and combs on hand.
STAY HYDRATED RESPONSIBLY
Hydration is key and although water is always our go to, when you want to switch it up, we suggest WTRMLN WTR which has a range of watermelon beverages that are super hydrating. They can be enjoyed alone or mixed into your beverage of choice.
Our shoot took place outside in Flatiron and we headed to Patisserie Chanson at Dessert Bar an underground dessert bar, a renovated speakeasy which has a tasting menu of sweet to savory desserts and phenomenal cocktails. We also shot at The Loft in Flatiron which is an event space that also has a bar which makes it perfect for a number of events that you can imagine.
The global denim business is a $100 billion dollar industry and is a staple in our wardrobe. We had the chance to talk with Andrew Olah and his daughter Emily Olah, who are luminaries in their industry. Together with their team, they run a series of businesses that further the denim industy from Olah, Kingpins (which we attended earlier this summer) and Denim Days. We sat down to find out about the upcoming Denim Days taking place this fall.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed checking out Kingpins and are looking forward to Denim Days in NYC this fall. We look forward to being media partners this year. Tell us about your backgrounds and how it led to where you are now.
ANDREW OLAH: Well we’re really excited to talk with you about Denim Days! Let me share a little about me first. I’m second generation in the textile sales business so early on I kind of changed it and switched to denim. We’re from Canada and we used to do every kind of fabric.
I grew up in jeans and in the 60’s, jeans weren’t so accessible and they didn’t have any connotation of any kind of social position. In my culture they did, but not in the rest of the world. I couldn’t wear my jeans - some schools wouldn’t allow you to wear them etc. So it’s all I wore and when I got to represent companies that made denim or corduroy I loved it because I knew that I could wear it – how could you not wear what you were selling? Even in the denim industry back in '97 when I was thinking of moving to NYC, I had to think about it because I would have had to wear a suit.
Eventually, we moved the business to fabrics in denim. I worked for the first denim mill ever outside of the United States which was a really lucky job. It was an Italian company – the Italians impacted the denim industry really really early on being the first ones to use denim in non-traditional shapes. In the American history of denim if you look at vintage pictures, it’s all workwear related and very traditional styles.
The Italians were the first ones to say, let’s make a sexy top, a sexy dress etc. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a company called Fiorucci that’s what they did – fashion tops and fashion bottoms in weird shapes. No one had ever heard of that or thought of it in America really. Obviously there were no fabrics in the United States to do that and when people were sourcing they realized it was cheaper for them to make that shirt outside of the US and to do it in Asia so this started to happen there and this started the denim industry in Asia. The Italians impacted the industry because they enlarged what was seen as a jeans industry by the shapes and the sizes and by women's wear.
The second job that I got was to work with a Japanese company. Again, the Japanese have a huge impact on the jean industry globally – I’m talking about global business and not just American. So the Japanese recreated vintage. Their emulation of vintage was better than the original vintage. It’s like someone copying a Mustang from ’65 and making it 10 times better than the original one and yet looking the same – that’s kind of what they did. They’re obsessed with the components and application so their obsessions make them uncompetitive. They have their own cache. So the company moved to NY in ’98 and we wanted to meet customers and we already had 20-30 customers but we wanted 70 so we started Kingpins as a tradeshow because we wanted to meet more customers and have them come in, hand out their business cards and say hello. When we first stated in the beginning, we used to do personal introductions to everybody because the shows were small.
Kingpins started in 2004 and we never even charged anyone for it, it was just a party and we did it for 2 or 3 years, until 2007 when the recession hit, and we switched the business model to being for profit and now Kingpins is the largest tradeshow in the industry for supply chain – not to boast and quite accidently. It was never our aspiration but it just happened. Our Amsterdam show is really really huge.
AM: And why Amsterdam?
AO: We picked Amsterdam because the community in Amsterdam loves jeans. The late mayor of Amsterdam was a believer in jeans and he felt it was the business for his city. They did a study and they found that Amsterdam had more jean brands per capita than any other city in the world. Which is easy when you have a population of 700,000 – a little more difficult if you’re a city like Tokyo, Istanbul, Sao Paulo* or LA even. That was their mantra and the fact is the fact that that is their business in Amsterdam. They have a lot of brands there and they made it their business to celebrate that to go with what was working for them and to try to get brands in this vertical to move there because they have an industry. They have the culture there and the population loves it there!
