A few weeks back we popped into Vilebrequin’s store that is at Hudson Yards during their historic opening night. A few days ago we stopped in to the launch of Vilebrequin X JCC+ (Jean Charles de Castelbajac) at The Webster in NYC’s Soho. This line has always been on that we have loved as they make an assortment that includes mens, womens and kids. This collaboration adds an additional playful level and can be seen across a series of curated apparel as well as accessories.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
This month's cover story features Jonathan Jones, Brandon King and Obi Melifonwu of the Super Bowl LIII Winning Champions New England Patriots. The road to success is one that is truly a journey that isn't a straight line. In our interview we hear how these teammates fell in love with the game, made their way to the Patriots and how they get ready for their games every week! In addition, we also had the opportunity to talk with their Sports Agent, Sean Stellato of SES Sports, whose own life has been infused with sports as an athlete who then made the Jerry McGuire transition to being on the other side of the ball. The relationship between players and the agent is essential to their success.
Our shoot took place in Tribeca at the Serafina Tribeca, which is one of our favorite places for Italian comfort food. When it comes to hospitality and having the right vibe for a celebration, the General Manager, Christian Ferrara makes everyone feel at home while educating them on his cuisine and culture.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you realize that you wanted to play professional football and what was your journey to get to the New England Patriots?
JONATHAN JONES: I grew up loving watching the games as young as when I was 3 or 4 years old. I played high school football in Georgia and high school football in Georgia is just big! I went to Auburn, we won a National Championship. Leaving Auburn, I was a free agent and I chose to come to New England and it was probably the best decision of my life honestly as I have had the chance to go to 3 straight Super Bowls. It’s been a great journey as far as the NFL goes! But for my entire journey to come from where I come from to make it to the Patriots, it’s been a blessing!
AM: Tell us about the position you play and who do you work with closely on that portion of the team?
JJ: I play defensive back cornerback and mostly we work with the safeties and sometimes the linebackers.
AM: During the season what is your week like in terms of practicing to get to Sunday’s game?
JJ: After a game on Sunday, you come in on Monday and first thing you want to handle and collect everything from the previous game. You then want to start working on your body. Tuesday is a day of recovery for your body getting a massage, getting treatments for pains that took place from the last game. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is all about training and practice. Saturday, it just depends on whether it is a home or an away game. But, it’s a full week and Tuesday isn’t like a day off, but more like a day to get ready.
AM: What are 3 songs that are on your playlist that get you ready for whatever game you’re playing?
JJ: It’s always a classic with me with Young Jeezy – it doesn’t even matter what song it is! Right now I have Little Baby on my playlist and I’m from Georgia so any of the Georgian rappers that are out right now – they’re there too!
AM: What does it feel like to be a 2 X Super Bowl Winning Champ?
JJ: It feels great to win Super Bowl LI and LIII. To get there every time is always the goal. I’ve been there 3 years in a row and to win 2 of them is amazing. A lot of people never even get there so for me to be there 3 times and to have won 2 is great! Every year you get there, you have to refocus and remember what you did last time to get there and how great you were at that time to win.
AM: What is it like in the off season as you prepare for the regular season?
JJ: The first thing is to get your mind and body right. You have to take the time during the off season. You want to make sure that you spend time for yourself, with your friends and family. But then it’s like you’re right back to when it’s time to go back and you also want to make sure that you stay in shape as well. It’s a quick turnaround and you have to be ready.
AM: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
JJ: My goal is to develop my game and become more of a leader within the team and to definitely work on my game with me being a young player. I want to continue to improve.
AM: How do you define your personal style? What do you wear when you’re going out for fun or when it’s a special night out.
JJ: My personal style is always about being casual with nice jewelry. I’m a laid back person. When it’s about going out, you can never go wrong with a nice shirt and jeans with nice shoes. It’s always an easy fix.
AM: Now that you’re able to relax what are 3 shows that you’ll binge on Netflix?
JJ: Oooo 3 Daredevil, The Punisher and Iron Fist.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was your journey to get to the New England Patriots?
BRANDON KING: I went to Thompson High School in Alabama that was home for me. It was a pretty small town and in my senior year there, we got a movie theater and a Walmart which was pretty big for our town. Now, my high school is the biggest high school in the state which just goes to show how much it has grown! When I was there it was much smaller. During my junior year, coaches started coming in and recruiting and I talked to a lot of teams, but ended up falling short in my senior year by .03 to meet NCAA requirements.
A lot of people in my family were so happy that they thought I would be going to a Division I school on scholarship. So when I didn’t, a lot of people just put me on the back burner and a lot of people stopped talking to me because they felt that I was just going to be back at the house. But I knew what I wanted to do and I played for 2 years at Highland Community College in Kansas. At the time, I thought that I would be there for a year and then transfer to a Division I school, but that’s not how it turned out. I kept my head down to do what I needed to do so that I could continue to play football. I did well there and I got a lot of awards which I’m not big on as I believe the past is the past. You need to continue to work to do the things you need to do to be where you are. By staying there and doing the work, I got a scholarship to go to Auburn and transferred there. I played safety there and shortly after getting there, there was an injury to Justin Garrett the star linebacker which was a hybrid position between linebacker and safety so I changed to that position and I played that for most of my Junior year and then moved to linebacker. My senior year, I ended up breaking my thumb a week or two right before my first game of that year. I did everything that I could do to just stay at full speed. I treated everything with full respect, all of my teachers and anybody that could or would help me. I always had a smile on my face when I walked around as just having the opportunity to be there at Auburn was everything. Even in the worse times, you still have to smile. While at Auburn, I played linebacker, defensive end and safety. I was always ready for any opportunity and for people to see that I could do those positions being 225-226lbs was important and showed that I am versatile.
My senior year at Auburn, I was trying to do an internship while I was a full time student and trying to train for the NFL. I didn’t have an agent or anything like that because I didn’t have any money for that. When I was at Auburn, I played multiple positions, I was still under the radar for the most part. When I first got to Auburn, I just worked out with the strength coaches and I really appreciate them, because they prepared us very well in developing the athletes overall. I ended up just being there and working everyday and working in the schedule to actually be able to workout and I had to be productive and just go about a different way. I just came to work everyday and I don’t think it really matters, I have been in the league for 4 years and I still haven’t gone to a facility or trained with a specific individual. Being at Auburn and being with those coaches, they laid out what you had to and it wasn’t a big deal for me to get it done that way. After Pro Day came, I think I did pretty well and I walked up to the Canadian coaches and whoever was there and I wanted to shake everyone’s hands and to tell them thank you for coming by. We had all 32 NFL coaches there for our Pro Day I believe, to check out the talent. I tried to take the initiative to shake everyone’s hands that I could to show my appreciation. I did the same thing my last day at Auburn. Whether you were a positive influence or a negative influence, that’s what makes a person a person. Sometimes, people don’t realize that there is beauty in the pain and wherever you are in life, you can smile and do what you have got to do in life.
After that, I went back to work and I didn’t get any calls and then I got a call from one team with a contract. I just wanted to put my best foot forward and did everything I could do to play professionally – I didn’t want any regrets. That team called me and woke me up out of my sleep and I knew the dream was still alive and then a few days later, I got another call from another team and then I got a workout schedule from the Patriots and I never visited the Patriots or anything like that. I never went to check out the facility. I just had a workout set up at Samford University in Birmingham, AL and had an individual workout with him and it was the only thing I did. I got an opportunity to go out to other teams for my time to shine as a free agent. I wasn’t worried about the money it was finding the right opportunity – I chose the Patriots and I have been there ever since.
AM: Tell us about the position that you play and what portion of the team you work with closely?
BK: Right now I play linebacker. For the last 4 years, I have been a core special teams player. My position coach is Joe Judge – the special team’s coach. I work closely with Matt Slater, Nate Ebner – I work closely with those guys and just try to get all the ins and outs from those guys the best that I can. Those guys have been a part of a lot of Championship football. They have a lot that I feel that I can learn from. Maybe one day the goals that they have learned, I can reach back and help someone else too. They are great guys to be around, they put their pride to the side and put the team first. They don’t complain and they get it done. I have a lot of respect for them.
AM: During the regular season, what is your week like in terms of practicing and preparing for those Sunday games?
BK: I wake up at about 5:00/5:30/5:45am depending on whether I have an injury to tend to or not and it’s best to get working on that first thing in the morning. During the season I work, 12-13 hour days.
AM: What has playing in the Super Bowl been like for you?
BK: It’s been amazing. My first Super Bowl (LI), my head was kind of spinning with everything going on – I was going at like 100 miles a minute. This one, it was my 3rd one that I was a part of, and everything was a great experience, but I just wanted to get to the game. I knew how it felt to win a Super Bowl game and what it felt like to lose one. I knew what we came there for and it was nice to see my family and everything, as I don’t get to see my family a lot as they still work and I don’t get to see them that much. It was great to catch up with them, but at the end of the day, it’s a very long season and trying as you’re playing 34 games a year, as you have the preseason also and to play at that level. I wanted to do what we came there for and to put those distractions aside. You know what it’s like to watch the game when you’re younger and for me, it feels like the game gets too big and we all have different ways to approach it. Winning felt like weight coming off your shoulders. There are people that you bonded with in the beginning during training camp that don’t make it or you play with them half the season and something happens to them and they may not be on the team anymore. The new guys have to come in and fill in the voids fast, because no one is going to feel sorry for someone that doesn’t know what to do or not knowing the system. Everything counts and everyone needs to be on the same page to be successful. Playing with your team for awhile creates a sense of comfort. Winning and going through all that adversity is a lot – this season wasn’t perfect by any means! We knew that no one was going to be able to fix it but us. Our job is to get it done. It felt good to get it done and to be at 3 Superbowls in a row and to know what it is like to win and lose one and then to look at these guys I play with. I mean I have only been in the league for 4 years and I know my body doesn’t always feel too hot and to play with guys that have played 8/9/10/11/12 years, I have a lot of respect for them. It’s like ok, then let’s go! It’s a respect thing and everyone in that building comes to work every day and it’s hard for you to not do the same thing.
AM: So what do you do during the off season to prepare yourself for the next upcoming season?
BK: I take a week or 2 off as I feel that that is well deserved. The off season is really short. I feel like it’s only a month and a half off. By the time I get home it will be around Feb 28th and we have to report in April. I bought a home in Tennessee last year and I’m trying to get everything there and get the family settled in and then I have to see the family in Alabama.
AM: What are the goals for the next season?
BK: I’m not really big on setting goals because disappointment is one thing and I feel that you can get really deterred if you do set the goal. I take one day at a time. People will say that they want to do this or do that and then people will look at you and say, “hey you said you were going to do this and now look at you.” I’m the kind of person, that I just let things ride and happen the way that they happen. I will figure out the pieces of the puzzle to get to where I want, but hopefully, I will be able to put it together in the right way for the way that I want. I just want to be productive, dependable and that I am doing things in the right way.
