We always love our covers and it's always fun to have the opportunity to work with someone that we have previously worked with before. We're excited to have Danielle Moinet as this month's celebrity cover and our first person to grace two covers for Athleisure Mag! We enjoyed our photoshoot with Danielle and we sat down to catch up on what she's up to since we last spoke to her. We talked about her life as an athlete, about her road to the WWE, new projects that she's excited to be apart of, running the Chicago Bears out of Soldier Field, the importance of empowering women and girls in and out of sports and her love for the fans that she continues to see on her many trips as she is always on the go!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your athletic journey as we know you have played a number of sports!
DANIELLE MOINET: For me I always played sports. I was an athlete growing up - I ran track, jumped hurdles and played tennis. In college and when I got out of it and moved to Chicago, that's when I joined the Lingerie Football League, the LFL, and I played for the Chicago Bliss and I played Corner Back and I loved it. I played 3 years and it's full contact 7 on 7 football - very aggressive.
Then I went on to wrestle and a lot of the girls that hadn't wrestled before in WWE had some form of an athletic background. Health and fitness has always been a big thing for me and getting to the gym, so I think that people that work out a lot too are athletic as well and being in a women's sport is very important.
AM: Specifically, tell us about your journey into wrestling, WWE and what you are currently doing.
DM: I was working a Comic Con in Chicago, and WWE was there and it was a dream of mine to get in. There was not an application process setup like there is now when I first started, so I ran over to their booth and told them that I was interested and that I had been wanting to do this for years. I decided to play football for another year and then that's when I went down to WWE to have my tryout and 6 weeks later I was down there training and working out and I got my contract. So it was really a great place in time. There were only 6 girls training at the time. I was the 6th girl and now there is something like 20 or 30 girls training. WWE was amazing - I wrestled there for 6 years and I was on the main roster on Mon. Night RAW, Tues. Night Smackdown for 4.5 years and got to live out my dream.
As of Nov, I left WWE to spread my wings to other avenues and to be able to enjoy life and live it through new eyes. It's bittersweet as I miss my fans and the people I worked with, but I see my fans more often because I do so many appearances where I get to travel the world to meet them.
AM: We caught up with you when you were in the midst of a media tour - can you tell us what you were promoting?
DM: During my time in NY when I did my photoshoot, I was doing a lot of things! I was taking meetings, doing photoshoots with a number of modeling agencies and then I was also there for my first non WWE appearance that was in Manhattan and so I was able to go onto CBS Radio and talk to them about women in sports and the importance of women having a presence in athletics and for young girls to have role models to look up to - being athletic and knowing that strong is beautiful. Body positivity is something that is very import ant to me and I think it's great to be able to speak out to that! It was so much fun and I love everyone in NY!
AM: On set, everyone loved your hair, what products do you use and what tips do you have for healthy hair?
DM: My hair! I'm very fortunate that my mom is a hairdresser and growing up, she never let me dye it crazy purple or orange and crazy colors. I had actually never even dyed it until my mid twenties. I am super blonde naturally and I was always in the sun as a kid by the pool. I always used great products like Biolage or Matrix. One thing that was really amazing that I started to use the last couple of years is a wet brush. The wet brush helps with the breakage in your hair and having bangs, I have really noticed the difference using the wet brush because my hair doesn't break as much and it's able to stay long and healthy - that is something I absolutely swear by and love. And also, good Moroccan Oil and having good oil everytime you blow dry your hair - it's very important.
AM: We know from your IG that you're constantly on the go, what are 3 beauty products that keep you looking fresh and dewy and are a must in your routine?
DM: I am always on the go so beauty products that I love - I always have a spray tan, I do not go in the sun a lot so I always try to protect my skin as far as sun exposure goes, so it's all about wearing SPF. I do not go into the tanning bed so I can keep a wrinkle free life. I love love love and swear by Skin Medica - they're TMS Serum is something that I really do love. I completely see a difference in my skin when I use that. Their eye cream - amazing - it's expensive and I have tried alternate routes and dfferent things and I just see such a difference with them and that's something that's just great. Another thing I love - my lips don't get too chapped too much because I'm always on the go in airplanes - I love the Lip Slip by Sara Happ. It's a lip balm and it's so thick and potent and it lasts you forever - I got it from Nordstrom and I love it. My lips never crack, never peel and I love it.
AM: What's your personal style - what do you work out in, what do you go out in for a night out and what is your beach style?
DM: My personal style is super super different - I look very girly, but I am actually super tomboy! I love my Jordans, I love my Jays, I've become a big sneaker person since living in LA so really ideally, if I could live my life I'd do it in workout clothes and athleisure vibe and tennis shoes. That's how you could catch me everyday wearing. If you catch me in jeans or everyday pants it's because I have to because I am going somewhere. What I actually work out in is - I'm very cute on Instagram with matching outfits, but that is not how I am. In real life, I'm not like that I don't think. I get a lot of workout clothes sent to me from different brands and people that I work with so I can never find anything that matches when it is time to work out. I am not that girl who matches in the gym - I'm getting in there with a hat the majorty of the time with no makeup. I hate wearing makeup - I love getting glammed up, but I don't like makeup. I am usually in a hat, with it pulled down super low and getting my workout done because I don't want anyone talking to me and workout time is not playtime for me.
For going out, now that I live in LA, I have a very different west coast vibe. I love everything that is oversized and I love a great Tor Merch long sleeve shirt 2 sizes 2 big with baggy pants and a cute heel. If I'm going out, you can catch me in jeans, boots, a body suit or tank top. That's my vibe and I rarely wear a dress - again unless I have to or if I'm in Vegas or a place that's dressy. LA is just not that dressy and NY isn't really either. I have very different vibes - sometimes it's Bohemian or Urban - I like to change up my style.
Style and music are very all over the place for me as there are tons of genres of music I like and tons of styles that I like to dress in.
Beach style is bikini, flip flops and a cover up. Nothing special - no makeup maybe a little chapstick - that's all - very low maintenance.
AM: What are 3 of your favorite foods that are your go to for energy to assist in working out and do you have splurge foods that you enjoy as a treat every now and then?
DM: I'm a big fan of black coffee before working out. I try to stay lately from pre-workouts that have artificial sugars in them and I am trying to go back to that coffee route or just getting enough sleep as that is very good. Protein is a must for my diets and if I don't have a protein shake, I see a huge difference in my legs and body as far as my abs and cellulite go. I can see a negative difference without them and I need my protein high up. I also need some nuts before the gym - healthy fats are good. I don't like to be super full when I go to the gym because when I am full, I want to take a nap. Cheat foods that I love, pizza! I am obsessed with pizza, Mexican food, I love Queso and chips. My friends make fun of me because I eat a whole tub of queso - it's just really ridiculous as I need to be nowhere near that and then cookie dough. Cookie dough is my downfall! I went through a phase where I was obsessed with cookie dough for like 4 months and my friends and I joke that that’s where my butt came from the four months that I ate it. So we call it my cookie dough butt! I still have it but now I am just training it in the gym!
AM: We saw that you did something pretty amazing with the Chicago Bears last fall, can you share with our readers?
DM: Chicago Bears – so in the fall, ran the Bears out of the tunnel and was the first women to ever run them out of the tunnel! They said it had something to do with the fact that the flag is really heavy and then at Soldier Field, the lake wind effect off of the lake is so strong that it just moves the pole around and it’s crazy heavy! They usually don’t have guests running people out of the tunnel BUT I knew someone that knew someone and they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do it. I was kind of unsure if I could and then they said that a woman had never done it before and that’s when I said, “well of course then – I have to be the first at everything that I do”. Don’t put me up to a challenge and I will never say no, especially if it is the first woman. It was amazing and fun. The players were super confused as to why I was down there haha! I’m a huge Bears fan so I loved it!
AM: What travel plans are you looking forward to this summer?
DM: This summer I am very fortunate that I am traveling all over. I have so many bookings for appearances to see so many of my wrestling fans. I’m a little west coast, a little east coast. I may have a few things that are Canada and then I am really really really excited about something that we haven’t announced yet which we can’t announce yet but it’s overseas and it is taking me to one of my places on my bucketlist – so I’m very excited about that!
As far as trips go, I look forward to taking my girls trip which we are going to Mykonos, Greece and I have never been there. We are just going to have a great time and I am looking forward to that because I have a great group of girlfriends.
AM: In LA what is your favorite place to shop, a workout studio that you attend as well as where you love to grab cocktails and a meal?
DM: Living in LA, obviously we have great killer stores. All the stores on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Grove the Mall – that’s really good and we have large stores with all the name brands. Some of the places that I really love to shop and that are fun that I tell my friends to go to when they’re in town – hidden gems on Melrose that are kind of really trendy and inexpensive and I love them – one is called Eden Sky and the other one is Style Delivered and I get really cute fun sunglasses, earrings and bandanas. I got my stuff from Coachella there and it’s good finds that are inexpensive so when you pair them with other really good pieces, that’s great. And of course, we have things like Revolve out here and Pretty Little Things and House of CB, Mistress Rocks – LA’s great we have some really good shopping. As far as food goes, I love Urth Café, it’s one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure that I brought my mom and dad there, friends from back home in North Carolina. You just sit outside and have bubble tea – which is amazing and all different kinds of food which is really good. We actually just got a Joe & the Juice which they have in NY and I’m obsessed with so I am really happy about that being there. I love all the healthy food options we have out here the salad places and everything like that which is really good. And then we have great trendy workouts. I love SoulCycle – I swear by SoulCycle as it’s fun and it makes me feel amazing to just get out there and sweat – so I really love that. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an ankle injury for the past 3 months so I have kind of been having to deal with that and it’s driving me nuts. But I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things soon.
AM: Are there any projects that you're working on that you want to let our readers know about?