Do you ever notice that when we’re there people wear more denim there then here?
EMILY OLAH: Oh yeah 100%.
AO: It’s kind of weird because we’re jeans people and you go there and everyone is wearing jeans. Even in hotels the people working in the hotels and the restaurants - even the uniforms are jeans or denim! It's kind of weird whe you first see it. When we first went there, we stayed in this brand new boutique hotel and ever since people wore jeans and even their aprons were denim!
But anyway, we decided to do it in Amsterdam and there was also the issue of the House of Denim – have you heard of that?
AO: Over the course of my career, of 40+ years I was frustrated that there wasn't a school for those in the denim trade. We all got jobs and we had to just learn o the job, but there ws no place to learn outside of that.
I have produced a class on jeans for 14 years at FIT which is known as the Capstone Course and they're preparing for their 5th year anniversary. Recently it was announced that there would be a New Jean School in Milan - so this is the start of a big difference in our industry as we grow up!
Now the House of Denim in Amsterdam started the first jeans school in 2012. They're also planning on putting a laundry in the city so that people can wash their jeans.
So in doing our supply chain tradeshow Kingpins there, they said that they wated to do a festival known as Denim Days which led us to doing it there.
What we didn't realize was how many people all over Europe and Turkey and other countries liked Amsterdam and loved shopping there. They loved going there and being their for inspiration. It was an amazing decision.
AM: So Emily, before we delve into Denim Days, how did you get into the denim industry?
EO: I went to college for biology. I was not a good student so I went and had various jobs. One day I got a phone call from my father and his friend – they were in a taxi. He said I needed to go to Portugal and learn the business with our family friend. I had to get my life together, learn Portuguese in 6 weeks if I was serious. I said yes. I packed up my life, learned Portuguese in 6 weeks (I went to language school 4-5 days a week) and moved there about 6-8 weeks after.
I worked in a garment factory and worked in our friend’s shirt factory. I worked in every department learning each component of it together through it’s complete process. I had to make a garment where the pattern was made by me, sewn by me, finished by me and it had to be approved before I could work from the office.
AO: They wouldn’t let her out of the factory until it was approved.
EO: I was failed like 20 times. I sewed my finger, it was like your sleeve is a centimeter shorter then the other sleeve, try again So I eventually passed my production sewing job and I started
working in the office.
AO: Who were your customers?
EO: My customers were Paper Denim, Burton Snowboards, AG and Marc Jacobs. So I had the American market and the factory that I worked for was a boutique factory so we did small runs. We did all kinds of products and not just shirts – it was shoes, bags, sweaters etc. In Portugal, all of the factories around us did small run production so I would just have to drive in a 50km radius to go to factories that did any kind of production. And then when I was ready to leave from Portugal I had been working with Rogan for awhile and got an internship with them here in NY.
AO: At that time, he was one of the most renowned designers in the industry.
EO: He was growing his business really quickly and there was this small staff of like 6 people when I went there as an intern. They had me running to midtown to check on their garment factory and whether their production was going ok and in 2 weeks they were like, “we have this new brand and we want you to run it.” I was like, “really ok”. They said, “it’s a really big opportunity, we’re going to do jeans and t-shirts. Production is already set you just have to deliver the goods.”
AO: And that was Loomstate.
AM: Oooo we love Loomstate wow!
EO: I did all of the product development and the production. Jared who works here now, also worked there and developed the sales. That’s how I got started in the business.
AM: Wow everyone loved their jeans and the shirts were great! So how did you make your way here?
EO: So I worked for several brands in the premium area on the production side. I eventually moved to LA because a lot of them were there and I wanted to come to NY. I had an opportunity to work for the factory that I stated with and that brought me back to NY and I worked out of the Olah office. That’s sort of the beginning.
AO: A few key things happened that led to her being at the Olah umbrella. We never hired her.
EO: Yeah his business partner hired me.
