NEW YORK — Personal trainers and yoga instructors are beginning to look like race car drivers and tennis players: Their clothes are like billboards.
A growing number of athletic labels are "seeding" their activewear on fitness instructors and personal trainers with the hope that their students will take note during their workouts. Some brands give away the merchandise and others offer substantial discounts.
"The general population aspires to be like the athletes they watch on TV," said Ryan Wood, vice president of sales for Under Armour. "But there are a lot more people working out than playing in the NBA. The sheer volume of people exercising is a great opportunity."
Earlier this month, the Baltimore-based company signed a deal with 24 Hour Fitness, a health club chain with more than 600 locations, to give their 4,500 personal trainers and certified instructors a 25 percent discount on all purchases. In January, Under Armour set up a Fitness Professional network within its sales division to target the 250 groups that represent this country’s estimated 300,000 certified fitness instructors and professional trainers. Under Armour expects its new alliance with 24 Hour Fitness to help propel total annual sales by $100 million, Wood said.
Everlast Worldwide is now providing boxing equipment to Crunch Fitness and sponsoring the new "Fight Club" boxing class, which culminates with monthly sparing contests. Former heavyweights Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney were on hand for the first round of finals March 18 at the Kips Bay club. As part of the deal, Everlast is also selling its merchandise at that location.
But the athletic brand is also showing off its softer side. To complement its new, airy, three-floor location at 125 Fourth Street in Manhattan, Stone Spa plans to suit up its 35 staff members in Everlast yogawear beginning in May. The fresh look is in line with the spa’s earth tone interiors and outdoor garden, said Carla Ciuffo, owner.
The site’s 40 daily visitors will be checking out Everlast pants with drawstring waistbands, T-shirts with three-quarter-length sleeves and jackets in sand, pearl, carob and other soft shades.
For the 2002-2003 ski season, Prada added the San Sicario Action School to its list of professional trainers that it outfits."The daily activities of ski instructors, trainers and sailors are important for us to test the products," a Prada spokeswoman said. "This allows Prada to offer athletes and the sports-minded the highest level of durability and quality."
Reebok International is making a push to place more product four times a year on "more than a few hundred" top trainers, fitness instructors and nutritionists who work with entertainers and influential trendsetters on both coasts, said Jan Sharkansky, vice president and general manager of Reebok women’s.
"We’re reaching out beyond their agents and public relations people," she said. "Visibility is the key. There are key people who believe in the product and want to wear the product, and we want them to be seen in our product."
Reebok is now doing the same with more contemporary classes like pilates, yoga and gyrotonics. Reebok is dressing staffers at different locations of The Sports Club/L.A., including the New York-based The Reebok Sports Club L.A. The brand has renewed its commitment to Reebok University, which doles out discounts for apparel to more than 40,000 fitness professionals.
Plus One Fitness, a Manhattan-based operation that offers on-site personal training at 37 corporations and hotels, is talking to Reebok about using its apparel on its trainers and expects to reach a decision soon, said Michael Masters, director of operations for Plus One. For more than five years, Plus One trainers have worn Nike warmups even though there is no contractual agreement with the firm.
"Their image has worked for us," Masters said. "We like the image associated with the brand, but we’re not locked into them."
The Weekend Exercise Co. has developed a program with Exhale, a mind-body spa on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to outfit employees in its new Shiva Shakti collection and to sell the collection in the boutique.
Norm Zwail, president and chief executive officer of The Weekend Exercise Co., said, "One thing I’ve found is that grassroots-type seeding is most effective in reaching customers."
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye