Running has been described as the world's most accessible sport. It's free, fun and good for you, there's a lot to love about something so simple.
Booming in the US in the 1970s, road running has come along way since millions, including the 39th U.S. President, Jimmy Carter who took to the sport. Running spread far and wide, fast becoming part of the lives and rituals of many.
During the running boom of the 70s and 80s, every clothing manufacturer, shoe brand and event grew and evolved to accommodate the demand. Capitalising on the popular culture, Nike, or Blue Ribbon Sports back then, were right at the start line. Launching their first Nike branded shoe in 1972, (founded by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight), they grew so fast, they went public only two years later. And today, the curved checkmark or 'swoosh' is widely recognised around the world.
Needless to say, today, running has grown into a globally-inclusive sport, surrounded by some of the worlds biggest brands, athletes and events, all competing for the love and affection of those who subscribe. Through product, endorsements, events and new technology, today, the industry is worth an estimated $1.3 trillion. And just to confirm, that is a 'T' and not a 'B'.
When you think of an industry so big, diverse and global, you also think the product offering to be the same. But, diverse it ain't. There's a sea of sameness in running apparel, with brands offering the almost the same product, in the same colourways at the same time as each other. It's been rife in the fashion industry since forever, well documented by @Diet_Prada, it seems the sports industry is much the same.
Stare a little longer into the world of running, however, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you'll see.
A gaggle of tastemakers quietly creating, quietly crafting and quietly refining their version of what it is to be a runner. Inspired by music, by art, architecture and amateurs, they're anything but a mainstream brand. It's clear their values and norms of behaviour differ substantially. And, so does their marketing and their product. Maybe it's their advertising budgets or maybe it's part of their strategy, but these guys are chasing no one. And, to be honest, it's fucking refreshing.
More than just product on a page or a boring retail experience, these brands see the world of running through a lens of their own. Running an extension of them, in addition to their love of tattoos, records, photography, art, design or film.
Take a job with 3 brands all doing things a little different in the world of running. They'll make you want to run out of your mind, below.
Satisfy is a premium brand from Paris that draws its inspiration from the growing global running subculture with a soft spot for music, fashion and art. Made for the hunt for the absolute high: the Runner's High. Everything has been thought of. Even Spotify has a playlist of the team's running music. Without a doubt, one of the best in my humble opinion.
Doxa is all about technical running wear, designed in Copenhagen and produced in Europe, a lethal combination. With 20 years of professional fashion and running experience of the founder John Hansen, Doxa merges High-End Fashion and technical running clothes in urban and functional design that is hard to beat.
Tracksmith honours the amateur spirit upon which the sport was founded and champion non-professional yet competitive runners dedicated to the pursuit of personal excellence. They offer considered products for training, racing and recovery. They aim to celebrate, support and add to running’s distinct culture.
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