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Where the Fashionable Get Fit

Since opening, Willspace has become a magnet for fashion types, with a client list that includes Andy Cohen, Nick Wooster and Riccardo Tisci.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Menswear issue 01/16/2012

In November, personal trainer Will Torres christened his new training studio in New York’s West Village with a party that drew Bravo’s Andy Cohen, designer Doug Burkman of Burkman Bros., former Bergdorf Goodman men’s fashion director Nick Wooster and photographer Douglas Friedman— all acolytes of the stylish sweat temple. Since opening, Willspace has become a magnet for fashion types, with a client list that also includes A/X Armani Exchange chief marketing officer Tom Jarrold, Interview magazine president Dan Ragone, actor Mark Consuelos (husband of Kelly Ripa) and Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, who works out with Torres when he’s in town from Paris.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“My fashion clients work really hard. They’re in the media eye and they have to look good, so they really push themselves,” says Torres, who grew up in Jersey City and moved to Manhattan in 2003 to open his first personal training studio in a one-bedroom apartment that doubled as his home. He slept on his massage table for several months as he built up his business.

The buff and bronzed Torres built his fashion following through word of mouth— and delivering results for his image-conscious clients. “These guys have a lot going on. When they come in to work out, they want it to be effective and efficient,” he notes.

Rather than superfancy machines or faddish routines, Torres emphasizes exercises that often utilize the body’s own weight— such as TRX suspension—and asymmetric combinations that have one side of the body pushing and the other pulling, while also engaging the core. His favorite exercises for men include the dead lift, plank rows and kettlebell cleans. “If you have to push a car, you’re not going to have a padded bench at your back,” he says.

Torres and the three trainers on his staff wear shorts and formfitting T-shirts by Number:Lab on the job—and he bans baggy workout gear on clients. “You want to feel good and feel sexy when you’re working out. And I need to be able to see your movements,” explains Torres, who says working with fashion clients has boosted his own style quotient.

Still, Torres likes to follow—and teach—his own style dictum: “You can wear great clothes, but you have to work on the hanger first.”