AO: True, what happened was she was working with AG and Rock and Republic and then she moved back to NY to work with the Portuguese guy that she started with and we paid her salary because they weren’t going to pay her enough so we said there are things to do around the office and she had her own world and it had nothing to do with me so I thought that that was cool. Then he and I had some issues and the relationship got funky and one day when the relationship ended, she had no job, but was in our office. So we tried to see what she could do to justify her being her.
My partner kept telling me that she was really smart and I was glad to hear that, but I didn’t think about it.
EO: And now 11 years later, here I am haha.
AM: So what do you do here?
EO: So our business is segmented into 3 areas and I straddle all 3 in an operational way, but I spend most of my time in the events world like Kingpins and Denim Days.
AM: So how will Denim Days this year be different then Denim Days last year?
AO: One thing that we will do which is different is that we are changing the speaking. We had people speak last time. The day before we did Legends. But this year we will have something everyday on Sat and Sun all day long so the speaker element will be amazing.
EO: Right like speakers and workshops that will be engaging to the consumers that come in and it won’t be on a separate day. Quite honestly, our Legends last year were a bit more B2B. The access to the attendees will be a lot greater this year.
AO: If you come in and feel what’s going on, it will all be in one big room. It’s going to be much better this year!
EO: I think 2019 will be a big evolution because we are going to move Denim Days to be the same week as Kingpins so it allows us to have denim events for 6 days in a row as opposed to being segregated.
AO: Then it will be a proper festival because it will be 6 days in a row with B2B and B2C.
EO: It will be a lot more dynamic that way and will engage a lot more people.
AM: What made you want to introduce Nashville to Denim Days?
AO: They asked us. But they have started the Nashville Fashion Alliance* and the NFA people are nice and their arguments for the fashion industry to move there to me is compelling. They remind me a lot of Amsterdam.
EO: Yeah their local government is very similar to Amsterdam.
AO: Yes you have access to the mayor, the Senate, Senators, the governor – there is a whole level of community. When you have academia, politics and commerce mix, it’s like the perfect moment. It’s like nirvana – it doesn’t happen here, but when it happens, everyone is on the same page. All the people are not competitors you’re doing the same thing and it becomes a community. Amsterdam has nailed it – accidently – but they are in this status and if they don’t screw it up, it’s brilliant. Nashville sees it and is trying to create it and I believe that they will. Then they have the music industry and so when they came to us, we said yes. They said they would help us with the media. Little cities in many ways are the future. So it’s interesting for us.
AM: So what trends are you seeing in denim that we should keep an eye out for fall of this year and more specifically for Spring 19?
EO: It’s about fiber and performance.
AO: The biggest thing – everyone wants something special. In the old days, if you wanted something special it was about having the Jordache name on it and that was something special.
EO: And that was enough.
AO: I remember I had a friend telling one of the Hilfigers at the time that they should just sell their label at the checkout counter because you have all the same jeans. So Polo could be $5 for the label and Tommy could be $6 and this one is $10 and Levi’s could be $3 and you just stick it on because it’s all the same stuff. That’s the history of the jeans business.
Exceptional jeans products right now – I think that everyone makes exceptional jeans products so then the issue is what is the company like. Everlane has done really really well with jeans and they’re not a jeans brand – but they have done well. It’s about the company and what’s
inside it and most of all how it fits and performance. Performance is everything and that means that you have to step out and find new ways of doing things.
EO: I completely agree. People know more about the product and want to know more about it. They have to have a reason for its existence and it just can’t be another piece that’s lined up
on the shelf. Something in it that’s different than something else and that’s outstanding.
AO: Like, when you go to Selfridge’s. The jeans shop is huge and there isn’t one sign but the brand name – what is that? That is like having this table with bananas and then saying, which one do you want? This one is $105, this one is $98, this one is made in LA – I mean really? They’re bananas!
AM: Just so our readers are clear, in addition to having your tradeshow within the supply chain - Kingpins as well as a festival denim show - Denim Days; you also work with brands that want to become denim brands?
AO: Yes, we have 3 actual business models. In addition to the shows, we develop fabric and then we sell the fabric. That division would help small brands that we believe in. Scott Morrison he was doing Paper Denim – we helped him with that. We’re happy to help those that are looking to get into the business - to a point. You can give someone food, but you can’t help them chew it!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Olah Inc.