DM: I’m just really excited to be working with so many brands right now! I have two clothing companies that I am working with and I will be able to get my own line out and then I have one kind of beauty thing I am working on. I’m taking meetings with other people as far as my appearances go and doing things overseas so it’s all in the beginning baby stages. I have only just started to be able to do this stuff as I wasn’t able to do this with WWE and am looking forward to spreading my wings. My sister’s charity is back home in North Carolina – The Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation - love working with them when I go back home and am looking forward to doing a special project with them when I am back home to raise money in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area for the charity!
We shot Danielle Moinet in Manhattan's Lower East Side at Hotel Indigo LES which is filled with a number of great hitoric sites. Christopher White, the properties' Director of Sales and Marketing talked with us about the hotel and how it connects with the community.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Are there different personalities that Hotel Indigo represents on the city/community?
CHRISTOPHER WHITE: Hotel Indigo’s ethos is design, art, music and embracing the neighborhood that we are in - so every hotel will represent those qualities in different way depending on the location.
AM: Specifically, tell us about Hotel Indigo LES - when did it open, what is the atmosphere and the amenities that are offered for guests.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES opened in the heart of the Lower East Side in November 2015. Reflecting the community, the hotel is an urban oasis that features spacious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline. Hotel Indigo LES is equipped with everything needed for the modern traveler - think a rooftop bar and pool, a gym, package handling, parking and we even provide amenities for your furry friends because we know kittens and pups are important too.
AM: Tell us about the lounges and pool.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is the perfect spot to visit day or night - with stunning views of Manhattan from every place you look, the view is unbeatable - especially now that Summer is right around the corner! The 14th-floor lobby is decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire room, spacious L-shaped couches, coffee tables and a cafe. Not to mention the ceiling is covered in a mural by the famous Lower East Side graffiti artist, Lee Quiñones.
Beyond the lobby, guests are invited to checkout the heated plunge pool and bar, Mr. Purple, both located on the 15th floor rooftop. The space offers summer drink menus for guests to enjoy, while taking in amazing views of Lower Manhattan.
AM: Is the pool for guests only?
CW: We prefer to keep the pool exclusive to hotel guests – if locals are looking for a pool break we recommend booking a staycation at the hotel.
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CW:The lobby, cafe, and of course Mr. Purple - come relax, get some work done, or have a drink - locals and guests can do it all at Hotel Indigo LES!
AM: What Spring/Summer packages do you guys have coming up?
CW: Yes! Our Mother’s Day and Royal Wedding packages are can’t miss. Check them out and more on the Hotel Indigo LES website.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that surrounds Hotel Indigo LES.
CW: Located right in the heart of the Lower East Side, there is nothing you can’t find around Hotel Indigo LES! Tons of art galleries of all different styles, music halls, bars and restaurants all surround the hotel. Think hotspots like the famous Beauty & Essex and Katz Delicatessen, Rockwood Music Hall and more.
AM: Tell us about Mr Purple!
CW: Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, the space completely captures the vibrant and artistic spirit of the LES. Boasting a 360 degree view of downtown Manhattan from the two outdoor terraces and a beautiful interior, the venue recreates a hip, artist-loft ambiance. The larger terrace includes its own swimming pool (enough said) and outdoor bar, a perfect setting for yummy bites and signature sips against the backdrop of NYC.
AM: Does the Hotel Indigo LES have activities that they participate within that are local to the community?
CW: We sure do! Our goal is to hire all of our line staff from the community which is part of our ethos and culture. We participate in LESSEN which is part of the Henry Street Settlement in the Lower East Side and 30% of our line staff from pre-opening was hired from there. We also volunteer quarterly for Manny Cantor Center, Bowery Mission and am always working to always give back to the community that we are in.
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we may not have asked you but that you would like to share?
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is all about the art. From the moment you walk, to the sleeping rooms and lobby area, the spaces all reflect the art that can be seen all over the LES. With artwork featured from the likes of Mr. Brainwash and Lee Quiñones, guests can see the spirit of the LES at every turn.
Tribeca Film Festival is back for its 17th year for another full season of parties panels and films that span documentaries, thrillers, romances, sci-fi and more. We kicked off our time at the festival by heading to PUBLIC Arts at the PUBLIC Hotel in the LES for MCM's debut of the first global teaser for The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion Documentary.
The exclusive viewing party paid homage to hip hop. The documentary honored the cultural influence of stylists such as Misa Hylton who defined ’90s hip hop fashion by creating some of the most iconic looks with top artists such as Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliot. The film's producer, Lisa Cortes and director Farah X talked about the upcoming documentary which will debut in full, this fall.
The night's emcee and TV personality, Bevy Smith welcomed a number of performers who hit stage wearing styles for the upcoming MCM X PUMA collaboration that has yet to be released. Paula Weinstein of Tribeca Film Festival said a few words about the importance of the film and providing recognition to the efforts of those featured in the film. DJ Olivia Dope and 9th Wonder spun throughout the night along with hip hop dancers that hit the stage. The night culminated in two performances with this years 2 time Grammy nominated rapper, Rapsody and one of hip hop's founding father's Big Daddy Kane - all rocking the upcoming collaboration.
Additional attendees at the event included: Stefano Tonchi (Editor, W Magazine) Rich The Kid (Rapper), Naturi Naughton (STARZ's Power), Ryan Leslie (Recording Artist + Producer), Casanova (Rapper), Sheldon Bailey (Actor), Young Paris (Rapper), DJ Trauma, T-Barz (Rapper), Vickatrillion (Model + DJ), Talia Coles (R&B/Soul), Luann de Lesseps (BRAVO's RHONY), Gillian Hearst Simonds (Contributing Editor to Towne & Country), Hailey Laine (Wilhelmina Model) and Makalea Reve Heard (Wilhelmina Model).
Skin is always an essential no matter the season, and this time of year makes us think even more so about soft, smooth and hair free skin. We chatted with Carrie LaMarca, Celebrity MUA and Skincare Expert who has worked with a number of celebrities from Ashley Graham, Bethenny Frankel, Emily Ratajkowski, Marcus Samulesson, Millie Bobby Brown, Olivia Culpo, Wolf Blitzer and Ronda Rousey. We wanted to know what we could do to find out how we can meet our goals in this manner as well as how to get that summer glow with a little help with cosmetics.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Smooth skin is an essential, what are your recommendations for your face to keep the little peach fuzz that we get away?
CARRIE LAMARCA: When I have a new model or celebrity in my chair, one of the first things I do is analyze their skin. If there is any peach fuzz I quickly remove it using my clio beautytrim personal hair trimmer. It is so quick and easy to use and doesn't irritate the skin at all. Removing that excess peach fuzz is key so that skincare and makeup go on smoothly and evenly.
AM: For the face, what are your recommendations for minimal makeup looks that appear as if its makeup-free but give you a sun-kissed glowing look for Spring and Summer?
CL: I love using Glossier's stretch concealer only in the places that need coverage and kind of buff it out to blend with your natural skin. Next, I use a cream bronzer like Benefit Hoola Creme Contour stick. Cremes melt into skin and look more natural, rather than powders, which tend to sit on top of the skin. If you do use a powder, make sure to use a heavy moisturizer or face oil under to help it look more natural. Most importantly though, is that you blend!
AM: As we sleep at night, what moisturizers should we focus on that work on our skin at this time?
CL: Serum is your hero at night! Depending on what you are looking to correct, will help you pick a serum to use. For example, Retinol is great for fine lines, while Vitamin C works for evening skin tone. And then, moisturizer is important to layer on top of the serum. It will seal everything in, while hydrating and plumping your skin as you sleep. One with Hyaluronic Acid is great!
AM: With swimsuits being in our very near future, what is a routine that we can do for our bikini line and legs to ensure soft skin and of course - hair free!
CL: The biggest thing you can do to start getting your bikini line ready is exfoliate! That is step one before hair removal. For a smooth bikini line, I love using the clio bikini trimmer. Because it’s an electric trimmer, it’s so much more gentle on the skin and will help prevent any irritation or ingrown hairs. The best part is that you can use it wet or dry, making it perfect to throw in your beach bag for on-the-go touch-ups!
AM: Post hair removal, what should we add to our routine from apparel, beauty products etc?
CL: Right after shaving your legs and bikini line you just want to make sure to wear breathable cotton clothing and underwear to allow your skin to heal. And always moisturize your skin to prevent any drying out that shaving can cause.
AM: To get a glow all over, what beauty products should we use and how should it be applied?
CL: I absolutely love all of the St. Tropez tanning products. They give such a great natural color and don't have the strange odor that most do. Just make sure to exfoliate and moisturize before applying. And remember that less is more when it comes to self-tanner. Definitely, wait a day or two before applying another layer because the tan usually develops more after 24 hours.
The Met Gala took place earlier this evening to kick off the Heavenly Bodies exhibition at The Met which illustrates the link between fashion and Catholicism. With a number of looks that were worn by celebs in fashion, music, sports and beyond - we had to share 16 of our favorites.
Vanessa We know that the summer is coming and with that comes the realization, for some that they need to get on it when it comes to showcasing the summer body that has been under layers for the last few weeks. Whether you've been a Disciplined Debbie or a Late to the Party Lucy, we sat down with Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and gastrointestinal issues and was formerly a Senior Dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.Rissetto, RD who specializes in Weight Loss Management and Medical Nutrition Therapy as it pertains to diabetes, cardiac disease
As you work on the physical goals of your summer body, Vanessa shares with us how to get our food plan in sync whether you've been diligent or just starting!
Summer bodies are made in the winter… at least that’s what my trainer tells me.
Well, I’ve got news for him - Mother Nature hasn’t been on her meds this winter, so most of us have been hibernating more than usual since November. And, if you’re like me and you’ve been getting your cardio by pushing your cart down the aisles of your local grocery store, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that how, er, unappealing the produce is looking these days, while over in the chip aisle that strategically placed new Doritos flavor has never looked so good! Spoiler Alert: yes sometimes I do eat Doritos, and Original is still the best.
HOWEVER, this is not the time for Doritos (new or original), or cookies, or wine, or any of that fun stuff we have been making excuses for because it was from Thanksgiving, or a holiday party, or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married.