AM: Since you are on the road so much, what are 3 items that you like to have with you that make you happy or comfortable?
BK: I try to keep a pair of headphones with me. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I listen to music in the locker room, sometimes I don’t. When I travel, I like to have headphones because you can block things out. This year I have been bringing my tablet with me more because I can watch my movies on Netflix and take my mind off of things. You’ve been putting in the work during the week to know who you are going against so I want to relax when I travel to the game. When I get to the hotel, then I like to be able to pick that back up again to think about the game.
ATHLEISURE MAG: So when did you realize that you wanted to play football professionally and tell us your journey on how you came to the New England Patriots.
OBI MELIFONWU: At the age of 9. Well it’s a funny story. I came to Massachusetts as the age of 3 and when I was about, I want to say between the age of 6/7, I watched the Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI. I realized then that I really loved football and then at the age of 8, I brought a Pop Warner sign up sheet to my mom and she ended up throwing it out and saying it was too dangerous. I was crushed that year and I methodically thought about how I could get her to sign the sheet. So the next year, the same thing happened, I brought the sheet and she didn’t sign it and then I brought another sheet for her to sign and she ended up realizing that I was serious about it and she signed it. I’ve been playing football ever since!
My journey to the Patriots was one that I least expected. I went to high school and I got one offer from UCONN. It’s the only offer I got and I went there and had a pretty good year. Then I got drafted by the Raiders in the second round. Then after I got drafted I felt like that I was finally here and I could prove myself and play football. Unfortunately, I had injuries that happened to me that slowed things down. That last year, I ended up getting injured in August and I got cut. I was devastated. But I understood that everything happened for a reason. Nothing good good comes without perseverance and I really believe that God gives the strongest battles to the strongest war riors. I took that perspective and I just worked and got as healthy as I could and I got picked up by the Patriots. It was ironic as that was the team that I grew up watching playing. It was the team that I wanted to be on since I was little.
AM: Tell us about the position that you play and who do you work closely with in that portion of the team.
OM: The position I play is safety and that position is on defense. It is basically the last line of defense – you stop Receivers, running backs, any skilled position from scoring as that last line of defense. If stuff breaks through the line of the linebackers, even sometimes the cornerbacks. The Safety is the one that kind of has to save the day. Getting to the NFL and getting to the Patriots, I started to work really closely with the defensivebacks on the Patriots like Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon and Coach Belichik. They really helped me to improve as a player.
AM: During the regular season. What is your week like in terms of practice, working out, watching the game tape – what are the typical things that you tend to do as you prep for that gameday?
OM: A typical week is like a lot of studying and a lot of watching the games on your own. Everyone has their own routine and things that they like to do to help them get ready for the game. I just like to go into work and try to really take notes, implement the gameplan for that practice and do that everyday. As the gameday gets closer, just kind of take a step back from the physical part just really try to focus on what I need to do for that day. I’m visualizing different things like certain calls for certain formations and certain situations. Just mentally preparing to be ready for that game and I feel like that’s a good mindset to have. There are 53 people on a team, but only 47 people get dressed. Some weeks you might be up and some weeks you might not be. Some times you may be activated and other times you may not be activated. It’s almost like you have to take that approach every week because you don’t know when you’re number is going to be called. If you’re not ready for your number to be called, then you’re going to miss out on that opportunity at that time.
AM: You’re in amazing shape – how long are you in the gym and what are some of the key workouts that you do? Do you have 3 that are your go to in particular no matter what?
OM: Yeah, it’s funny that you say that because in college, I really just ate anything I wanted. In terms of healthy, I mean I just did everything and ate anything. But when I got further along in my career, I started really trying to watch what I ate. Even until now, I still do my best to stay healthy because I understand it will help me in the long run with my longevity.
In terms of gym workouts, I do the typical three which I feel is the bread and butter of bench, squats and power cleans. Then there are other things like core and I’m always trying to work on a lot of stability stuff to help maintain the strength of my arms. I’m really trying to get into yoga. I’ve tried it a couple of times and we just don’t have the best relationship right now haha. It’s something that I am going to try to continue to do.
AM: You’ll probably like Hot Yoga or a Cardio based one, it may make you feel more aligned to it more.
AM: So what are your go-to foods in terms of what you do to maintain your body and then what splurge food do you enjoy eating?
OM: My go-to vegetable is broccoli. I love it grilled, cooked, sautéed, whatever! My go-to meal for fuel is pasta and meat sauce. I’m the type of person that when I am performing or doing any type of physical activity, I have to eat before. I feel like that I can feel my body using that to fuel me throughout whatever workout or activity that I’m doing. So that’s my go-to meal.
Splurge I mean – everything under the sun that’s sweet! I try to cut down on dairy – icecream not too much but chocolate, cake, cookies – whatever sweet that you can think of I will most likely eat. That’s really my splurge or any fast food.
AM: On game day, how do you prepare – do you have a routine that you go through or is it more of a mindset?
OM: It depends on how I am feeling for that game. I feel that how I prep is the same, but on that day of the game, some days I will listen to Future or Meek Mill to get hype. Then other times I will listen to Jhene Aiko’s, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ to get ready. For game day the night before, I try to do a lot of visualization for the game. I try to put myself in the position of the game so if it should happen that way, it’s not the first time that that happened. I try to keep a level head and not think too above or below the game. I try to understand mentally that things will happen throughout the game and that I shouldn’t get too overworked about it especially as a DB because the position I play and that CornerBacks and Safety’s play you might get beat on the play or give up a touch down or you might give up a big chunk and in the position that we play – we have to have short memories. We can’t let that one play affect the rest of the game. So those are just things that I do before and during the game.
AM: What was Super Bowl Sunday like for you and what has it been like since the game? Obviously, we shot your cover days after the big win and we’ve been watching your Instagram.
OM: The experience has been really great. Like being able to be in a Super Bowl and just being able to soak it in – it’s a blessing because so many people go through a whole season, 10 seasons, 16 seasons all the way to get to here and they don’t win a Super Bowl. As a player, you play the Super Bowl for many reasons. I feel like you play to make it to the Super Bowl, win the Super Bowl and then become a Hall of Famer. The fact that I got to experience that in my second year is something that I will not take for granted.
AM: You have great style – how would you define it? What do you wear when you’re just hanging out with friends or for a night out.
OM: With my friends, I just like to be comfortable. I wear a lot of joggers, a lot of sweats, nice comfy sandals, sweatshirts – I love sweatshirts like the one that I wore in the shoot, that’s the kind of things that I’m talking about.
When I go out, I’m a simple person. Obviously I like my figure and I like to take care of my body. I want to wear things that show that off whether I’m wearing slim fit shirts as well as slim fit and tapered jeans to show off my legs. Just something nice on my feet, whether they’re Yeezy’s, Timberland’s – any sneaker that looks neat and fit. My style is simple. I wear a lot of solid classic neutrals with a simple fit – nothing too extravagant.
AM: Now that you’re in the off season what are you thinking about and what goals are you setting to prepare for next year?
OM: My goals in terms of next season is that first, I have to get away from football. You work and you train for 8 months and then you have to go and take time to get away. I have really learned that in my time in the NFL. You have broken your body down to play and now you just need time to step back so that you can ease into it. I want to get my body right so that I can come correct in April. I can compete and everything I need to do but this year I am very focused on my body and mind being right emotionally and spiritually. This way I can perform at the level that I know I can and that I can show everybody else especially the Patriots organization that they didn’t make a mistake in picking me up and in giving me that chance.
AM: You’re based in Foxboro, where can we find you grabbing a meal, working out and shopping?
OM: Working out – I haven’t figured it out. I have a couple of places that I might try as I just got here. You can find me at the Patriots Place at Showcase Cinemas – I love the movies! I watch too many movies or playing video games or find me at the mall. Not even shopping, just walking around seeing things. I’m really observant and I like to see things.
I also wanted to say thank you for the interview and having us. I just want to thank everyone that helped me to get to this point and I don’t want to leave anybody out. To all the friends, coaches, everyone on this journey that has helped me out and you guys putting me in this magazine. I just want to say thank you!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed having you a part of our cover shoot and we know that prior to being a sports agent, you also had a career professionally in football. Can you tell us about your athletic career and then what took place that led you to becoming an agent and then eventually launching your firm?
SEAN STELLATO: What a great question. Well I was born and bred in Salem, Massachusetts. I played highschool football there and had a very successful career there. Actually, the spinoff from my book, No Backing Down, came from my Junior football season which had a very diverse underdog team, a legendary coach that I always call a first generation Bill Belichick. As the team was projected to not win a game they found themselves undefeated playing another undefeated team. A major teacher strike shut down the school system – we ended up playing in front of 12,000 people and I had my career game on National Television and that was kind of my coming out party. After graduating Salem, I had the opportunity to go to a Boarding School for a year called the Gunnery Prep School.
I’m fully indebted to them because they taught me the value of education. They gave me the opportunity as it was such a political spinoff with the team after the Junior year, because of the coach being fired, that all of the kids who were going to be seniors were pretty much in harms way. The new person that they hired didn’t care. People were looking out for themselves and not for the kids. So a lot of the minority kids who had single parents, didn’t have a father figure to look out for them and it ultimately killed their careers. I was fortunate and was the Lone Ranger that was able to fly from the nest and get an opportunity – a true blessing was Gunnery Prep School – they gave me a full scholarship which was $33,000 to go there! I mean there were 8 of us together in a 3-bedroom house where I grew up in Witch Craft Heights in Salem. My mom was a stay at home mom and my parents didn’t have a college degree. They gave me that blessing and opportunity and I was on the basketball and football team there. I went onto Marist College – my mother doesn’t fly so I gave the Heisman to them. I did receive denial letters from a couple of schools and I still do read them a couple of times a year because if I let rejection define me, I wouldn’t have been doing what I am doing.
I played Division I basketball and football there which, is 45 mins north of the city on the Hudson. It was a beautiful campus and had a successful career there. My junior and senior years there I was the leading wide receiver for the 2000-2001 season. I finished there 9 straight semesters on the Dean’s List. The beauty of an education and just remembering the first time that I had been on an airplane to play basketball at Pepperdine – an amazing journey through college. But we played down in Florida after 9/11 about 10 days after that and I got scouted by an Arena Football coach and he ended up following up with me after the season and I had the opportunity to play 2 years professionally for the Arena Football League for 2002 and 2003. One of my head coaches for one of my teams is now the head coach at Purdue and he beat Ohio State this year.
You know, I saw the movie Jerry McGuire back in 1996 in high school and I fell in love with the movie. I thought about how cool it would be. I mean, as a football player, you think that you’re immortal and that you can play forever and I had to face that reality. I could have played in 2004 and I said, “I’m going to go hard on this sports agent thing.” I had 2 agents that I had hired and then I fired. I felt that there was this gap between how I wanted to represent players and the lack of transparency that I was fed when I played. I felt that I wanted to reshuffle this industry and threw my hat in the ring and got licensed late 2005. I didn’t know what I was doing and I spent a few years banging around on my own for a few years and then I partnered up with a firm and then I got exploited and in 2013, I was with the firm for a few years. We joined with a client each and then it grew into 10. I was flying our New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day signing guys getting exploited making pennies on the dollar. The night I got inducted into my high school Hall of Fame, I told my wife, “I’m not happy where I am in my career.” I told her that I wanted to have my own firm and she said, ”let’s draft the termination letter today.”
