GOOD SPORT: Former professional handball player Henri Tai is gearing up to launch a men’s e-commerce site, called SportyHenri.com, devoted to sport and style.
“We’re looking to show that people can practice sport while being elegant,” the Frenchman said Friday afternoon in Paris, where he was presenting his project in what’s billed to be the world’s oldest surviving basketball court.
When SportyHenri launches officially in early April, it will carry 35 sportswear brands — both established premium labels, such as Adidas, Puma and Lacoste, and rising niche names like Ashmei, Civissum and Z3R0D — all picked by Tai himself.
“We want to work with brands that already have a story,” he said, adding it’s key that the products attract him, as well.
The labels carried on the site are to span 10 sports categories, including running, golf and soccer, with 70 percent of the offer comprising prestige technical performance sportswear and the remainder, lifestyle fashion.
The site itself will also incorporate information on Tai’s top 50 choices of products sold on SportyHenri, city guides (with a new one to be added monthly) and advice from world-class athletes, such as Tony Parker.
For the first six months the site will sell to people in Europe, with a particular focus on France, the U.K. and Germany. It will be rolled out to the rest of the world in the fall.
Athletic Propulsion Labs — aka APL — of Los Angeles is one of the labels to figure on SportyHenri at launch. Adam Goldston, a cofounder of the brand, said APL goes for partners with unique positioning.
“The thing that interests us about SportyHenri is that a lot of it is pure performance-based, and it’s unique in the different type of brands for the different categories,” he explained. “We thought we could tell a unique story with them in terms of our product and also with the content they are creating.”