Summer is upon us, people, and you're either going to be cool and comfortable basking in the sun with your shoulders exposed, or you're going to be searching for the a/c while hiding in leggings, and tunics. Side note - my daughter, who is six, only wears leggings, she doesn't see any reason for trying to squeeze into jeans when leggings are way more comfortable - her words not mine; clearly I’m raising a confident genius.
Wait, where were we… oh right, summer bodies - DUH! Which is likely the reason you’re even still reading, hoping I get to the point soon! You want me to impart my pearls of wisdom so you can get to work on that summer body the Friday before Memorial Day. Don’t worry, I got you; and you got this, with a few tricks and tips to help.
Rome was NOT built in a day
Guys, if you’ve been boozing it up every weekend, and ordering a daily takeout, you’re not going to do well if you start to subsist on kale and lemon water all of a sudden. Let’s be realistic here - If you’re used to drinking 6 drinks over the weekend, let’s aim for 4 this weekend.
“How can I even do that,” you ask. “Going out to bars on the weekends is basically what keeps me sane, with my job/office drama/family/single life (delete as applicable).” Well, I am a realist! So here are my tips:
Firstly, only drink spirits - vodka, rum, tequila – pure, no mixers. You’ll find you’ll drink less, which will make you consume fewer calories but still get your weekend buzz. And, if you’re tempted to drink more, (we’ve all had THOSE weeks) order a seltzer in between each drink since that will make you feel full, while disguising the fact that you aren’t really drinking. Which leads me to my next point.
OK, I know that wasn’t the perfect segue way, but I’ll try to come up with something more clever for the next one… So, you know when you’re watching RHONY and Ramona and Bethany are fighting over some nonsense that is the same nonsense they've been fighting over since the show's inception? This is the perfect moment for step two!
This is the time where I pick up my phone and start scrolling around for recipes that are quick and easy. Now I KNOW you’re on your phone while you watch TV, so instead of searching around IG and ending up on Beyonce’s mother’s European vacation, navigate towards pages that can actually help you. I personally love @SkinnyTaste for her easy recipes, @AllRecipes has pretty quick delicious meals, and you could also visit my page - @VanessaRossettoRD - but that would be a shameless plug and I wouldn’t do that sort of thing.
But do your own searches, find the things you like, and – if it’s really great, send it to me on IG in my comments, I’m always looking for new recipes!
To the Store!
Now that you’ve planned ahead, you can shop!
Meal prep is less daunting if you know what you’re making. Staples on my grocery list are: eggs, oats, almond milk, arugula, lemons, limes, avocados, onions, garlic, raspberries (8 g fiber per 1 cup when you’re craving something sweet), individually portioned 100 calorie bags of nuts, skinny pop (individually portioned bags), mini Kind bars (100 calories), non-fat Greek yogurt, peanut butter packets (Justin’s has 80 calorie individual packs), frozen bags of broccoli, green beans, and frozen cauliflower rice.
I then add in ingredients from the recipes I found.
My tip here is to plan 3 proteins, 1 starch, and 6 servings of vegetables that you can have on hand at home for dinners when you get home. That way when you come home from a long day, you don't have to stare into the abyss that is your fridge wondering what to eat - especially when it probably doesn't have any food INSIDE it right now anyway, but has plenty of those takeout menus stuck to the OUTSIDE, amirite? If your fridge is stuffed full of delicious food, you will heat it up and eat it instead of making that tempting call to your favorite pizza place. Trust me this is a way to avoid temptation, save money, and limit waste.
Get out there and exercise
Exercise will definitely help your summer body cause. But it’s also really good for your brain. And, it’s a great way to break up your day and stop you from raiding your cabinet, you know, the one with all the chocolate. If you’re looking longingly at your cabinet where you hid the cookies but the weather outside is nice, then even going out for a quick 30-minute walk is a win. It shifts your focus, makes you feel good and by the time you come back, you probably won't want those cookies anyway.
35 opportunities for greatness!
Look at your week as a succession of chances to reach your goal: you have 35 of them, actually. Every day, you get to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That means you have 5 chances a day, and 35 chances a week to eat well! And, if you can eat well about 33 of those 35 times, you should be able well on your way to that summer body.
And for those of you thinking to yourself “eat well” is not a tip, anyone can say that! Here are some specific guidelines: have 1-2 cups of vegetables at your lunch and dinner, make sure the serving size of carbohydrates is no more than about ¼-½ cup, and don’t drink your calories, try to keep to water and seltzer (or fizzy water as my kids call it).
Follow these five tips to get you ready for the summer, and you’ll see the difference – and whenever you decide to cast aside your leggings and tunic and dip your toes in the ocean, I’ll be right there with you.
See you on the beach!
Read more from the April Issue and see Nutrition for Your Summer Body 2018 by Vanessa Rissetto, RD. in mag.
One of our favorite Olympians to hit PyeongChang during the Winter Games last month, was none other than Lindsey Vonn. The stunning Alpine Skier not only went home with a little more bling, but went on to continue competitions. We caught up with her here in NYC to find out when she fell in love with the sport, what it's like to perform at a high level, her partnership with Bounty and her personal style.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into the sport of Alpine Skiing.
LINDSEY VONN: My Grandfather was the pioneer of skiing for our family and he passed that love onto his kids and my Dad passed it onto me.
AM: We have interviewed a number of Olympians and have heard various fitness levels when preparing for the Olympics versus maintaining fitness goals. What was your training like leading up to the Olympics and then while you were there?
LV: Well, I’ve been training for this Olympics for 8 years! I’ve been in and out of rehab for my knee and elbow, but have still maintained a strict training program to keep me in shape. In between racing, I work out every day and during races I get up early and ride my stationary bike for a warm up.
AM: You're fresh off winning your Bronze Medal at PyeongChang - what was your biggest take away from the experience?
LV: The best part of my experience was just accomplishing my goals of getting a medal for my Grandfather. This Olympics has been such a long time coming that I’m just thankful I made it, I was healthy, and I did the very best I could.
AM: We know that you partnered with Bounty as we saw your commercials throughout the Olympic Games, tell us about this and why was it a natural fit to do?
LV: Bounty is a natural fit if you have 3 dogs! It was a great experience filming the commercial with my dog, Lucy. She is now more famous than I am!
AM: The schedules of Olympians are always crazy, but you left the games and continued on with other races - tell us what you've been up to in terms of races that you have participated in as we know you were at The World Cup Finals.
LV: Yeah, I couldn’t take as much time off after the Olympics as I would have wanted. I had a press tour and then had to head to Sweden for the World Cup Finals. Getting 1st and 3rd in finals was a great ending to a perfect year. I’m that much closer to beating Ingmar’s record. I think I may have a chance to beat it next year!
AM: What does the racing season look like for you in terms of how much of the year it takes up?
LV: Well it’s not just the racing that takes up time, but the training—and that’s a full-time job. So I have a weeklong vacation once a year and then it’s back to the gym, training, and head to Europe for the World Cup--I don’t give myself room to slow down.
AM: As we've been fans of yours for a while, we checked out your IG and see that you were on the set of Ballers - does this mean that we'll see you on the upcoming season with The Rock?
LV: I wish! I’ll have to work that out with Dwayne next time I see him :) I was on Law & Order though, so I have some experience with acting.
AM: Tell us about going to the Oscars and share with us details about your dress as it looked beautiful.
LV: The Oscars was amazing! I just took in every moment of it because it was such an honor to be invited. Well, my dress was supposed to be long-sleeved! It was too tight to get my arm through so we had to cut the sleeves at the very last minute. It was crazy, but I loved that dress and I felt great it in.
AM: What are you working on now professionally coming off of so much activity?
LV: I have been busy in New York on a press tour and am headed back home to Colorado for my Foundation Gala event and to spend some time with my family and my dogs.
AM: What are you working on?
LV: Personally, I’m working on just taking it easy and having fun. Now that the Olympics are over I can relax!
AM: We know that this fall, you have a Signature Skiwear Collection with Under Armour coming out which we're excited to see. Tell us about your personal style - what would we see you wearing when you're going out for cocktails and a night out versus running errands about time?
LV: 99.9% of the time I’m in sweats. I live in head to toe Under Armour, so it's nice to dress up and feel pretty. For cocktails, I like to wear maybe leather pants and a fun top. And heels… I love a great pair of heels.
AM: Wherever you're based, where could we find you grabbing drinks and a meal, shopping and then your favorite fitness studio to go to.
LV: You can find me at Starbucks anywhere. I need my coffee! For a meal it depends where I am—probably at the hotel restaurant. For shopping, I love going to boutiques where you can find one-of-a-kind things. I am either in my gym at home, at the Red Bull gym in LA, a hotel gym or outside.
AM: Tell us about the Lindsey Vonn Foundation - why it was created, what it focuses on and who it assists.
LV: My Foundation was created because Picabo Street inspired me as a young girl to be an Olympian within five minutes of meeting her. I know the impact that a little encouragement and inspiration can do, and I want to give that to girls. We have had three free camps helping 300 girls to be friends, leaders, and gain confidence. I stay with them the entire 2-day camp and work with them. We will have our 4th camp in LA this summer with 200 girls. We just relaunched our Scholarship Program this spring focusing on enrichment activities for both girls and boys to help find their passions outside of school. Whether it’s a ski club, violin lessons, or cooking class—we want them to be able to find and do what they love.
PHOTO CREDITS | PG 128 Under Armour Launch of Lindsey Vonn's FW18 Under Armour Signature Skiwear Collection | PG 130 Bounty | PG 132 Bstefanov Lindsey Vonn (USA) at Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Ladies' Super G on February 26, 2012 in Bansko, Bulgaria |
Last night we were at the launch of G.H. Bass X Haspel which released (available today) a collab between both storied brands that includes 5 men's shoes that merge the aesthetic of both brands. Haspel is known as a men's brand that includes seersucker within their day suits and adds a southern flair to your style. The event toasted the collaboration last night under the stars with food and cocktails indicative of Maine (G.H. Bass) and New Orleans (Haspel) at Bobo in the West Village in a garden like setting.