I walked away and I had signed a Non Compete so I had to walk away from all of those guys. I had one loyal client that said, “I signed with you, you’re my guy.” He never played a down in the NFL after that point and he said, “I’m leaving and coming with you.” Like Jerry McGuire walking out with Ron Tisdale, a receiver and goldfish – I walked out with an unproven long snapper and a pet boxer dog named Sly. I remember when I left that firm, they said that I would never make it in the industry. But my whole life people said that I was too small to play football, that I wouldn’t play Division I or play pro. I feed off of and that’s all I needed to hear and my wife was my witness and I put my head down and went to work.
I signed my first player, Bryan Braman, who won the Super Bowl last year, he kept me in business and I made a pact when I got into the business and I said I would never go to the SuperBowl unless I had a client in the Super Bowl, and the last 5 years I have had my guys every single year play in the Super Bowl. My drive to be an agent is to be the best and football lifted my soul when I would step onto the field. It brought me so much structure and joy to my family’s life and my life as well as the ability to have an education and to network with the ability to meet people and to interact. It's a special place in my heart. I have been inducted into 3 Hall of Fames which I am so proud of that as I was statistically not supposed to be here in terms of how I was raised, my size. I never let my greatest asset – my work ethic, down. That is what I stayed true to!
AM: What is your day like during the season vs off-season? For those players that you rep, how much contact to you have with the team and the league?
SS: My day to day – my mornings start off very early. I can only workout very early because my phone is always blowing up with 100s of calls and 100s of emails a day. That’s a big part of my lifestyle that I approach every day as I lift and I run. I get my mind right and I try to read a book every 2-3 weeks. I'm finishing my second book and it all comes down to time of year right? So obviously, if you have clients who won the Super Bowl, you just go balls to the walls to try to monetize and to expose them and align brands with them that are in line with their missions. In terms of post SuperBowl, when you win, you’re talking about shifting gears. So let me rewind.
In the fall, you’re talking about recruiting kids for the 2019 the following draft. You’re going to college games and evaluating films. At the same token, you’re servicing your guys with their needs and what they want. Then you have the guys that are on the street. You have to designate x amount of hours to make sure that they are employed. For the guys that are playing during the season, you have to make sure that you get them appearances for their marketing. Right when the season is over, you go into guys who are unrestricted free agents that are able to test the open market - so gauging what their value is and seeing which teams best suit their needs.
You’re constantly trying to work on your relationships with teams as that’s key. In terms of having that relationship and letting them know you have great guys and you’re not just throwing people at coaches. It’s 24/7 – 365. I don’t really call anytime that I travel a vacation because I am constantly fielding guys and am a hands on kind of guy. It’s how I believe I should run this.
AM: Is it hard for you to represent clients that are on different teams?
SS: I’ve got guys in a lot of different markets. It’s great to be able to interact with so many teams as no one usually stays with the same team – maybe Brady and a handful of others. Shuffling around is just human nature in the NFL especially with salary caps. With free agency, it’s a different landscape than what it was 20 years ago. That being said, it’s important that if you have guys on other teams where if – for contract extensions or just to broker deals – it’s new markets that are important because every market is different. My conversation with the Dallas Cowboys is different than the New England Patriots. Everyone has different core values and beliefs – obviously everyone wants to win in this league and to monetize opportunities as the league has crossed over to $15B in revenue. It’s a fine tuned machine.
AM: I’m sure you have a number of people who request to be represented by you. What process do you have in deciding whether someone will join your roster?
SS: I tell everyone that there is 1,440 minutes in a day and I have two lives, one as a sports agent with SES Sports as my infrastructure and I also have my family which is my wife and 4 kids. I try to keep that balance and sometimes I leave my self a little thin and I try to be better at that.
In terms of managing expectation. My phone is constantly ringing, when I first started I was the one seeking out guys and now I can cherry pick guys that I want to have. Obviously if you get a 1st or 2nd rounder, you don’t want to miss that opportunity. I think managing expectations, having that connection with a player who has the core values and beliefs that alignment is important. Some guys put a higher value on their skill set and it’s like having a house that you try to sell in the open market where you think it’s $2M and everyone else thinks it’s $1M – it’s going to be tougher to sell. You have to compromise, and you can’t sugarcoat it with your clients, you have to keep it real and be transparent with them and do what is in their best interest.
AM: What is a typical Sunday like for you during the season?
SS: A typical Sunday is impossible for me to be in every market. I have yet to be in every market on the same day. Last year in the Superbowl having 8 guys in the game – 5 in the Patriots and 3 on the Eagles – I mastered it that day! In terms of a typical Sunday, I try to at least see every player each year. If not I have the NFL package and thank God for cell phones! My Director of Football operations is phenomenal and he doesn’t take his eye off the ball. He’s always keeping me in the loop on things, from Social Media, research, staying current on guys and watching everybody. I take watching these guys very seriously. When I go to the Superbowl and people go as fans, it’s different, I go in as a business. I don’t change my preparation in terms of game rituals. I stick with them as a player as I do as an agent.
AM: What are those rituals?
SS: I make sure that I have the same things for breakfast every Sunday. I always say a prayer before kickoff. I kiss my crucifix. When I go to church that morning, I pray for each player individually. Sometimes I wear the same socks is he plays from one week to the next. I always have the same snack before kickoff or during the game. During the Super Bowl, I will put my phone in the cup holder and not touch anything until something happens. During the AFC championship, I was very unprepared weather wise, but when I am suited up, I always put my baseball hat on and turn it backwards and pretended I was playing Little League Baseball with a rally cap on. I didn’t move it until they won it in overtime. My wife thinks I’m crazy with my superstitions, but I don’t know. I get superstitious on certain things and whatever works – works for you right?
AM: With this last Super Bowl win, what was that like for you and what is it like that you’re a part of these guys careers?
SS: Just surreal and gratifying. I tell everybody that when you have that baby and hold it in your hands, it’s a life changing moment. When you have these players and you have such a passion for football like I do, I took them as far as I could take them and see them taking it further it just touches my heart like no other. This one was the most special win, because clients like Jonathan Jones – he led the defense in tackles, he had a sack and contributed so much to that win. Ryan Allen could have been the MVP of the game. Brandon King, he’s just an absolute beast and Obi with his story of how he ended up here.
AM: His story is incredible.
SS: With Obi, we had 4 teams to pick through and I don’t ever like to take credit, but I really pushed and stressed the fact that he needed to be a Patriot and not a Saint or a Chief. We picked the winning lottery ticket there.
This one in particular meant more because I felt like my guys contributed more to that particular win. I had bigger roles and obviously in my mind, it has increased more in the last few months. I mean last year, it was special because of Bryan – he pretty much kept me in business and kept the lights on in 2014 when I was a year into it. It’s been remarkable. You want to see all of your clients win a ring. Obi got his this year, Bryan got his last year, Trey Sullivan got one last year. This year I didn’t have any players on the opposing team. Last year I felt bad for my Patriots clients that lost, but on the same token, I felt good for Bryan. For the Falcons/Patriots Super Bowl, I had 1 client on the Falcons whose family was completely devastated and my Patriot clients pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. It’s been a blessing to be affiliated with history. The Patriots, whether you love them or hate them, are remarkable in what they do and they have done what no other franchise has been able to do in these times. You can talk about the Cowboys, Steelers and Green Bay Packers, they did not do it in a time period like this. There was no free agency, there was no salary cap. It’s a completely different animal today. What Belichik and Brady are doing – it’s remarkable. I’ve been able to grow up in this area and be able to model and build a sports agency around and learning from them – how they negotiate, how they do things at the organization to how I manage the kids’ careers.
AM: With the draft coming up, what is your role for that and what do you do?
SS: It’s to be a confidant to the players that I represent and to know that they are not going to be a guinea pig. To know that they are with someone who is not going to reinvent the wheel. Being with someone who has the relationships in the league who is going to sell them and brand them organically to make them successful in the NFL. It's a very trying long time, but at the same token it’s a lot of time and emails – the combine is a tremendous amount of leg time getting in front of people. It’s constantly selling, planning, promoting, These calls build for the combine for their pro day so they can be successful and play in this league. It’s a process that I take very seriously – you want to have all the guys that you represent drafted, but at the end of the day – you manage their expectations and you hold their hand and say, “hey, if you’re undrafted. That’s ok. Some of the greatest players that ever played this game went undrafted.” That’s sometimes your destiny and your fate.
AM: When we were on set for the photoshoot, we enjoyed hearing about a number of projects that you are working on outside of your life as a sports agent. Can you share them with our readers here at Athleisure Mag?
SS: My first book, No Backing Down, which is a human triumph story on 3 levels – my personal story, legendary coach and our team, has a forward written by Doug Flutie and it was endorsed by Bill Belichik, Evander Holyfied, Mike Ditka, Washington Post, NY Daily News and it goes on. It’s an incredible book and it’s now in it’s second edition. The screenwriter/producer of Hoosiers and Rudy will finish the script for the movie shortly as we’re in the very early stages of that, but I like my chances with such an established and well known screenwriter. If you go to SeanStellato.com you can order the book and obviously you can get it on Kindle via Amazon. I’m going to have a Draft party on April 25th that is going to be a great night if you’re in the Boston area as it will be at the Ferncroft Country Club as it will be a chance to meet with some of the Super Bowl Champions – Jonathan, Obi, Brandon and some of the college kids. It also includes a Celebrity Golf tournament that will raise money for the Junior Golf Fund. We’ll have one of th e top Sushi Chefs in the world appearing and providing phenomenal sushi and we’ll have good Italian wines. The Draft party will also reveal the title of the children’s book. I love to read and as a kid, I read a lot of books that I couldn’t relate to.
July 19th, will be the release of my children’s book which will also be a magical day! It will be held at the historical Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA which opened in 1925. This book is a Friday Night Lights meets Harry Potter and it is a magical football story that is mostly fiction, but there is a non-fiction component to it. It takes place in my home city which I am excited about. One of the main characters is my daughter who is suffering from psoriatic arthritis and I am looking to bring awareness to this condition. It will be an evening with some of my clients and we will celebrate a post Super Bowl party as well as to unveil the book which is going to be a magical night for everyone.