It's been quite a winter! Thankfully, March reminds us that our dreams of sunny days and rising temperatures is closer to being a reality. This month's covergirl is one of our new faves, Ashley Busch - US Polo player, Global Brand Ambassador of U.S. Polo Assn, Wilhelmina model and wife of NASCAR's Kurt Busch! Our shoot incorporates Spring's must haves and we get the scoop on playing polo, hanging out with Ashley and seeing what she's up to.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What does it take to be a polo player?
ASHLEY BUSCH: It takes a few things to be a good polo player. Of course, previous riding experience is always an advantage. To me, the most important skill is to have good hand-eye coordination. Also, the skill of the pony is just as important as the skill of the player.
AM: Are there things that people don't realize in terms of coordinating the mallet and riding?
AB: Most people do not realize that when we are riding we are standing up in the stirrups 90% of the time. In order to hit the ball it takes hand eye coordination. How far it goes has a lot to do with timing of where your horse is and where your mallet is in relation to the ball.
AM: What are your favorite plays?
AB: There are not really any set plays or off sides in polo. Any player can go anywhere on the field. Typically, I play number 1 or number 2 and those positions are the ones that do most of the scoring which are my favorite plays of course!
AM: What has been your favorite match that you have played in?
AB: My favorite match was the 12 Goal tournament I won with my dad at the International Polo Club.
AM: How has the Polo season been and what races are you looking forward to this year?
AB: Polo season has been great so far. I played my first tournament in January and we got to the finals where we only lost by one goal. The second tournament I played in February, we won
by 2 goals. So, I would say this season has been a success!
I look forward to all of the races whether I'm there or watching on TV. I get really into each race because each track is different and it’s fun to see how everything transpires. One of my favorite
trips is the west coast swing that we are on right now. From Vegas to Phoenix to LA. Some other tracks that I love are Bristol in Tennessee, Talladega, and Sonoma.
AM: As this month's cover girl of Athleisure Mag for the kickoff to our Spring Issue, what is it about this time of year that you find exciting?
AB: I am someone that has always gravitated towards warm weather. I love that the flowers are starting to bloom and everything is warming up. I look at springtime as an opportunity to do some spring cleaning and really hone in on my goals for the year. It’s a reboot in my opinion!
AM: The Spring is definitely a great time to add new pieces to your closet - what are some of your favorite spring must-haves that you love in your closet or will be adding to soon?
AB: With all the fashion weeks coming to an end, a lot of designers start putting out their spring lines, which I am always excited to see what new prints and styles are featured. I especially enjoy it because I am a designer myself and look forward to seeing what they come up with and what is trending. As far as new pieces, I am a sucker for a good pair of jeans that can be worn from day to night and I am always looking for fun shoes to mix it up!
AM: You do a lot of traveling and with NASCAR season starting back up, how do you juggle your calendar versus your days on the track to support your husband?
AB: The key for us is basically just looking ahead and scheduling everything accordingly. Some races I inevitably miss because I am playing polo. Regardless, though, we are both very supportive of each other and we make it work!
AM: With such a busy schedule, great skincare is essential to ensure that you always look like you have a well-rested glow - what beauty products do you swear by?
AB: I typically do not wear much makeup, mainly because I am always on the go. Some of my go-to products are the La Mer oil-infused lotion to hydrate and smooth my skin. I also love Drunk Elephant's day and night serums to help balance out my skin tone. I use the Elta MD tinted moisturizer almost every day, especially when I have a polo match. It provides nice, even coverage, but more importantly has SPF to prevent wrinkles. When traveling, I always carry the Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist! I use it whenever I feel like my skin needs a little boost of hydration.
AM: The last time we chatted with you, you were working on your swim line, how is that going and what can you tell us about it?
AB: We are still in the creative process of my swim line and ironing out all of the details. What I can tell you is that 10% of the proceeds will go to charity, as philanthropy has always been a major part of my life. I will be posting updates on my social media as we progress and am shooting to launch this summer!
AM: When you're not training for your next polo match, designing your line, in a photoshoot or hanging out with Kurt, what can we find you doing when you're taking time for yourself?
AB: In my spare time, I am most likely spending time with friends and family. I also really enjoy being at home just relaxing with my dogs.
AM: When you're home, where can we find you shopping, grabbing cocktails and a drink and do you have a workout studio that you enjoy going to?
AB: My go-to store to shop is Intermix. I also love to check out local boutiques in the area. In Charlotte, Kurt and I enjoy going to Sushi at the Lake for dinner and drinks. In Florida, HMF is a super cool spot. Most of the time, Kurt and I will cook dinner together at the house though.
When I am in Florida, I train at the International Polo Club with polo trainers. In Charlotte, we have a personal trainer who comes to our house to workout. I also like to take aerial silk classes at Air-fit Charlotte.
AM: What charities or philanthropies do you give your time to?
Hotel Brooklyn Bridge which has great views of Manhattan and is in a neighborhood with a number of options to enjoy. We chatted with General Manager, Cornelia Samara to find out why this property is one that you should get to know as we continue into the Spring and Summer.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about 1 Hotels in terms of the family of properties within this group and what one can expect when staying here generally?
CORNELIA SAMARA: We currently have 1 Hotels open in South Beach, Manhattan, and most recently, here in Brooklyn. Soon guests will be able to get closer to nature in Cabo; Sanya, China; West Hollywood and Sunnyvale. While every property is unique in its design and offerings, you can always expect a home away from home, with thoughtful service and personal touches. Every 1 Hotel is designed to celebrate nature and bring touches of the outdoors inside.
AM: Are there different personalities that 1 Hotels represents depending on the city/community?
CS: Definitely. Each 1 Hotels property is directly influenced and inspired by their local surroundings – the natural landmarks it sits on or beside, as well as the community it is part of. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, for example, is inspired by the industrial history of the Brooklyn waterfront, and its design takes cues from the park it sits upon.
AM: Specifically, tell us about 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge - when did it open, what is the atmosphere?
CS: We opened our doors to 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in February 2017, making us just recently 1 Tree Ring year old. The atmosphere at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is first and foremost welcoming, and it has a special balance of energy, liveliness in the midst of tranquility.
AM: What makes the Brooklyn location one that is great for business travel, business meetings, vacations and staycations?
CS: Much like Brooklyn itself, what you can experience at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is very diverse in its offerings. We operate 6 different outlets that can cater to just about every traveler, with a spa providing treatments to relax and re-energize, a rooftop pool & bar that
is calm by day and energetic by night, a lobby lounge and café that are both great for settling in with a good book or hunkering down to get work done, visit The Osprey for an elevated dining experience, or Brooklyn Heights Social club for unparalleled views and an unmatched cocktail list.
AM: What amenities are offered by the hotel and what are the touches that are specific to this hotel?
CS: -Bamford Haybarn Spa
-24 hour Field House fitness center
-Seasonal rooftop bar and pool
-Full Service Restaurant, The Osprey, with seasonal outdoor seating
-Brooklyn Heights Social Club, a bar on the 10th floor with stunning views of NYC skyline
-Neighbors café located in the lobby
-24 hour in-room dining
-Complimentary Tesla electric house car
-Filtered water taps in guest rooms
-Location on Brooklyn Bridge Park
We put a great deal of effort into bringing nature into our public spaces and guest rooms. It’s important that people feel at one with nature even when they aren’t able to actually get outside.
For example, each guest room will have green elements like living green moss, small trees or even hanging gardens.
AM: The public areas are so welcoming, who designed this hotel and what was the thought process behind the design?
CS: The hotel was thoughtfully designed by INC Architecture & Design, guided by a specific vision from our founder, Barry Sternlicht, and our design team. From the beginning, we knew we wanted our guests, community and visitors to feel at home and close to nature. We like
to think of our lobby a place to gather, where you can find locals and guests busy at work or socializing with friends.
AM: We saw that you offer car services to the area - why is this an amenity that was added and tell us more about it?
CS: We do offer a complimentary Tesla house car for our guests, to whisk them away to destinations within 3 miles of the hotel with low-impact (it’s electric!) We chose an electric car to be our house car because it minimizes our contribution to air pollution and also gives our
guests the chance to see that electric vehicles can be true replacements for gasoline powered vehicles. We hope it encourages them to take measure to reduce their own carbon footprints when they head home.
AM: What can we look forward to for the Spring and the Summer that is offered at the Brooklyn Bridge location?
CS: -New seasonal menus items made with market-fresh ingredients throughout our food and beverage outlets and our in-room dining menu
-Our seasonal rooftop bar and pool will reopen in the spring
-Exciting outdoor programming from our partners at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CS: -They can always expect warm and welcoming greeting from our team
-They can always expect amazing cuisine with ingredients locally sourced from their own communities
-Unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge
-Locals are always welcome to get comfortable and work from our lobby lounge
-Special offers from the hotel and our outlets, extended specifically to our neighbors and local community
AM: Tell us about your commitment to wellness as we saw the yoga mats in the room and we know you have a gym as well.
CS: It’s important to us to encourage our guests to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. We can only put our best foot forward in taking care of the planet when we also take care of ourselves. We hope the yoga mats remind guests the importance of taking a moment each day to get centered and focused in their mind and spirit. We offer Mind & Movement programming to help create experiences that allow guests to do this.
AM: Two of our favorite places are rooftops and spas and we know you have both, tell us about this.
CS: You are definitely not alone in that! There are few things better than an amazing view or being pampered. While our service definitely sets us apart, there’s no question that our views are taken to the next level on our rooftop. At Bamford Haybarn Spa, the commitment to holistic treatments and organic ingredients is a major differentiator.
When we think of women that are innovative and trailblazers, Joy Mangano is one of the people that come to mind. We're honored that she sat down with us to talk about her aha moment, her ability to create functional items that make your life easier, how she maintains a fresh perspective when she is working to continue to develop great products and the importance of being a mentor to share the wealth of inspiration.