Our football camp takes place July 21st and it’s our 12th year doing this. I try to make it Disney World for a day for a young girl or boy where they can attend this non-contact camp. The day is hosted by my clients and myself and they have an amazing day with goodie bags, they get autographs and they get their jerseys signed. They compete and the winners get awarded cool swag. They leave feeling so inspired and uplifted and that they can do anything and that is the message that we try to convey. No Backing Down isn’t just a book title, it’s our motto. It’s for every man, woman and child regardless of your gender. It’s for someone with a vision, someone that maybe they have been denied and told that they can’t do that they can be relentless in the pursuit of following their dreams. That is what we convey to everyone that comes through these doors. It’s my baby and it’s one day a year which takes 6 months of preparation that we try to go all out for the kids.
AM: How many kids would you say are at this camp?
SS: We get anywhere from 100-200.
The thing about this camp is, we may not have the household marquis huge names coming. But I have blue collar guys that can relate to these kids because there aren’t a lot of kids on the planet that are going to be 6’5” and 275lbs like Gronk. Someone like Jonathan Jones who is 5’9” and 180lbs and flies like the wind or like myself, I was an underdog, but if I can do it – anyone can do it. Sometimes you just need that person to just push you along to give them that advice. They can be advised and pushed in the right direction. That’s a great day obviously!
AM: How do you take time for yourself so you have what you need to fuel others?
SS: It’s a good point. I’m a stickler on my diet and on my preparation. It’s all about those endorphins, whether I’m jogging or in a swimming pool. I get a high when I get to spend time with my kids, see my daughter to play basketball, ballet or gymnastics. Occasionally, in the summer I do try to get some downtime and I love the beach and the ocean to get a little Vitamin D. Every year I spend time to take my family down to Disney World, which is a bit more exhausting than a true vacation ha! A true joy and high for me is giving back and touching lives like going to an orphanage or a Children’s Hospital. When I was trying to make it as an agent when I was nearly out of the business, I used to pray that if I was allowed to do what I do then I would make sure to give Him the glory and honor Him every day and would help kids. I stayed true to that promise when He blessed me and anointed me with this skill set to make a difference in this industry. I go to the chiropractor 2 times a week, Dr Garrity in Naherty, MA is phenomenal and he keeps me so right. My wife is an amazing cook. I'm fortunate when I’m not on the road so much, that I get those homemade meals! I’m young enough – I want to leave a mark on the life and blessings that I have got! I’m so passionate about what I am doing. I know that I always think about my ancestors who came over from a boat from Calabria, Italy with only a couple of meals and a suitcase to come and take that and run with it. I want to preserve their legacy and that is the true joy. I’m passionate about my Italian heritage and what my family went through so that I can do what I do now.
AM: Since you travel so much, what are 3 items that you always have on you/you’re carry on that you have when you’re on the road?
SS: Great point! I have to have Jesus Calling my little meditation and prayer book that has scriptures for every day that my Mother in Law gave me. It really starts my day off right. I carry a journal with me wherever I go. My wife laughs at me, but I don’t consider myself a writer, although I have written 2 books – I never know when that next thought of book might come into my mind. I just shut down and take an hour or two to write. I’d hate to forget something that – I mean Walter Payton who I loved, used to have old school pictures of his family. So I have 16 pictures in an album in my portfolio – my wife, my kids, my dog, my parents – at the end of the day, I reflect on that when I need it. This journey isn’t all vertical and I have people that care about me, love me and support me – it’s not just for the man in the mirror. Those are the 3 and I feel like I missed something but I know it’s only three and I hope that they are ok ha!
AM: It’s what you do and it’s more than ok!
OBI MELIFONWU PG 16, 32, 36 | NATALIE FEDNER David Bowie Tank | G STAR Denim | FERRAGAMO Belt | YEEZY ADIDAS Sneakers | PG 18 - 23, 29, 30 +_ BACK COVER | CLAUDE RUSSELL NYC Zipped Mesh Jacket | G STAR Denim | ETHIKA Underwear | FERRAGAMO Belt | PG 38 | TED BAKER Sweatshirt | G STAR Denim | YEEZY ADIDAS Sneakers | NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Super Bowl Champions Player's Sweatshirt |
JONATHAN JONES COVER, PG 40 - 47 | NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS SUPER BOWL Game Day Player's Jersey | PG 16, 18, 26 - 37 | TED BAKER Blazer | HANRO Tee | ALL SAINTS Jeans | OFF-WHITE Sneakers |
BRANDON KING COVER, PG 40 - 48 | NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS SUPER BOWL GAME DAY Player's Jersey | Adidas | PG 16 -33, 37 | TED BAKER Short Sleeve Woven | KINROSS Cashmere Blazer | EMBELLISHMENT Jeans | PG 34 | KINROSS Cashmere Ombre Sweater |
SERAFINA TRIBECA FOOD CREDITS
Throughout the cover shoot, we shot within Serafina Tribeca's restaurant and in addition to the New England Patriots' Super Bowl Champions and their sports agent, Sean Stellato - we also had Christian Ferrara, the General Manager of the eatery included in our shoot who also shared a few dishes that appeared in the shoot as well as suggestions on what you should try when stopping in for a bite, wine or a few cocktails:
. 18oz Ribeye
Grass fed Ribeye simply marinated in extra virgin olive oil, pepper, touch of garlic and rosemary for three days. After that, naturally grilled without adding any butter.
It comes with crispy and flavorful roasted potatoes and string beans.
. Rigatoni Bolognese
Rigatoni al dente with the finest homemade 100% beef sauce.
. Spaghetti Carbonara
As our tradition says, we only use crispy pancetta, Parmigiano Reggiano 24 months aged and Pecorino, eggs and crushed black pepper.
. Pizza al Tartufo Nero
Our secret recipe made from a bouquet of Italian cheeses, black truffle carpaccio and white truffle oil.
. Short Ribs
Slow cooked (4.5 hours) short ribs in our Chianti Riserva red wine, mixed vegetables and homemade gravy sauce Served with saffron risotto and Tuscan mushroom porcini crostini.
IG Stay in the loop with what the New England Patriots Super Bowl LIII Champions are up to: Jonathan Jones @GetItOnJones31, Brandon King @_King205, Obi Melifonwu @Obi_1nOnly, their sports agent Sean Stellato @SeanStellato and one of our favorite places to dine @SerafinaTribeca.
Our favorite looks from the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes are below! Of course, we are sharing all the details on the outfits and accessories and will share more details in terms of getting the hair and makeup looks as well. Keep coming back to see updated on our favorite stars and why we love their looks. See the full list of winners from the Golden Globes - including the predictions that we guessed correctly.
CELEBRITY GROOMER: Kindra Mann
SUIT: Dior Pre-Fall by Mr. Kim Jones
Darren won Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television. The cast has also won Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
We chatted with Makeup Artist Kindra Mann to walk us through creating his grooming look:
First, she started off by prepping Darren’s skin using the NEW Goddess Cleansing Ritual Dual Cleanser. This two-step miracle spa-in-a-jar duo is perfect for a fresh, perfectly spa-cleansed complexion, and the essential oils help to calm, hydrate and soothe even the most sensitive complexion. She started by massaging Ritual 1, the Radiance Citrus Oil into the complexion to remove any surface impurities, and then I used Ritual 2, the Purifying Bamboo Charcoal pollution solution to adsorb any deeper rooted build-up. This incredible cleanser leaves men’s complexions looking so clean, glowing and refreshed.
Next, she applied the soothing, calming Goddess Skin Clay Mask – the Spanish clays bring down any redness, and the oils instantly moisturize. I followed this with the Revolutionary Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask for 15 minutes – the bio-mimetic technology delivers the ingredients to the third layer of the epidermis. This mask is a skin savior.
To ensure the skin was properly hydrated and looking it’s best, I applied Charlotte’s Magic Cream. This award-winning, hydrating moisturizer features a uniquely magical blend of oils & actives - a ‘magic 8’ of skin-savior ingredients that includes Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C & E, BioNymph Peptide, Aloe Vera & Shea Butter - for radiant, healthier-looking skin. Magic Cream is Magic Skin!
Lastly, to help brighten and re-energize the eye area, she used her ring finger to gently apply the Magic Eye Rescue Cream. This incredible gel-cream has stem cell extract that protects and rejuvenates and brightens the eye area!
To even out Darren’s complexion and mask any imperfections, she applied Unisex Healthy Glow Hydrating Tint that gives you a healthy, holiday glow in seconds. I followed this with a little Light Wonder Foundation in Shade 5 using the Magic Complexion Brush.
To combat any shine that might come up throughout the night, she used the Powder and Sculpt Brush and applied the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Shade 2 along the T-zone, followed by a light dusting of Charlotte’s Genius Magic Powder in Shade 2 all over the face.
Lastly, she applied a little Legendary Brow Gel in Perfect Brow to keep the brows in place and complete the grooming process.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Elizabeth Stewart
ENSEMBLE: Custom Stella McCartney
JEWELRY: Chopard Jewels
SHOES: Alexandre Birman
Julia is nominated this evening for her work in Amazon’s series Homecoming.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Rebecca Corbin-Murray
CELEBRITY MUA: Monika Blunder
CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST: Clariss Rubenstein
DRESS: Valentino gown
SHOES: Christian Louboutin
The Crazy Rich Asians cast is nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
Gemma’s classy up do was created by her hair stylist, Clariss Rubenstein. We found out how you can rock her hairstyle.
“I started Gemma from dry hair. I first sprayed her hair with water to dampen it so that it would absorb product easily and so I could add a bit of volume with a blow dryer. I ran the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Perfectly Full Thickening Cream perfectly through her hair from root to end and brushed through thoroughly.”
“I sectioned the hair and blow dried the roots using a ceramic blow dryer and round brush. Then, I ran a curling iron through her hair to give it a slight bend. Then I brushed it with a round bristle brush.”
“I sprayed a few puffs of Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Volumizing Super Powder at the crown and top of her head.”
“Using only my fingers I secured a ponytail at the back of her head. I then split the ponytail in three and did a messy loose braid. Then I secured the braid into a bun with French hair pins and applied the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Thick & Full Hairspray on my hands to add a bit of texture to the hair around the face.
“I gave the overall look a quick spray with the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Thick & Full Hairspray without taking away some of the great wispy pieces that make the hair look perfectly imperfect.”
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Micaela Erlanger
CELEBRITY FACIALIST: Joanna Vargas
DRESS: Custom Vera Wang
SHOES: Giuseppe Zanotti
CLUTCH: Roger Vivier
Constance is nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in Crazy Rich Asians. Crazy Rich Asians is also nominated for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.
DRESS: Monique Lhuillier
CELEBRITY FACIALIST: Joanna Vargas
Keri is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her role in The Americans.
SHOES: Jimmy Choos
ACCESSORIES: Lorraine Schwartz
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Erin Walsh
DRESS: Vera Wang
ACCESSORIES: Harry Winston jewels
SHOES: Jimmy Choo
CLUTCH: Jimmy Choo
Allison is nominated this evening for her work on the Netflix series Glow!
SUIT: J. Crew
SHOES: Tom Ford
SUIT: Ryan Seacrest Distinction Collection
TARAJI P. HENSON
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Jason Bolden
CELEBRITY MUA: Ashunta Sheriff
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Tym Wallace
DRESS: Custom Vera Wang
JEWELRY: Roberto Coin
Celebrity Makeup Artist, Ashunta Sheriff created the makeup look for Taraji and believes that, “Flashing has become mine and Taraji’s ritual before every major red-carpet event. The theme of this look was GLOW, and nothing makes makeup glow more than DERMAFLASH LUXE—it removes the dead layer of skin including peach fuzz to leave behind silk baby smooth skin which only makes makeup GLOW that much more!”
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Elizabeth Saltzman
CELEBRITY MUA: Kara Shimotobua
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Ben Skervin
DRESS: Custom Gucci gown
JEWELRY: Chopard jewels
Saoirse presented the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy to Christian Bale.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Jessica Paster
CELEBRITY MUA: Jenn Streicher
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Laini Reeves
CELEBRITY MANICURIST: Jenna Hipp
DRESS: Alexander McQueen gown
JEWELRY: Neil Lane pair of 19th century hand cut diamond earrings (approximately 10-carats each), two 19th century diamond flower hair pins, a ruby & diamond ring and an antique cut diamond ring set in silver and gold.
Emily is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in Mary Poppins Returns.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Erin Walsh
DRESS: Custom Michael Kors Collection
Thandie was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her work on the HBO show Westworld.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Mimi Cuttrell
CELEBRITY MUA: Ash K Holm
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Justine Marjan
DRESS: Amen Style
JEWELRY: Chopard Jewelry
Kristin provided insight into who she believed would wear a number of designers on Live From the E! Red Carpet pre show.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: -
MUA: John Mendez
HAIRSTYLIST: Justine Marjan
DRESS: Marc Bouwer
STYLIST: Julie Kozak
JEWELRY: Neil Lane pearl, diamond & platinum earrings, a diamond & pearl 2-stone gold & platinum ring and a diamond & platinum ring.
Catch up on the latest at Athleisure Mag.
This month, we focused on foods and festive gathering as we begin to head into the holiday season. Our Nov cover is graced by Celebrity Chef and Owner of FlipSigi, The Original Filipino Taqueria, Jordan Andino. In addition to running his two fast casual restaurants on the UES as well as in its flagship, West Village location - Jordan is a man on the move! He has been named Zagat's 30 Hottest Chefs Under 30; was noted as one of People Magazine's Sexiest Chefs; he's hosting his second season of The Cooking Channel's Late Nite Eats; he has had numerous guest appearances on shows including: Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Worst Cooks in America and more. Jordan merges his world of chef, TV Personality and entrepreneur seamlessly.
We took some time out of his busy schedule (this week alone included a launch party for his pop up restaurant in Brooklyn and a dinner he is preparing in conjunction with James Beard) to talk about his career and of course to rock great menswear that is in line with his vibrant personality.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you know that you wanted to be a chef?
JORDAN ANDINO: I began cooking in kitchens since I was 9 years old with my father, as that was the best way for me to be able to hang out with him as he was always there since he was a professional chef. I remember one day when I was around 12 standing next to him and he was a man of few words, but he pointed out the other people in the kitchen that were in their 20’s and 30’s and he said, “Jordan, you are better then any of them!” I was taken aback but it really stuck with me when he said that. That's when I knew that this is what I wanted to do!
AM: Tell us about your culinary journey and what chefs/restaurants you were a part of as you made your way to launching your own restaurant.
JA: I was really fortunate to learn the business and techniques from my father. One of the chefs that my dad trained eventually went on to Jean Georges. Because of my connections there, I was able to work there and then go on to Spago with Wolfgang Puck at Spago in LA. I also went on to work with Thomas Keller at French Laundry in Napa.
AM: How would you define your style of cooking?
JA: I would say that my cooking style is Mediterranean with a French influence for sure.
AM: Tell us about FlipSigi. When it opened what was your vision behind this restaurant?
JA: I really wanted to introduce Filipino food to NYers via my grandmother’s recipes and give them tastes of the food that I love and keeping it familiar by including it in burgers, burritos and rice bowls. I wanted to bring my personality into the restaurants by being able to having fun energetic music, a vibrant mural and a high energy personality. I really wanted to kick off our first location in the West Village to show that this style of food would do well here and that's what I set out to do!
AM: Are there differences between Flip Sigi in the West Village and the one on the UES and is there a meaning behind the name?
JA: Nope the menus and the experience is the same at both locations. Well, it’s pretty simple, Flip is slang for Filipino and Sigi means ‘Go,’ so essentially it means Go Filipino.
AM: We know that you are opening up a new restaurant that will be a pop up. Tell us about this and how long will the pop up be?
JA: I’m pretty excited about our pop up that is at The Royal Palms Shuffle Board Club in Brooklyn. We have been open for about a week and we will run through the middle of Jan.
AM: What is the hope for this pop up?
JA: Well hopefully they like the pop up and we can continue to be there!
AM: How did Late Nite Eats come about and what is it about this show that drew you in to being a part of it as you are currently in your second season.
JA: I remember when I was talking with the executives at the network and we were throwing around ideas of doing a show. I knew I wanted to do a show where I could travel and introduce people to bars and their menus.
About two months later, I got a call and they were like, "do you want to host a show that focuses on bars/restaurants in the late night scene?"
I have been able to travel all over the US doing this show and being able to see whats out there and what's trending which is fantastic.
AM: Are you part of the cannabis cooking movement?
JA: I am really intrigued by it and interestingly enough, my business partners and I have been talking about it as I think that it is the next movement in terms of the culinary world.
AM: What is your style with that in terms of flavors and effects in savory and sweet specialties and will this be something that you will bring into your restaurants?
JA: Well I am still in the R&D phase and that's why I am excited about planning the menu and participating in this dinner tomorrow for James Beard. It's a great way for me to learn and try out! Since I'm still in R&D at this point, there are still a lot of legalities to figure out.
AM: We loved hanging out with you on the shoot, seeing you pop into the kitchen to make a few dishes and bringing out your inner model – you also have a great personality as evidenced by seeing you on shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Beat Bobby Flay, judging on Chopped etc – how important is it to you to be able to share your brand on these shows?
JA: First and foremost, I am a chef and today, it’s important for me to be out there to be able to share who I am as well as to promote my restaurant. Being on a number of shows allows me to do that and being on Instagram and all those networks allows me to continue to amplify me to a wide audience. It’s definitely important in addition to everything else that I am doing.
AM: Tell us about your personal style as we know via your Instagram, you can definitely rock fun colors.
JA: What can I say, my personal style is vivacious, colorful and high energy and I love my clothing to reflect that vibe – I’m a pretty happy guy.
AM: With all the things that you have going on, we're struck by how humble you are.
JA: Well I'm appreciative of everything that I have. I love what I do and although I am driven and can be hard on myself, I am thankful for what I have been able to achieve.
I know what it is to work hard and to come from humble beginnings and to know what it takes in order to be successful!
AM: Where would we find you grabbing a bite/cocktail here in NYC, shopping and of course working out?
JA: I love to go out – when you think about having 21 meals in a week, I probably eat out for 20 of them! When I’m not in my restaurant and want to grab a drink, you’ll find me at dive bars - I love them! I love to exercise – I love running in Central Park when I can, I’m all about cardio and weights and work out about 5 times a week. I fucking love Equinox as it’s the best gym in the world! I also love to skate. A lot of times I skate from Flip Sigi’s UES location to my West Village location which is about 10 avenues over and about 100 streets down!
AM: With the New Year around the corner, what projects can you tell us about that will launch/be released next year that we should keep an eye out for or should we just keep an eye on your social to find out?
JA: I’m excited about a number of things coming up! In a few days I have a new merch line coming out under my brand Fork Knife which will include tumblers, hats, wallets etc that are in really fun vibrant colors and goes right along with my personality! I am working on a book and I am working on another show that will be coming out!
AM: What’s on heavy rotation on your playlist to cook, entertain, workout and about town?
JA: My music taste is fun and eclectic and is like what you would hear if you were in my restaurants! If you went through my playlist you'd see that I have: Drake, Miguel, Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine, Marvin Gaye - Ain't No Mountain High Enough, J. Lo - Ain't It Funny!
| CREDITS - COVER, PG 22 - 25 | AVIATOR NATION Velvet Sweatshirt | MAVI JEANS Denim |
| PG 16, THIS PG + BACK COVER | PARAJUMPERS Outerwear | AVIATOR NATION Velvet Sweatshirt | MAVI JEANS Denim |
| PG 18 - 20 | ANUAR LAYON Simpsons Leather Jacket | HANRO Muscle Tank |
| PG 30 - 31 | ANZ Cardigan | MAVI JEANS Denim |
This month's cover is graced by Field Yates, an NFL Insider for ESPN who contributes analysis, breaking NFL news and fantasy football for the network. We enjoyed catching up with him to know more about how he got into the industry, shows he's on and more about Fantasy Football.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment when you realized you wanted to work in sports?
FIELD YATES: For as long as I can remember, I wished to work in sports. I often joke that I had an early realization that my future in sports was not going to be on the field forever - my college career at Wesleyan University on the football and lacrosse teams - was inglorious. But, without hesitation, I always knew that I wanted sports to be a foundational part of my life. So much of my life has revolved and will continue to circle around sports, which I'm grateful for everyday. So while pinpointing a specific moment is difficult, I'm hard pressed to remember a time when I didn't envision a career in sports.
AM: We know prior to coming to ESPN, you worked in the front office on the staff for scouting and coaching. Tell us about your background and how you transitioned your career into joining the ESPN family.
FY: My career at ESPN was, well, not by design. My desire growing up was to enter into the world of football coaching, and after spending several training camps working with the Patriots during my high school and college years, I was hired by the Chiefs in 2009 following my graduation from Wesleyan University. My summers with the Patriots were a combination of scouting and coaching duties, learning the ins and outs of each while contributing in any way that was asked of me. I draw the parallel to learning a new language: for me, training camps were my football Rosetta Stone. Learning from an organization with incredible success was my foundation and my time in Kansas City (2009-2011) provided me with a chance to put my football education into action. Both were truly remarkable opportunities.
AM: What shows on air as well as on the podcast are you a part of and tell us about these as well?
FY: My role at ESPN has some elements of a utility player, as my assignments span across almost anything tied to football. During the season, I serve as the co-host of the Fantasy Focus Football podcast with the amazing Matthew Berry and Stephania Bell. Our show is live-streamed daily on Twitter, making it a bit different than a traditional podcast -- it's TV-lite. On Sundays, I appear on our popular Fantasy Football Now show, with in-season work on NFL LIVE, SportsCenter and any other football-related segments on other shows. My work also includes extensive ESPN Radio opportunities and some writing for ESPN.com.
AM: What is an average week like for you as we know you are at ESPN HQ as well as work out of Boston?