ATHLEISURE MAG: For those who have not seen the movie where Jennifer Lawrence plays you OR those who are not familiar with you, can you tell us how you went from realizing the need for one great product that brought you to HSN, to where you have now generated a number of great products and assisted those who also have great concepts that fit within our lifestyle?
JOY MANGANO: As a single mother of three, I was looking for a way to make the daily chore of mopping easier. I didn’t know much about the world of product and business, but I felt like
most mothers and wives do, not having enough time to care of their families and homes, and I wanted to try to fix that. The Miracle Mop was born from that feeling, a feeling I never gave
up on, that I could help people like me. And that belief is what kept me going, to new products, to TV retail, to HSN, to where I am today.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Do you believe that all great products come out of the need to solve a problem?
JM: 100% yes. I’ve always wondered why the ordinary things in life need to remain ordinary, if they have a chance to be better. I guess I just don’t settle for accepting things the way they are,
I focus on the way they could be, and should be, in every aspect of life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had dreams for new ways to design something better. More color, more style,
more function. I was always inspired by the world around me.
AM: At what point did you realize that expanding from the mop was necessary to build your empire and how many products do you say that you concept and then eventually bring to market?
JM: It’s funny, but stopping at the mop was never really an option in my mind. I saw, and still see an opportunity in everything. As a child, I was always searching for a way to improve everything I could get my hands on. And that’s still true today. I’ve always had ideas about products in my head; but the success of the Miracle Mop allowed me the courage and self-belief to bring so many of them to life.
AM: What would you say the ethos of the Joy brand is and how do you continue to come up with great ideas that really become adopted into our lifestyle quickly?
JM: I believe we’re all basically the same. We have the same needs, the same wants, the same challenges and troubles. So I’m always convinced that an idea will resonate, because it always comes from a need I have; a need my customers might have too! The process really starts and
grows from there.
AM: As the Co-Founder/Style Director of Athleisure Mag, my first steamer whether I was styling projects or was going on air for HSN myself, I would bring My Little Steamer. This was my first steamer that I used for a number of years! What was the moment when you realized that you should create this as well as that it would be a great product to have in your assortment?
JM: I love that! I’m so happy to hear you love the My Little Steamer! It really is the little product that could. Like everyone in life, I just didn’t like the hassle and trouble with ironing. The big heavy board, the water spilling everywhere, the burning of your clothes and maybe even your fingers. I knew I wanted to create something light, easy and portable, unlike traditional irons, but also better. And we did it – in just minutes you can steam something and you’re out the door looking flawless. That immediate reaction is what makes it such a great product.
AM: How do you know that a product is not only a hit but is worthy of bearing your name or being a part of your empire?
JM: I believe in everything I put my name on, I create products that I personally have a need for, so if I like it and believe in it, then I know there’s a real chance that my customers will too.
AM: How important is giving back to those as a mentor and to direct them toward being strong and savvy business women?
JM: I believe in the American Dream because I’m living it! And I know, no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you are smart and brave and have a little luck, you can find your own success. But I also know that getting started can be very scary – there’s no roadmap, no
step-by-step guide that tells you how to make your dream a reality, especially in the world of bringing new ideas to life. That’s why I started my foundation, The Joy Mangano Foundation, as way to help women get started both in their personal and business lives by empowering them
and providing tools that they might not have access to.
AM: Closet organizing, home maintenance, travel clothing prep etc are some of the core pieces that are in your collection, what else should we keep on our radar for future appearances on HSN.
JM: I don’t want to spoil anything, but I have a few new products rolling out that I have been working on!
AM: What advice do you give women who are looking to bring that one idea to market in a mass way when they may not have the resources (financially, contacts etc) to do so - but they still believe that this is something that needs to be in the world?
JM: You must believe in yourself and your ideas in order for anyone else to believe them. It starts with you – no one else will push you forward. I’d also recommend they check out my foundation, which is partnered with Rising Tide Capital, a brilliant non-profit organization that, for the past 10 years has been working to empower many first-time entrepreneurs and single mothers to use their creativity and talents so they too can build businesses that transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
AM: What philanthropy/charities do you give your time to?
JM: I have the honor of being a part of the UN Women Champions for Innovation. I’m so proud to be a part of an amazing group of women who promote UN Women’s activities that support
women’s and girl’s opportunities in areas related to innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. It’s important to raise awareness about the barriers that women and girls face in these industries and I’m so happy I can be a part of the change.
AM: You have 100s of inventions under your belt - what keeps you engaged in inventing and presenting new concepts?
JM: I try to have a fresh perspective waking up every day. I think it’s important no matter what you do, to take a step back and look at things in a different light. It keeps you engaged and
sometimes sparks thoughts and ideas which is how I keep inventing new concepts and products.
PHOTOS COURTESY | JOY MANGANO
Just days after the Super Bowl, we got some time on the calendar to talk with NFL Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII Champion, Bryan Braman! Coming off of so much excitement playing a game that he loves while also taking in the moment of a great success, we were impressed by his humble nature and his focus on hard work, having a goal and being a leader that his teammates can connect with.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We know that the last few days have been crazy for you and really appreciate you coming by to chat with us - how has it been knowing that you're a Super Bowl Champion?
BRYAN BRAMAN: It's been crazy and I'm just taking it all in right now!
AM: We have to ask, you have really great hair and the perfect man bun - you have to spill how you take care of it as a number of readers were asking us in preparation of this interview!
BB: I don't really - it just grows. I don't really trim it although recently I just cut the dead ends off. I don't use any special shampoos. I have tried things that people have recommended, but nothing has really stuck. Honestly, most of the time I don't brush it - I just woke up like that and get up and go. I shower, rinse it out real good and then go afterwards.
I actually had an undercut and so all of the sides and the back were a different length and I wasn't able to pull it up. But now it's at a length that I can actually pull it up and it stays for a little bit and then it falls out. Hopefully, those parts will grow out a little bit more. I didn't want to cut them off and the undercut started getting jagged and crooked so I just stuck it out to grow it out.
AM: When did you know that you wanted to play football?
BB: A long time ago - I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I knew I was going to play in the NFL when I was 13.
AM: What was your journey to get to the Eagles?
BB: Starting from me entering the NFL, I played for the Houston Texans for 3 years and my rookie deal was coming to an end and at that time, I was a restrictive free agent so they owned all the rights to me and we just didn't agree on a contract and they ended up releasing me. From there, I was able to get in with Philly back in 2014. So I played with them in '14, '15, '16 and then similar situation, they allowed my contract to expire and from there I took some time off and then the New Orleans Saints called and they let me play for 2 preseason games and they liked me and wanted to bring me back. But due to an injury that I sustained to my shoulder, they didn't feel comfortable bringing me in. Philadelphia ended up calling me a few weeks after that and the rest is history.
AM: That's exciting, we're sure that was stressful when you were in between teams, but then to come back to this team must have been great! The Philadelphia Eagles is our Style Director's second favorite team as she is a major Indianapolis Colts fan since it's her hometown!
BB: Oh really that's cool. How do you feel about Frank Reich (Super Bowl LII Offensive Coordinator for the Eagles who was just hired as the Head Coach for the Indianapolis Colts)?
AM: Really good actually! It was a little weird when Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coordinator and Quaterbacks Coach for the New England Patriots) was announced as the coach for the Colts as it didn't seem to make sense and then of course within hours of the announcement, he decided to stay.
BB: I thought it was strange that they pulled out. That took me by surprise. But Frank's a good guy though, I think he will do well! He'll be really good for the team.
AM: We think so too and we're excited to see what he does.
What do you think it is about your energy that your teammates embrace you so much and that the fans do as well? Many times people know very specific positions and those who are on Special Teams (the position that he plays) are not always as known - what makes you so memorable? Is it your humble nature?
BB: I don't know if it's that or moreso the passion that I play in the game. If you were to ask anybody, "Does Bryan love the game of football?" I'm sure that you would get a yes everytime. I just feel that the passion and the love of the game is something that has really carried me and that you can see that in my play style and the way that I run on the field and the way that I try to hit people, the way that I pace on the sideline - I love it - I love the game.
AM: What are your workouts like in the regular season versus off season?
BB: There's a difference between building strength and maintaining strength. Offseason leading up to the season, I really just use as much of that time as possible to get as strong, as fast and as physical as possible. Then during the season, you just want to maintain that.
The biggest difference more or less, would be the weight, the intensity, the regularity etc. So, lifting everyday in the off season compared to lifting twice a week during the season. Just try to keep that extra off your body, the rehab of making sure that the joints and the muscles are all firing and working properly. Definitely intensity is the biggest difference for regular season and off season.
AM: What was your mental focus like coming into the Championships and then transitioning into playing Super Bowl LII in terms of just having that mindset to prepare for the game?
BB: For me, it was about not making it anything bigger than it actually is.
AM: Wait - so you had no nerves when you walked out? It was just another game for you.
BB: Yeah. I mean you could feel the energy and the biggest thing was that for the amount of time, especially for the Super Bowl, compared to a regular season game, the amount of time you spend pre-game and half time it's all extended. So by the time you're at the end of the game, you're looking at an extra hour and a half of time that's in there that you wouldn't have for a regular game. You can really get burned out during those times with your energy or you peak too high too early or at the wrong time. It can throw your game off so I just remembered that whole time that I kept repeating to myself, "take it easy - take it easy, you've got time - you've got time - you've got time." I just tried to keep as calm as possible. I would think about it, take it all in, look at the stadium, see all the fans and everything that they did with it. It was incredible!
AM: It was such a good game!
So, you're a snappy dresser especially when you're rocking suits. We've checked out your Instagram - what's your personal style and what are your favorite brands?
BB: Thank you - I just have to see it on the hanger. If it's something that I like and I can see it then it doesn't matter about the brand. The fit obviously when I put it on has to be right or I'm not wearing it. I'm not about beauty is pain. I want to be nice and comfortable and I feel like I look my best when I am. I don't really have too many brands but I do like Alberto for jeans. I like G-Star they're pretty savvy for me and I love their jeans. Being a Swedish brand, they have taller lengths that just fits me right as I just can't walk into Macy's and find a pair of Levi's that fit you like that. Shirt wise, I wear a lot of v-necks - H&M Has a lot of the long line tees - TopMan has this as well.
AM: What do you do in your personal time?
BB: I spend time with my girls. I have two daughters. I like firearms so I worked as an armor for a little while and have a nice little collection of rifles and handguns that I like to spend time with. I enjoy the fire range, hunting, hog hunt - I'm an outdoorsy guy. I like to snowboard, fish - anytime outside is something that I like to do quite a bit.
AM: Are you catching any of the Olympics that's going on right now?
BB: So, figure skating has always been my favorite to watch. Back when Scott Hamilton was doing back flips - that's what got me. I mean this guys just did a backflip on iceskates - NO WAY!!! I would be in my living room like, "gymnastics on ice!" It was great and I was hooked ever since. It would just be something that I would do with my mom.
We'd channel surf and see ice skating and watch it together. One of the restaurants we'd go to would have figure skating on and we'd catch it there. This year, I haven't watched it as intently as I'd usually do.
AM: How do you give back in terms of charities and philanthropies that you are apart of?
BB: So I have a pretty interesting story. I feel like sharing that with people and being able to let them know that it doesn't matter how down you feel or out you feel - you have to keep pushing and keep your eye on the prize. Never falter as it's easier to give up than to push forward. But the reward for pushing forward will always be greater then any risk! That's big time!
AM: Knowing your backstory and how you came through this process to be where you are and to be so humble and zen, you never know the turns that will come along but if you manifest your reality - thats what's going to happen!
BB: Predicted destiny - manifest destiny!
This month's cover is graced by another one of our faves, CNBC's Jon Fortt who we see everyday as Co-host of Squawk Alley where, he shares his insight on what's going on with startups as well as tech companies. In addition to rocking an array of menswear that is transitional winter/spring style, he shares with us how he got into the industry from journalism to broadcasting, his approach to his work and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us your background and how you got into broadcasting and ultimately to CNBC?
JON FORTT: I’m kind of an accidental broadcast guy. It was never a big goal of mine to get on TV. I actually started out working for newspapers as a print reporter. There was a national newspaper chain called Knight Ridder and they had this amazing scholarship for aspiring journalists and media businesspeople from ethnic minority groups. Every year, they’d pick four high school students to win a financial award, and more important, summer internships during college. Unfortunately, Knight Ridder doesn’t exist anymore, and there aren’t enough programs like the one they had.
Anyway, I worked for a Knight Ridder paper called the Lexington Herald-Leader after college, then got a job in Silicon Valley at the San Jose Mercury News just before the dot-com bust. I eventually made the move to magazines, editing at Time Inc.’s Business 2.0 and writing for Fortune. That’s where CNBC found me. They’d have me on every now and then to talk about Apple, which had become my specialty. Back in 2010, they decided they wanted to take a chance on a new correspondent, and fortunately, I was it.
AM: We know that you enjoy talking about tech companies, startups, products and services. What is it about technology that makes you so passionate and do you have a specific topic within it that you really enjoy focusing on?
JF: That’s a cool question, because I don’t think anyone’s asked me in that way before. It’s a little bit of an accident of timing that I’m into technology, I think. I got out of high school in 1994, the same year the web browser was born, and I think that has a lot to do with it. I got to the college newspaper and we were suddenly facing this question of what we were going to do about the web. Some of us started learning HTML, and built the first website for the paper. (I don’t think I had much to do with the final product, but it was fun to learn.) Not long after that, the paper got its first digital camera, which was seriously high-tech back then. It could only shoot black-and-white photos, and the resolution was really bad, but it was about 10 times faster to get a photo shot and processed compared to the darkroom. It became clear pretty quickly that technology was going to be the edge I would need in my career to get things done faster and at higher quality. That’s what I like covering most, I guess – the way seemingly small ideas can completely change the way we get things done.
AM: When we're watching CNBC, you talk about a range of companies and startups - and you have a fresh and fair approach to present it to those of varying levels of understanding - how important is it to make these topics relatable to a wide, as well as a niche audience?
JF: Maybe it’s the writer in me, and maybe it’s the time I spent doing tech reviews. I try to remember that there’s no excuse for making the audience feel dumb. Our audience is smart, but a big portion of our viewers aren’t into all of the jargon – they’re people managing stock portfolios preparing for retirement, or retirees trying to understand the forces that are affecting the stocks they own. The temptation is always to match the wonkiness of the guests we have on – economists and investment managers – to sort of prove that I can go toe-to-toe in the conversation. But I think it’s always important to remember why I’m there: as a representative of the viewer.
JF: Thanks! The Fortt Knox Podcast was born because I felt like I was leaving too much good stuff on the cutting room floor. I mean, sometimes a Fortune 500 CEO is willing to spend an hour with me, and I’ve got five minutes of live air time. Depending on what’s happening in the news, maybe I’ve got to ask about the company’s stock price, or something political – if that’s what’s moving markets that day, it’s what you’ve gotta do on CNBC. That’s a third of the live interview time, gone. Why not record a longer interview, and offer it up to people who want to go deeper?
The mission? There’s a line I say to introduce each episode, and I think it sums things up: “We’re going to learn how the very best climbed to the top, and pull out lessons along the way.” The stuff I do live on CNBC is mostly for investors and fans of the public markets who want to understand where to put their long-term dollars. Fortt Knox is for people who want insight into building their careers, who want to understand how high-achieving people get things done.
At the same time, because I’m a little crazy, I decided it would be cool to do a live streaming show, Fortt Knox Live. That’s also weekly, and a CNBC producer, Evan Falk, works closely with me on it. The mission behind that is to answer the question, "What are the best ways to manage your time and money in a culture where tech is taking over?"
AM: Walk us through what it is like to prepare as a Co-Anchor for Squawk Alley and for your podcast Fortt Knox? Wow, what does your day look like when you're preparing for Squawk Alley and then when you're getting ready for your show?
JF: It’s sometimes a bit nuts. I get up in the morning at 6 or 6:30, and I immediately check my phone (iPhone X at the moment) for headlines and indications of how stocks are likely to begin trading that day. I look for emails from the producers about changes to the guests and timing of the show. I copy that over into a folder I keep in the cloud in Microsoft OneNote. (See, I’m not a total Apple guy.) Eventually, I walk to the train, about a mile and a half, and catch New Jersey Transit to Hoboken and then a PATH train to World Trade Center. I’m really conscious of all the spots where I will and won’t have Internet access, because I’m compiling my research for Squawk Alley the whole way. I walk from World Trade to the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan, where we broadcast the show live from the floor.
After Squawk Alley ends at noon, I might head up to the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to record a Fortt Knox Podcast interview, or on Wednesday to stream Fortt Knox Live. From the Nasdaq I’ll make my way to CNBC headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. I finish the in-office day there. I might be editing the audio for the podcast, which I produce and edit myself, or I might be planning the next Fortt Knox Live with Evan. Or I might be pouring over stats and trying to figure out how to boost the distribution and quality of both the podcast and live show. Sometimes that bleeds over into time at home, too. But I try to get home by 6, in time for dinner with my wife and two boys, who are 7 and 9. I like to give them a hug goodbye in the morning, have dinner with them and get them ready for bed if at all possible. That means bringing Fortt Knox work home sometimes, but ideally the kids don’t see too much of it. I try not to pull out my phone much in the evening. One of the upsides of technology is that it helps us to be more flexible in where and when we work. Of course, that can backfire if we use it to overwork ourselves, but it can also give us more time with family if we can work it right.
AM: What's your hectic time of year in terms of covering tech and startups?
JF: I used to say it was the springtime, but now, with Fortt Knox, there is no slower season. If things are getting slow, it means I need to step up my game in booking guests.
AM: What are your impressions on the state of the crypto asset ecosystem? Do you have any recommendations for people interested in the space?
JF: I’m not one to give in-depth investment advice – that’s my colleague Jim Cramer’s gig – but I’ll say this: if you’re doing it right, investing is a game of skill, not a game of chance. You shouldn’t put your money into anything unless you believe you have a decent idea of what makes its value go up and down. I see a lot of people putting money into cryptocurrencies who have no idea what’s making prices move. Some people say, “If you just put 1% of your net worth into cryptocurrencies, it’s OK.” But let’s be real, if 1% of your net worth is $2,000, and you buy some Bitcoin and it doubles, you’re either going to sell it and say, “that was fun,” or you’re going to be tempted to start chasing it and put $10,000 in. Hey, unless your 401(k) is fully funded with the match, you have 6 months’ worth of expenses saved in cash, you're carrying zero student loans and you're not carrying a balance on any credit cards, don't even think about putting more than a couple hundred bucks into cryptocurrencies. It'll distract you from more important uses of your money and time. That’s the advice I’d give family, anyway.
AM: We love that you call it like you see it. How does your approach to journalism best bring out the story? How have you adapted with new media and distribution platforms along the way?
JF: After a certain period of time, with certain subjects, I think the audience gives a journalist permission to offer what I’d call “informed analysis.” How’s that different from opinion? Well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? Informed analysis is different. You get to deliver analysis when people understand that you have a bit of background in the subject, and you can give historical context for why something is likely to happen, or why a product or strategy is important or risky or not. I try to be careful about that, but I think the “call it like you see it” approach is important in today’s journalism, when some executives or companies might be trying to put up a smokescreen or overhype technologies. The key is that the analysis be informed.
AM: Who are some of your favorite interviews so far on-air? Who are some people you’d love to have a session with?