FY: During the season, my week lays out as such: I depart Boston first thing Sunday morning, arriving to Bristol by about 7:30 AM in advance of our meeting for Fantasy Football Now. From then until Friday afternoon, I remain in Bristol (I'm familiar with all of the local hotels near Bristol by now!), as our podcast airs every Monday-Friday. It's a blitz from Sunday-to-Friday, but one that seemingly goes by at the speed of light. Between TV obligations, the podcast, developing our weekly rankings for those who play Fantasy Football and so much more, there is rarely a dull moment.
AM: How do you take time for yourself with such a busy schedule?
FY: My goal is to carve some time each day for myself to unwind from the ever-moving football news cycle. I'm a morning person - always have been - so my days begin with a workout every day. It's a chance to decompress and set the tone for the day ahead. As a creature of habit, I know that bypassing on a workout in the morning will inevitably result in it falling by the wayside later in the day. Get up and get going is my mindset.
AM: What is it about reporting about football, focusing on fantasy sports and giving fans analysis that resonates with you?
FY: I truly believe the advent of fantasy football has led to make the sport relatable in a way that is incomparable. Hardly a day goes by when I don't hear from someone who has a question about his or her fantasy lineup or favorite team. That connectivity to fans, readers, followers, listeners, viewers, etc. is something I am truly inspired by. The appetite for football is insatiable; from the 17 weeks of the regular season to the playoffs, the draft, free agency and so much more, everyone seemingly loves football!
AM: What is your personal style when you're on the air, when you're podcasting and when you’re at home with friends and family?
FY: I aim to be myself above all else. That's the starting point for how I approach my work, as it's easy to see others in the world of reporting or podcasting and try hard to emulate their style. But that is what works for them; it's important to be authentically yourself in any walk of life. Style-wise, specific to apparel, my goal is to always look sharp: an outfit that you aren't trying to draw attention to, but an outfit that when people see it, they understand there was thought put into pulling it together.
AM: How do you stay in shape? What are 3 of your go to workouts?
FY: My workouts do tend to go into phases: sometimes they involve more weightlifting, while other times I place more of an emphasis on cardiovascular activity. But three workouts that you can never go wrong with: a run around the Charles River in Boston, any sort of core workout and a full-body exercise.
AM: What's on your playlist when you're working out and what do you listen to when you're hanging out?
FY: The world of podcasting is not one I live in simply as a host; I'm a huge consumer of podcasts as well. Be it the other fantastic podcasts we have on our ESPN feed (Adam Schefter or Mina Kimes football-themed shows) or anything related to the NBA - I'm a hoops junkie - podcasts are a perfect workout soundtrack for me.
AM: In Boston, where would we find you grabbing a drink/getting a meal, working out and shopping?
FY: Boston has such a great mixture of culinary options and I'm fully convinced its on the rise. Our local seafood is as good as and deserves to be advertised and the next time I ever grow tired of eating lobster will be the first time. During the summer, the Seaport area has seen tremendous growth, becoming one of the best areas to spend time in its mixture of top restaurant options, activities and shopping make it a can't miss Boston spot. For my favorite sandwich in the city, 3 Little Figs in Somerville is hard to beat.
AM: Let's talk Fantasy Football. How important is the draft and what are some tips if you are with a group you know well versus venturing out into new waters?
FY: The draft is supremely important in fantasy football, but it is unquestionably just the first step in the process. I always remind people, the team you draft is not the team you finish your season with! It's essential to be active on the waiver wire and fielding/offering up trades. Along those lines, the most important thing to remem ber in the draft is to find value; even if you start your draft with a surplus of wide receivers, it won't be long before someone with a dearth of pass catchers comes calling with a compelling trade offer. While NFL teams often draft for need in the NFL draft, draft is based for value in fantasy football!
AM: What are some surprises you've seen for this season?
FY: While I had an extremely optimistic outlook for Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, his emergence into the best fantasy football wide receiver so far in the league has been tremendous to see. He does everything well, is consistent and represents one of the best values in this year's draft. On a non-fantasy side, the robust number of trades has been fun to see as well. NFL teams have often been hesitant to make trades when compared to what we see in other major sports league (i.e. NBA, MLB, NHL), but the spike in trades has been neat in the NFL. Teams are far more wheeling and dealing than we're typically accustomed to, as was evidenced leading up to the recent trade deadline (October 30th).
The global denim business is a $100 billion dollar industry and is a staple in our wardrobe. We had the chance to talk with Andrew Olah and his daughter Emily Olah, who are luminaries in their industry. Together with their team, they run a series of businesses that further the denim industy from Olah, Kingpins (which we attended earlier this summer) and Denim Days. We sat down to find out about the upcoming Denim Days taking place this fall.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed checking out Kingpins and are looking forward to Denim Days in NYC this fall. We look forward to being media partners this year. Tell us about your backgrounds and how it led to where you are now.
ANDREW OLAH: Well we’re really excited to talk with you about Denim Days! Let me share a little about me first. I’m second generation in the textile sales business so early on I kind of changed it and switched to denim. We’re from Canada and we used to do every kind of fabric.
I grew up in jeans and in the 60’s, jeans weren’t so accessible and they didn’t have any connotation of any kind of social position. In my culture they did, but not in the rest of the world. I couldn’t wear my jeans - some schools wouldn’t allow you to wear them etc. So it’s all I wore and when I got to represent companies that made denim or corduroy I loved it because I knew that I could wear it – how could you not wear what you were selling? Even in the denim industry back in '97 when I was thinking of moving to NYC, I had to think about it because I would have had to wear a suit.
Eventually, we moved the business to fabrics in denim. I worked for the first denim mill ever outside of the United States which was a really lucky job. It was an Italian company – the Italians impacted the denim industry really really early on being the first ones to use denim in non-traditional shapes. In the American history of denim if you look at vintage pictures, it’s all workwear related and very traditional styles.
The Italians were the first ones to say, let’s make a sexy top, a sexy dress etc. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a company called Fiorucci that’s what they did – fashion tops and fashion bottoms in weird shapes. No one had ever heard of that or thought of it in America really. Obviously there were no fabrics in the United States to do that and when people were sourcing they realized it was cheaper for them to make that shirt outside of the US and to do it in Asia so this started to happen there and this started the denim industry in Asia. The Italians impacted the industry because they enlarged what was seen as a jeans industry by the shapes and the sizes and by women's wear.
The second job that I got was to work with a Japanese company. Again, the Japanese have a huge impact on the jean industry globally – I’m talking about global business and not just American. So the Japanese recreated vintage. Their emulation of vintage was better than the original vintage. It’s like someone copying a Mustang from ’65 and making it 10 times better than the original one and yet looking the same – that’s kind of what they did. They’re obsessed with the components and application so their obsessions make them uncompetitive. They have their own cache. So the company moved to NY in ’98 and we wanted to meet customers and we already had 20-30 customers but we wanted 70 so we started Kingpins as a tradeshow because we wanted to meet more customers and have them come in, hand out their business cards and say hello. When we first stated in the beginning, we used to do personal introductions to everybody because the shows were small.
Kingpins started in 2004 and we never even charged anyone for it, it was just a party and we did it for 2 or 3 years, until 2007 when the recession hit, and we switched the business model to being for profit and now Kingpins is the largest tradeshow in the industry for supply chain – not to boast and quite accidently. It was never our aspiration but it just happened. Our Amsterdam show is really really huge.
AM: And why Amsterdam?
AO: We picked Amsterdam because the community in Amsterdam loves jeans. The late mayor of Amsterdam was a believer in jeans and he felt it was the business for his city. They did a study and they found that Amsterdam had more jean brands per capita than any other city in the world. Which is easy when you have a population of 700,000 – a little more difficult if you’re a city like Tokyo, Istanbul, Sao Paulo* or LA even. That was their mantra and the fact is the fact that that is their business in Amsterdam. They have a lot of brands there and they made it their business to celebrate that to go with what was working for them and to try to get brands in this vertical to move there because they have an industry. They have the culture there and the population loves it there!
Do you ever notice that when we’re there people wear more denim there then here?
EMILY OLAH: Oh yeah 100%.
AO: It’s kind of weird because we’re jeans people and you go there and everyone is wearing jeans. Even in hotels the people working in the hotels and the restaurants - even the uniforms are jeans or denim! It's kind of weird whe you first see it. When we first went there, we stayed in this brand new boutique hotel and ever since people wore jeans and even their aprons were denim!
But anyway, we decided to do it in Amsterdam and there was also the issue of the House of Denim – have you heard of that?
AO: Over the course of my career, of 40+ years I was frustrated that there wasn't a school for those in the denim trade. We all got jobs and we had to just learn o the job, but there ws no place to learn outside of that.
I have produced a class on jeans for 14 years at FIT which is known as the Capstone Course and they're preparing for their 5th year anniversary. Recently it was announced that there would be a New Jean School in Milan - so this is the start of a big difference in our industry as we grow up!
Now the House of Denim in Amsterdam started the first jeans school in 2012. They're also planning on putting a laundry in the city so that people can wash their jeans.
So in doing our supply chain tradeshow Kingpins there, they said that they wated to do a festival known as Denim Days which led us to doing it there.
What we didn't realize was how many people all over Europe and Turkey and other countries liked Amsterdam and loved shopping there. They loved going there and being their for inspiration. It was an amazing decision.
AM: So Emily, before we delve into Denim Days, how did you get into the denim industry?
EO: I went to college for biology. I was not a good student so I went and had various jobs. One day I got a phone call from my father and his friend – they were in a taxi. He said I needed to go to Portugal and learn the business with our family friend. I had to get my life together, learn Portuguese in 6 weeks if I was serious. I said yes. I packed up my life, learned Portuguese in 6 weeks (I went to language school 4-5 days a week) and moved there about 6-8 weeks after.
I worked in a garment factory and worked in our friend’s shirt factory. I worked in every department learning each component of it together through it’s complete process. I had to make a garment where the pattern was made by me, sewn by me, finished by me and it had to be approved before I could work from the office.
AO: They wouldn’t let her out of the factory until it was approved.
EO: I was failed like 20 times. I sewed my finger, it was like your sleeve is a centimeter shorter then the other sleeve, try again So I eventually passed my production sewing job and I started
working in the office.
AO: Who were your customers?
EO: My customers were Paper Denim, Burton Snowboards, AG and Marc Jacobs. So I had the American market and the factory that I worked for was a boutique factory so we did small runs. We did all kinds of products and not just shirts – it was shoes, bags, sweaters etc. In Portugal, all of the factories around us did small run production so I would just have to drive in a 50km radius to go to factories that did any kind of production. And then when I was ready to leave from Portugal I had been working with Rogan for awhile and got an internship with them here in NY.
AO: At that time, he was one of the most renowned designers in the industry.
EO: He was growing his business really quickly and there was this small staff of like 6 people when I went there as an intern. They had me running to midtown to check on their garment factory and whether their production was going ok and in 2 weeks they were like, “we have this new brand and we want you to run it.” I was like, “really ok”. They said, “it’s a really big opportunity, we’re going to do jeans and t-shirts. Production is already set you just have to deliver the goods.”