JF: Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, is fun because he has this unique approach to leadership. He doesn’t take the drill sergeant approach, or the admit-no-faults approach that’s popular in some circles of leadership today. He’s thoughtful. Jeff Bezos was great too, but it’s been too long. I’d love to have him back. It’s also been a few years since I last talked to Mark Zuckerberg on air. Now would be a great time for him to sit down with me again. Subtle, no?
AM: What would you tell those that are interested in getting into broadcasting and podcasts? Anything to add with tech-specific shows particularly?
JF: The great and horrible thing about getting into media right now is, you no longer have to ask for permission. If you’re really passionate about telling people’s stories and about sharing knowledge, you can just do it. If you have a broadband connection, a PC and a phone, you have everything you need to start showing the world what you can do. So whenever young people tell me they’re interested in getting into media, I’m like, “Show me what you’ve done.” Don’t tell me, show me. And I’m not looking for top quality necessarily, but I’m looking for drive and evidence that this person is getting better. Often, young people can’t show we much they’ve done. And that tells me you’re not truly passionate about media, you maybe just like watching videos. There’s a difference.
With tech-specific shows – it’s just like anything else you’re interested in. Be a voracious student of the area you care about, hone your craft as far as how you write, and speak, and present information, and you’ll be surprised how far you’ll go.
AM: When you're not on air, what can we find you doing?
JF: I’ve become something of an amateur photographer lately. I shoot with a Sony A7ii, a full-frame camera I got from an eBay auction a year and a half ago. (The secret with those auctions is to use a sniper program like Gixen.) I just recently put together the newsletter for my youngest son’s elementary school PTA. It was 12 pages, full color, far too elaborate.
AM: How do you maintain balance between your schedule from being on air, hosting events and your family?
JF: I try to limit the business dinners and do lunches instead. Then there’s the whole being home for dinner thing. I read the kids a Bible story, read to them from a book (right now we’re in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, powering through C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series). I tend to be the parent who primarily handles bigger projects like book reports, speeches and science projects. My philosophy is, if I make specific commitments at home the way I do at work, I have to move other things to make them happen.
AM: What's your personal style on air and how does that differ when you're running errands or out on the town?
JF: I’m one of those guys who knows what I like, but I wouldn’t say I qualify as someone who’s deep into fashion. If I’m just going to be around the house, it’s sweats or the same athletic gear I wear to work out. If I’m going out, I’m one for dressy jeans, a button-down and layers. Lately I’m into more details, collars and cuffs, and quality stitching. It’s the nice thing about being an adult who’s not growing anymore and being able to maintain a pretty constant weight. Quality stuff lasts. Some of my favorite pieces are more than 10 years old. I’ve got a couple of leather jackets that I picked up in Italy on our honeymoon 11 years ago.
AM: What fitness studios do you go to?
JF: I know this is sacrilege, but I don’t do fitness studios. CNBC has a free gym at headquarters, and when I’m doing what I should, I get in there two or three times a week for some time on the bike and a few weights. My staple now that I’m over 40 is body weight exercises – pushups, pullups, planks, squats, lunges – that sort of thing. At home I’ve got resistance bands, which are great for promoting flexibility and muscle elasticity. I get the fitness studio thing - the camaraderie, the motivation - but it's not my thing. The last gym I went to was a Gold's in Silicon Valley. I went at 5 a.m. with the old people and bodybuilders, and it was a cool $15 a month. Very business-like. Come to think of it, if I were single I’d feel differently, but at this point I’m not trying to meet new people at the gym, you know?
AM: What are three must-haves that you take with you to work daily?
JF: I’m not going to count my phone, because that’s a gimmie. I’ve got to have my Anker portable battery, because there’s no way any phone can get me through a full day on a single charge. I always carry my Tascam DR-40 with two XLR mics for podcast recording. And I’ve got a pair of JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth earbuds.
AM: What's currently on your playlist?
JF: I’m all over the place. I’m still bumping A Tribe Called Quest’s last album, and I have a mild obsession with Dua Lipa’s New Rules – particularly that spot in the chorus where the rhythm shifts from 3-2 to a standard back beat. X Ambassadors are the most underrated alternative band out there… “Love Songs Drug Songs,” and “Unconsolable” get heavy rotation from me. And of course real hip-hop from The Roots, Mos Def, Nas… I don’t touch the new mumble rap stuff.
AM: What charities/organizations do you support?
JF: We’re longtime supporters of World Vision and Children International, and over the past five years, we’ve stepped up our giving to International Justice Mission. IJM is a pretty phenomenal organization that goes into communities around the world and works to free slaves. Their work includes victims of human trafficking, the fishing industry, brick-making operations... you name it. They work with local law enforcement to not only liberate people, but also bring criminals to justice through the courts.
AM: If you weren't working in your current field, what you be doing?
JF: I thought about taking a year off after college and trying to make it as a singer/songwriter. I’m glad I didn’t have to resort to that. In high school, I took architecture classes and thought I might do that for a while. Whatever I’d be doing, it would probably have to involve bringing creative concepts to life using technology.
Jon's shoot took place in the Hudson Yards and Hell's Kitchen neighborhoods, which are two hot areas in the city on the west side in midtown. Throughout the shoot, we showcased luxury living at Sky, which is developed by The Moinian Group. We wanted to know more about why this property has had so much buzz due to its location, amenities and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is the concept behind Sky Residences?
THE MOINIAN GROUP: The largest residential tower in the country, Sky debuted in January, 2016. With an abundance of resort-like amenities and services, Sky was designed to provide the ultimate luxury experience for its residents. The 71-story building, which offers studio to two-bedroom homes, sits at the nexus of two thriving neighborhoods – Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards – allowing residents to immerse themselves in best-in-class services while experiencing one of Manhattan’s most vibrant, growing communities.
AM: Who developed this property?
TMG: Leading NYC developers, The Moinian Group are the development team behind Sky. The Moinian Group is one of the top national real estate entities to develop, own and operate properties across every category including office, hotel, retail, condos and rental apartments. The team's portfolio of 20 million square feet spans across many major cities including New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Bold New York handles the leasing for the building.
AM: Who created the interior design?
TMG: The stunning interiors at Sky were designed by celebrated architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group. Founded by award-winning visionary David Rockwell, Rockwell Group was also responsible for spearheading all of the building’s design features.
AM: What amenities are offered?
TMG: Sky leads by example in luxury residential living, featuring a myriad of world-class amenities including including an outdoor deck with two zero-edge pools; a private park; full-service spa with nail salon; professional-sized basketball court designed by Carmelo Anthony; water club with Turkish hammam; indoor/outdoor yoga spaces; billiards lounge and café; two libraries with fireplaces; a Spot Canine Club; and a 10,000 square foot fitness floor. The building also features world-renowned artwork by Yayoi Kusama, including a larger than life, carved bronze pumpkin in the building’s infinity loop motor court, as well as the two Kusama “Infinity Net” paintings in the building’s David Rockwell - designed lobby. Sky also features Gunther Forg’s Lead Paintings.
AM: What bespoke services are offered?
TMG: Sky offers a 24-hour doorman, valet services, on-site lifestyle concierge service by Luxury Attaché, Spot Canine Club, exclusive events, in-house room service from LifeCafe and a full-service spa with an adjoining nail salon and massage studio.
AM: Tell us about LifeTime Athletic at Sky.
TMG: LifeTime Athletic at Sky - NYC's premier health and fitness club - features an unparalleled array of amenities and services. Residents can enjoy four fitness studios with offerings such as Pilates, Yoga and Cycle in addition to a full range of group fitness classes. The 70,000 square foot space also offers LifeSpa, LifeCafe, expansive indoor lap pool, spacious locker rooms with lavish amenities and towel services. LifeTime provides an ease of access to all residents, allowing them to take an elevator straight into the fitness club and enter through the residence entrance.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood.
TMG: Sky is positioned right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the home to many of NYC’s famed theaters and award-winning restaurants. Residents are also in close proximity to the iconic Highline and West Chelsea’s renowned art galleries. The booming Hudson Yards District, set just a few blocks from Sky, will soon feature brand new office towers along with more than 100 new luxury shops and restaurants.
AM: What is next to Sky?
TMG: The retail space next to the Sky residences is curated by the Moinian Group. This past year The Moinian Group created Sky Art, a nonprofit art center founded by Frahm & Frahm and The Moinian Group that featured exhibited work from Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The artist's latest collection, I <3 John Giorno, was designed as a tribute to American poet and activist, John Giorno. The location, now named Sky Space, has been transformed into a premier event venue fit with high ceilings and glass curtain walls.
AM: How can people contact you?
TMG: For more information visit liveatsky.com, email us at email@example.com, or call our leasing office at 212.588.0042.
PROPERTY PHOTOS COURTESY | THE MOINIAN GROUP
We're constantly talking about a number of trends in style, beauty, wellness and more. This month, we chatted with Celebrity Piercer and owner, Brian Keith Thompson of the famed Body Electric, which is Hollywood's destination for tattoos, body piercing and jewelry! We wanted to know more about trends that are taking place in body piercing, how he came into the business, who he has worked on (Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone are just a few as well as who he'd love to include within his client list. We also want to know what we should look for, as those that may be getting piercings at their local studio.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us how you got into the world of piercing?
BRIAN KEITH THOMPSON: That’s actually a funny story. I was getting tattooed at Body Electric and, after five years of frequenting the place, it came up for sale and I bought it. I needed a job, so I started piercing. I didn’t realize I would actually fall in love with it and actually be good at it; I was just doing it to kind of pass the time and get the respect of the fellow employees by having something other to do than just make money and run the business.
And the better I got at it, the more I loved it; the more I loved it, the better I got at it.
AM: What is Body Electric, when did it start, what services are offered there?
BKT: Body Electric was started March 16, 1992 by a tattoo artist from Switzerland. I became the proprietor on June 11, 2006. I’ve owned it for 11 years. The services we offer are tattoo, body piercing, and jewelry sales. We don’t do anything other than those three things.
AM: Why is Body Electric such a destination that has a number of celebrities flocking to it?