AO: And that was Loomstate.
AM: Oooo we love Loomstate wow!
EO: I did all of the product development and the production. Jared who works here now, also worked there and developed the sales. That’s how I got started in the business.
AM: Wow everyone loved their jeans and the shirts were great! So how did you make your way here?
EO: So I worked for several brands in the premium area on the production side. I eventually moved to LA because a lot of them were there and I wanted to come to NY. I had an opportunity to work for the factory that I stated with and that brought me back to NY and I worked out of the Olah office. That’s sort of the beginning.
AO: A few key things happened that led to her being at the Olah umbrella. We never hired her.
EO: Yeah his business partner hired me.
AO: True, what happened was she was working with AG and Rock and Republic and then she moved back to NY to work with the Portuguese guy that she started with and we paid her salary because they weren’t going to pay her enough so we said there are things to do around the office and she had her own world and it had nothing to do with me so I thought that that was cool. Then he and I had some issues and the relationship got funky and one day when the relationship ended, she had no job, but was in our office. So we tried to see what she could do to justify her being her.
My partner kept telling me that she was really smart and I was glad to hear that, but I didn’t think about it.
EO: And now 11 years later, here I am haha.
AM: So what do you do here?
EO: So our business is segmented into 3 areas and I straddle all 3 in an operational way, but I spend most of my time in the events world like Kingpins and Denim Days.
AM: So how will Denim Days this year be different then Denim Days last year?
AO: One thing that we will do which is different is that we are changing the speaking. We had people speak last time. The day before we did Legends. But this year we will have something everyday on Sat and Sun all day long so the speaker element will be amazing.
EO: Right like speakers and workshops that will be engaging to the consumers that come in and it won’t be on a separate day. Quite honestly, our Legends last year were a bit more B2B. The access to the attendees will be a lot greater this year.
AO: If you come in and feel what’s going on, it will all be in one big room. It’s going to be much better this year!
EO: I think 2019 will be a big evolution because we are going to move Denim Days to be the same week as Kingpins so it allows us to have denim events for 6 days in a row as opposed to being segregated.
AO: Then it will be a proper festival because it will be 6 days in a row with B2B and B2C.
EO: It will be a lot more dynamic that way and will engage a lot more people.
AM: What made you want to introduce Nashville to Denim Days?
AO: They asked us. But they have started the Nashville Fashion Alliance* and the NFA people are nice and their arguments for the fashion industry to move there to me is compelling. They remind me a lot of Amsterdam.
EO: Yeah their local government is very similar to Amsterdam.
AO: Yes you have access to the mayor, the Senate, Senators, the governor – there is a whole level of community. When you have academia, politics and commerce mix, it’s like the perfect moment. It’s like nirvana – it doesn’t happen here, but when it happens, everyone is on the same page. All the people are not competitors you’re doing the same thing and it becomes a community. Amsterdam has nailed it – accidently – but they are in this status and if they don’t screw it up, it’s brilliant. Nashville sees it and is trying to create it and I believe that they will. Then they have the music industry and so when they came to us, we said yes. They said they would help us with the media. Little cities in many ways are the future. So it’s interesting for us.
AM: So what trends are you seeing in denim that we should keep an eye out for fall of this year and more specifically for Spring 19?
EO: It’s about fiber and performance.
AO: The biggest thing – everyone wants something special. In the old days, if you wanted something special it was about having the Jordache name on it and that was something special.
EO: And that was enough.
AO: I remember I had a friend telling one of the Hilfigers at the time that they should just sell their label at the checkout counter because you have all the same jeans. So Polo could be $5 for the label and Tommy could be $6 and this one is $10 and Levi’s could be $3 and you just stick it on because it’s all the same stuff. That’s the history of the jeans business.
Exceptional jeans products right now – I think that everyone makes exceptional jeans products so then the issue is what is the company like. Everlane has done really really well with jeans and they’re not a jeans brand – but they have done well. It’s about the company and what’s
inside it and most of all how it fits and performance. Performance is everything and that means that you have to step out and find new ways of doing things.
EO: I completely agree. People know more about the product and want to know more about it. They have to have a reason for its existence and it just can’t be another piece that’s lined up
on the shelf. Something in it that’s different than something else and that’s outstanding.
AO: Like, when you go to Selfridge’s. The jeans shop is huge and there isn’t one sign but the brand name – what is that? That is like having this table with bananas and then saying, which one do you want? This one is $105, this one is $98, this one is made in LA – I mean really? They’re bananas!
AM: Just so our readers are clear, in addition to having your tradeshow within the supply chain - Kingpins as well as a festival denim show - Denim Days; you also work with brands that want to become denim brands?
AO: Yes, we have 3 actual business models. In addition to the shows, we develop fabric and then we sell the fabric. That division would help small brands that we believe in. Scott Morrison he was doing Paper Denim – we helped him with that. We’re happy to help those that are looking to get into the business - to a point. You can give someone food, but you can’t help them chew it!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Olah Inc.
This month's celeb fitness editorial (front and back) is Corey Calliet, Celebrity Fitness Trainer who has A$SAP Rocky, Michael B. Jordan as clients. He also trains a number of actors who are in some of your favorite blockbuster action movies. He has also been a trainer on E!'s Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian. Our editorial focuses on what inspires him, explains the Calliet Way and his approach to training. Our July issue is focused on fitness which includes our day of training (as well as interviewing) along with Celebrity Fitness trainers Harley Pasternak, Gunnar Peterson, Akin Akman, Nicole Winhoffer and Swedish pop duo Icona Pop. We also talked with Hunter "The Sheriff" McIntyre who competed in the Tough Mudder X Championship presented by Kill Cliff.
Within beauty and wellness, we have OB/GYN Dr. Sherry Ross with us sharing Part II of our conversation that we had with her. awareness of a number of issues. We talked with the Co-Founders of Australian cult beauty brand, Bali Body. Our second editorial, Bring it On has tips on how to look stylish from what you're wearing, beauty, hair, drinking and hanging out.
We have a number of features that are in each month's issues including The Art of the Snack - focusing on Kelvin Slush Co, Bingely Books, Bingely Streaming, Something You Should Know with Emirates Airlines, Athleisure List, Athleisure Beauty and more roundups that focus on tennis style, 5 must have sports bras and more.
Read the July Issue
We've been hooked and fans of Showtime's Ray Donovan since day one! The storytelling, the family - the fixing. With season 6 currently filming here in NYC, we were beyond excited to have Pooch Hall, who plays Daryll Donovan as this month's cover! Our shoot focuses on how he enjoys his down time in the city as we shot in various locations in Flatiron as well as hanging out with him on set! From playing Derwin Davis on BET's The Game, his current role as Daryll Donovan in Ray Donovan and being Frank Alexander on USA's Unsolved The Murders ofTupac & Notorious B.I.G. - Pooch shares it all with us.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We had such a great time shooting with you and then coming to your set! When did you realize that you wanted to be an actor and share with our readers about your journey as an actor and roles that you have appeared in?
POOCH HALL: I realized I wanted to become an actor, when I realized I could be a part of the world that entertains and influences, that I could be an influencer. I love entertaining and role playing.
AM: Regardless of our industries, we have had mentors that have really set the tone for our success - who has done that for you and what words of wisdom did they leave you?
PH: A few of the people who have been an inspiration to me are Jon Voight and Liev Schreiber. Jon with his caring and insight based on his experience and Liev based on pulling out my potential as an actor, whether we are acting together or he’s directing me. I have fun and I move based off what they give, or they share what is beneficial. Whatever they teach me, it’s always cherished and helpful.
AM: We've been fans of yours since "The Game" and when we saw that you had joined "Ray Donovan" we were so excited! As you're currently here in New York filming the 6th season, can you take us back to the audition process for being in this show and what have the past seasons been like in terms of being a part of this dynamic cast?
PH: The audition process was awesome it happened quickly. I was fresh off the end of season 5 of “The Game” and ready for the next move. I auditioned and then met with producers and we all connected. I’m blessed that they saw something in me to where I could be considered and recruited for the Ray Donovan star team.
AM: Do you find similarities and/or differences between yourself and Daryll and how do you prepare to play him on set?
PH: Daryll and I are different, but the same. Different because I’m in control of my life - where Daryll is still finding his way. Then the same because I play Daryll... and I want Daryll to be real and have qualities that people can relate to, an underdog trying to defy the odds and be someone who has a purpose...
AM: What if anything can you tell us about Season 6 and what are you excited about for the upcoming season?
PH: Daryll has finally come into his manhood and is exercising his independence as a man and as a Donovan.
AM: With filming being in NYC, how does this affect the show?
PH: Filming in NY is awesome. It’s different from LA. Their looks are different, their swag is different. New York offers a different energy and vibe. It makes people have to work and move differently.
AM: Watching the show there are so many dynamic personalities that interact with one another, we imagine that off camera, you guys are pretty close - how important is it to have that kind of camaraderie?
PH: Having a family camaraderie is amazing, but we have waited a long time to have a show like Ray Donovan and part of the show’s success is due to dynamics outside the show. We have been around Hollywood for a while and each one of us recognizes how important family is. And us being parents and having kids brought us together rather quickly. For example, my kids call Jon Voight "Papa Jon,” Eddie and my kids hang out and Liev fought for me to be in his movie "Chuck" where I played Muhammad Ali.
AM: Are you working on any projects that we should keep an eye out for in addition to the upcoming season of "Ray Donovan"?
PH: I’m working on writing my own story and I was recently in USA's “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.” where I played Frank Alexander, Tupac’s best friend and bodyguard. It’s now available on Netflix.
AM: In our shoot, we included a yoga session at Humming Puppy which is one of our Style Director's favorite places to work out. How do you stay in such great shape?
PH: I run, and I train with some great trainers. Boxing, Basketball and hot yoga are all a part of the regimen. I also try and eat as clean as possible.
AM: In LA, where can we find you working out, grabbing a bite/cocktails and where do you shop?
AM: As you have been in NYC for awhile, where do you work out here, where might we find you for drinks and where do you like to shop?
I love to go to Beauty and Essex and I spend a lot of time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wherever I can find a bar- gain... love me some Flight Club NY.
AM: We see you in front of the camera, but will we see you directing down the road as well?
PH: Yes like I said I’m writing and yes that’s the plan. You have to be a triple threat.
AM: How do you take time for yourself, especially when you are in the midst of filming for this role?
PH: When I’m sleeping lol and whenever I do have down time, I write or just explore the city.
AM: Philanthropically, how do you give of your time?
PH: I try and give my wife a hand by helping and supporting her fight in raising awareness for special needs. Our oldest daughter has cerebral palsy, and we are in a fight to give her and ones like her the best life possible.
AM: We know that your family man as we love seeing pictures of your wife and kids on your Instagram and we had the pleasure of hanging out with your son Djordan - how great is it to have him join you on set and to take him to the office with you?
PH: It was awesome having my son on set with me. He’s well behaved and constantly asking questions and to learn how Hollywood comes together. And I just love seeing my family, they are my everything.
Our photoshoot took place at a number of locations in Flatiron. We enjoyed including Patisserie Chanson and Humming Puppy NYC which is the sister location to their Sydney and Melbourne locations. Although they have only been open a few months in Flatiron, our team enjoys taking in some much needed zen! Jackie Alexander, one of the Co-Founders is not only in the shoot but took a moment to tell us about their newest studio!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We've been fans of Humming Puppy back when we included you in our Athleisure List a year ago for your locations in Sydney and in Melbourne and now you're in NYC! We've taken a few classes and are huge fans. Tell our readers about the ethos of Humming Puppy in general and specifically about your Flatiron location.
JACKIE ALEXANDER: At Humming Puppy we want our clients’ experience within the space to begin when they cross the threshold from the busy streets of NYC and enter our studio. There are gradual points of reveal as you move through the different zones within our space, transitioning into a space of relaxation before moving into the sublime – the shala/studio - and onto the mat.
In the reception and bathrooms our aim was to create a luxurious space with a spa-like atmosphere. In the shala, the aim is twofold; provide a sacred and beautiful space for your practice but also a practical space where there is ample room between each mat, where the teacher is visible (thanks to a tiered floor) and where our trademark hum resonates within the studio to enhance and deepen the experience of your practice.
Our Flatiron location was also specifically chosen due to its high ceilings and it’s beautiful arched windows, which let an enormous amount of natural light into our lounge/reception area. Finally, the columns within the space are a stunning reference to the buildings heritage and played a big role our design process.
One of the unique things about our studio is that we actually inject specific frequencies into the studio to help ‘tune’ you while you practice. Our yoga space or ‘shala’ is injected with a combination of frequencies to enhance and deepen your experience and make the shala feel as if it is humming. More specifically we use a combination of 7.83hz and 40hz. Being submersed in these frequencies helps you to naturally produce matching frequencies through a process of entertainment. 7.83hz otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance is actually the frequency of the earth itself and helps to 'ground' you through your practice. 40hz is specifically associated with ‘Gamma’ brainwave activity, integral for achieving states of peak performance. Elite athletes, top-notch musicians and high achievers in all fields, typically produce far more gamma waves than average.
And whilst all of that sounds quite serious and complicated, on a much simpler level the hum just feels good!
AM: Why did you want to bring Humming Puppy to the states and ultimately to NYC - are there other cities that you feel you'd be interested in having Humming Puppy in?
JA: NYC is just an amazing city that has always held a special place in our hearts and it has been our intention, since before even launching our first studio in Melbourne, to bring Humming Puppy to NYC. Apart from personally being in love with the city, we also felt that the calming and restorative nature of our studio would provide an urban sanctuary where you can relax and take time out from the high paced NYC lifestyle.
AM: If you haven't covered already, tell us about the classes offered at Humming Puppy and what once can expect when taking them.
JA: We don't prescribe to any specific style but rather draw our inspiration from all of the lineages from which our teachers have practiced and learnt. We believe this gives our students a unified and holistic practice. We base our teachings on the principles of breath-pranayama, movement-asana and awareness-meditation. These principles are the foundation of our 3 class styles in which we welcome beginners through to the most experienced yogi.
These 3 class styles include our Mellow Hum which is a super chilled class that may include gentle slow flows and postures held for 3-5 minutes at a time.
Our Unified Hum which is a medium intensity class that gives students an opportunity to link breath to movement to calm the mind and strengthen the body.
And finally our Dynamic Hum, which is a high intensity class that can include stronger, longer holds, Vinyasa flows and advanced postures that will energize and challenge your practise.
In all of our these classes we welcome beginners through to the most advanced yogi and will always offer variations for beginners for any advanced postures that are being practiced.
AM: We have a number of things that we love about Humming Puppy can you tell us about the phenomenal quartz light?
JA: Our beautiful quartz crystal light is an original piece by Christopher Boots who is a phenomenal Melbourne based industrial designer. When we first saw the piece, we immediately fell in love with it, not just because of its breathtaking aesthetic, but also because we loved the idea of showcasing an artist from our home town. Finally, crystals actually act as a resonator and amplifier of frequency and as such the piece is a beautiful compliment to the Hum that we inject into our shala.
AM: The shala is amazing from hearing you playing the bowls in the space, the dark interiors and the stadium like setup. Can you tell us why the space is laid out like this and how this is beneficial to doing yoga there?
JA: We have come to learn that many students actually have their favorites spots within a yoga class. And as a result of this we have built a mat booking system that allows you to reserve the exact location that you want to be within each class. However, we also didn’t want to disadvantage those who like being in the back over those who prefer the front and so we have tiered our studio (similar to stadium seating) so that no matter where you are located within the class you can always see the teacher.
AM: What is the connection between yoga and sound?
JA: Whist there here are many connections between yoga and the use of sound (through singing or the use of various instruments such as singing bowls), one of the more commonly known examples is the chanting of Om within the practice. The actual meaning of Om has many different interpretations, from it being the “sound of universe” to it representing that which is "mysterious and inexhaustible”.
AM: Tell us about amenities that are offered at Humming Puppy from products in the bathroom and the use of the lounge?
JA: At Humming Puppy we like you travel light - emotionally and physically - so we provide absolutely everything from our home town. Finally, crystals actually act as a resonator and amplifier of frequency and as such the piece is a beautiful compliment to the Hum that we inject into our shala. We also provide hair ties and phone chargers complimentary as well.
Our bathrooms are fully stocked with towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair dryers, straighteners and shower caps.
And finally in our lounge area, we serve complimentary herbal tea; coconut water and filtered water and students are welcome to make themselves at home before and after class!
AM: Being that you are in NYC now, tell us about where we can catch you grabbing after work drinks/meal, brunch on the weekends and shopping in NYC?
JA: I tend to be a creature of habit and go back to places I love a lot like Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, La Esquina, Café Dante and my local fav XYST but….. …..with that said I love exploring all the amazing food that New York has to offer and so you’ll find me trying out all that there is to offer most weekends. For shopping one of my favorite things to do is wandering through Barney’s on 7th Avenue and simply soak up the design aesthetic and creativity.
119 W. 23rd St.
NY, NY 10011
Our June Issue was just released and we're beyond excited to share our celebrity cover!
This month's celeb cover (front and back) is Pooch Hall of Showtime's Ray Donovan which is currently filming here in NYC! His son Djordan Hall is on the back cover. The shoot took place in Flatiron (Chanson, Humming Puppy and on the set of Ray Donovan). Our June issue is focused on awareness of a number of issues. We talked with Gabriel de Santino about how to read beauty labels when it comes to cruelty-free products. We chatted with Dr. Sherry Ross OBGYN/GYNO about women's health and to touch on a number of topics that you may have always wanted to know but never asked. We're fans of CNBC's The Deed and are excited to have developper, flipper and philanthropist, Sidney Torres about his second season and important tips on how you should approach your next project as well as how he got into the business. Our contributor, Dr. David Greuner, shares how we can get a great workout by taking it outside. We focus on 5 foods that blast fat with Eraldo Maglar as well as some fitness tips. We also talk with Celebrity Hair Stylist and Founder of Ouai, Jen Atkin to find out how she got into the business, how to ensure that our hair looks great this summer and her collabortion with Gurney's Resorts!
We have a number of features that are in each month's issues including The Art of the Snack - focusing on Monkey 47, Bingely Books, Bingely Streaming, Something You Should Know, Athleisure List, Athleisure Beauty and more roundups that focus on 4th of July, 5 must have leggings and more.
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).
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.
Finding your signature look can be as easy as wearing bespoke items that are tailored to you as well as your needs! We chatted with lifestyle designer, Matteo Perrin whose passion for fashion has been seen on apparel and accessories that have been worn by celebrities, socialites and more. We found out how he got into the business, why he designs and how he channels his passions.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us when you realized that you were interested in being in the fashion industry, your fashion background and when/why you began designing your line.
MATTEO PERRIN: As a teenager living in a small town outside Verona I went through many style transformations, some of which I am still proud of and some not so much. But I am not afraid to explore. I was about 14 when I realized that I really enjoyed creating things to wear. I had lots of inspiration from my grandmother and our dear family friend, a tailor in Rome who inspired me to create beautiful creations. I played around thinking I was not good enough to create my own line for a few years, until a tilting point in my life where I had to go one way or the other. I am grateful I chose my passion.
AM: In a world of fast fashion and mass production, bespoke design and personalization is such a coveted element to add into your look. Why is this something that you have embraced?
MP: I grew up around the artisan’s world with my great grandfather who only owned a few incredible pieces since, at that time, you owned a small wardrobe but it was all bespoke. My
grandmother was also the same, quality above quantity. So I experienced the difference between fast fashion and bespoke designs. I chose the latter as it is more fitting to my style of life and personality. I love how special it is to create something that embodies the person and their personality fully and makes them feel and look as they should.
AM: What is your work influenced by and what is the process like when you are creating unique pieces for your clients?
MP: Every single piece and every single situation is different. I design creations that are meant to make the person glow, so of course each person is a big influence in what I do. The process
is quite special; it's like a wine tasting, takes time, passion, and by the end you have a full understanding of the person in front of you, so the magic can happen.
Of course, same as wine, I choose the people I work with carefully. If I don’t feel the vibe is right and that they ultimately understand and can appreciate what I can create, then no matter
who they are, I don’t work with them.
AM: We know you have dressed John Travolta for years; however, who else has your work been on that we would know?
MP: Privacy of my work and design is key for me. But I’d like to invite you to stay tuned – there are gonna be big surprises coming.
AM: In addition to menswear, do you also design pieces for women?
MP: Yes of course, I consider myself a lifestyle designer. I design lots of pieces for women. Pretty much anything that can complement a person’s lifestyle, from clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, luggage, blankets purses, etc.
AM: In addition to apparel, we know that you have designed accessories as well. What is the power of an accessory on a look?
MP: A great accessory can be used as the main piece of a look or as a compliment to an even more outstanding piece of clothing, depending on the type of effect you want to create.
AM: In addition to outfitting people, you have also brought your luxury brand to cars, yachts, and private jets. Can we expect to see you collaborating with hotels or other areas that are in need of your signature luxury?
MP: I love creating, so I am very open to new areas where I can add my signature and contribute to making this world a little more beautiful and enjoyable for people.
AM: When you are not designing, how do you take time for yourself and what would we find you doing?
MP: Well, in some way I am always designing, but I spend most my free time with my family. I have two children and a wonderful wife. So spending time with them and my close circle of friends brings me lots of joy.
AM: Who have you yet to work with that is on your list to in the future?
MP: Michael Jordan, David Beckham, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Elon Musk, to name a few.
PHOTOS COURTESY | MATTEO PERRIN