BKT: I ask myself that question every day. I think it has to do with a lot of different things: (a) it’s been around for a long time, so it's kind of a pillar in the Hollywood tattoo community; (b) consistency and trust: like any business—be it a restaurant, retail story, tattoo-piercing studio—
you need to have consistency. And that consistency needs to be maintained month after month, year after year. And you need to maintain trust with your clients. If your clients trust you and you can maintain that trust, you can maintain your business and you will be there year after year. If you erode that trust, it’s just a matter of time before you’re closing your doors for good.
AM: We’re always talking about trends. Are there trends in piercing we should keep an eye out for as we continue into 2018?
BKT: Yes. Multiple dainty constellation-style piercings decorating the ears is very in right now—multiple locations, but doing it small, dainty, and with taste. Also, I think that asymmetry is going to continue to be a very popular trend. A lot of my clients aren’t wearing the same earring in both the first holes of their lobes. I’m seeing this a lot more. I’ve been an advocate for asymmetry for quite some time and I love to see that it’s catching on and people are embracing it, because you can have two different looks: your left ear has one look, your right has another. To me, that’s really cool to have that change of pace.
AM: For those who are looking to get their piercing done that won’t do so at Body Electric, what should be looked for in terms of sanitary work spaces and processes?
BKT: Start researching online. If you find a studio that doesn’t have a website, that’s the first red flag. If you find a studio that has a sprinkle of bad reviews, but the majority of them are good, that’s not a reflection on the studio. It’s usually a reflection on the clients.
If you see a lot of five-star reviews and then one star and then a fifteen fivestar reviews and another one-star, those are probably a specific client's attitude problem or just their taste—not liking the particular studio. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. (And why would you want to?).
If you see a studio that has nothing but two- and three-star reviews, one after another, and people are just voicing their concerns, that is a sign that maybe you should investigate further. Maybe walk into the establishment. If you walk in and it looks cluttered, it doesn’t smell good, the floor looks dingy, the employees look like they are really pissed and they don’t want to help you, just turn around and go find somewhere else. You will regret it if you don’t.
A clear sign of a functioning, good business is the employees are happy. If you walk in and everybody is miserable, that’s the sign of all signs. You’ll get a gut feeling. You’ll know when you’re in the right location. Everyone has a different taste and style. A studio that you like, someone else may not like. It doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or they’re right. It’s just your taste—you like this particular studio and that’s fine, too. But definitely look at the website. Find a piercer or a tattoo artist that likes your style.
Look at their portfolio. Do they do the style of work that you like? Do you see it in their portfolio? If they just tell you that they do a certain style of work and they’re good at it, that’s not enough. Somebody who is really good at a particular craft is going to have photos of that craft and if they’re doing it well, they are going to have multiple, different options for you to look at. A true professional is going to have this photo evidence readily available.
Not all artists use printed-out portfolios anymore. I don’t even have one. It’s mostly digital now. My portfolio is my Instagram. And that's okay. So just check their Instagram out. If you see things you like and you see that they can handle it, that's the best way to go forward, I think.
AM: Is there any recovery or upkeep that needs to be kept in mind after piercing a body part?
BKT: Absolutely. There’s months of aftercare and keep-up. I’ve said many times that getting a piercing is an instant gratification, but it can take months—sometimes up to a year—to heal a specific body part. And you have to have this in mind when you get pierced. “Do I have the time to care for this? Do I have the maturity to care for this? Do I have the patience for it?" All
of these factors in and sometimes it can be a "slow boat to China," but if you're patient and thorough, you can heal it and move on.
I would also say that if you're starting to get pierced, start with no more than three at a time. Heal those successfully and then move on. Doing too much too soon can just add to the problems that you may have healing.
AM: What celebrities have you worked on and who would you like to work on that you’ve not yet done so at this point?
BKT: I worked on Jennifer Lawrence multiple times, Emma Stone, FKA Twigs comes in quite often. I’ve done multiple piercings on her. I’ve pierced Beyoncé numerous times. I just recently pierced Adele. That was really cool. Those are a few of the celebrities I’ve been lucky enough to work with.
I was watching Saturday Night Live this past Saturday and Natalie Portman was hosting. I was losing it when she did that rap. There are a few close-ups of her and...funny, that's how much I
think about work... I'm watching this at home and thinking, "Wow, I'd like to pierce her ear.” I don’t know if that sounds weird or not, but sometimes I do that. I just see an ear and I think “Wow, that’s a really great look. I’d like to pierce that.” I told my girlfriend that I hope I get to pierce Natalie Portman.
If you haven't watched FX's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, now may be the time as there are a number of our favorite actors in this Ryan Murphy series. We caught up with Fabiana Pascali who plays the role of the Female Senior Designer to the house of Versace. Fabiana had some common ground with the great designer, shares how she prepared for her role, let's us in on her favorite spots as well as what it's like to be Creative Director of her line, Thinking Panties! Continue reading to find out about this dynamic show and make sure to catch up on this series as we find ourselves talking about it to a number of our friends who are looking for a new show to embrace.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into acting and what was the moment that took place that made you realize it was for you?
FABIANA PASCALI: As a child, I was quite the creative extrovert. It was always easy for me to get into character and give my family fictional performances. During middle school and high school, I was always involved in theatre. It was only after quitting dentistry school at 19 that I got offered to audition in an all-girls music group. I made the cut and joined the group! It was then I knew showbiz would be part of my life.
AM: Tell us about shows/movies that you have been in?
FP: Most of my career is based in hosting and commercial work, with shows airing at to local, national, and international community. I’ve had the pleasure of more than twenty years doing
what I love.
AM: You are currently in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace where you play the role of “Female Senior Designer” that worked with Gianni in the House of Versace, and who was also one of the right hands of Donatella! How did this part get offered to you, what was the process of getting this part and how did you prepare for this role?
FP: My theatrical agent, Jaime Ferrar, called saying he had a high-profile audition I should read for. Casting was looking someone to play an Italian designer. That’s all we knew. I had no idea what show it was or what it was about, let alone who were the actors involved! Looking back, the secrecy surrounding the audition was tight!
Preparing for the role was a bit different, given I knew little about the character or what I was reading for. I rehearsed, read the description of the character, and dressed by my gut instinct.
AM: In playing this character, you already had connections to the subject matter as you are a Creative Director of Thinking Panties, you're half Italian and your husband came from the same province as Gianni - how did that assist you in taking on this character?
FP: As you said there a number of commonalities with my character. When I booked the job and learned more about the character, I laughed because who they were describing was me! Speaking Italian didn’t hurt either! It gave me an insight into how to best approach the character. It’s much easier to bring a character to life when you can get inside their head!
AM: Tell us what it was like to film this TV show especially working beside Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and Edgar Ramirez?
FP: It was a phenomenal experience to be part of a series of this magnitude. What can I say?! Seeing my name on the call sheet along these giants makes one feel accomplished!
Most of my scenes were alongside Penelope [Cruz], who plays the role of ‘Donatella Versace’, which was a bit humbling. When Ricky [Martin] was playing ‘Antonio D’Amico’ (lover to Gianni Versace), he completely blew me away! All of them are completely cool-headed professionals that were an absolute pleasure to work with and learn from!
AM: Were you a fan of Versace prior to coming into this program and how was it to be immersed within this opulent world?
FP: Absolutely! I have always been a huge fan of Versace!
AM: The world of Versace is a different lifestyle than most everyone experiences.
FP: The fashion world is worlds away from everyday life. The life of Versace, the man and the brand, is an experience onto itself. You’re taking a world that’s in the limelight yet veiled from
prying eyes, then translating that into a show. In a way, it’s imitation of Versace. Talk about poetic.
AM: Tell us about Thinking Panties!
FP: I founded Thinking Panties in 2011 as a line of underwear with a fun concept for the creative type who wants to personalize everything. All you need is a marker and your imagination! The
idea was to give someone’s inner artist a chance to flourish and even be a fun gift to give someone.
You can find get a pair direct from www.thinkingpanties.com
AM: Where are your favorite spots to work out, grab a drink and eat and to shop in LA?
FP: I enjoy hiking in the mountains, with some go-to trails in the Arroyo Seco between LA and Pasadena, as well as those in Hollywood and Griffith Park. I love the feeling of releasing endorphins, breathing fresh air, and enjoying the warmth of sunrays touching my skin.
When it comes to the restaurant experience, I’m pretty biased (lol). Of course, I prefer Italian and Argentinean foods. If you’re going out for Italian, try Bestia in the Arts District, Terroni in Downtown, Eatalian in Culver City. For Argentinean, Carlitos Gardel near West Hollywood, Malbec and 1810 Argentinean in Pasadena.
Where do I shop? Everywhere, really! I always find great pieces of wardrobe at Anthropologie and Free People. There are a bunch of different boutiques and department stores around town I frequent. There are just too many to list!
AM: What is your personal style when you're running around LA, heading out to brunch and when you're heading out to meet your agent/go on a casting/do a table read?
FP: I love wearing a good pair of jeans and nice t-shirts/blouse with a leather jacket on top. Depending on the occasion, I’ll throw on boots, pumps, or Converse. I keep my color palette fairly neutral.
AM: What projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about?
FP: I’m currently focused on new design projects. A big part of me is always coming up with ideas in my design studio and seeing where it naturally progresses. There’s some hearsay on going back to TV hosting, which I would love to do.
AM: What ways do you give back to the community or provide philanthropy?
FP: For every pair of Thinking Panties purchased, I give another pair to women in need. Much like Tom’s shoes, who matches a pair for every pair purchased. I provide these to local shelters,
women’s organizations, and missions.
I believe just a little help given with love can make a difference. If we all did a little, it would add up to a big change!
We're in an age where some of our favorite shows like Roseanne, Will & Grace, One Day at a Time and more are getting revivals and reboots to be embraced by a new audience as well as to create a sense of nostalgia. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is getting this treatment with Queer Eye on Netflix with a new Fab5 and new city! We chatted