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Tracksmith's Classically Styled Running Apparel

Gear that's aesthetically inspired by the sport's collegiate past and built with today's top materials

by Hans Aschim in Style on 23 July 2014

Apparel, New England, Outdoors, Running, Sportswear, Vintage Style, Made in the USA

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As active performance wear continues to progress both in technology and forward-thinking design, many designers draw their inspiration from contemporary street style and fashion. Looking to celebrate the rich culture and history of running, New England's newly launched Tracksmith merges the past with the present. Ivy league athletics and classic university track style are given the performance treatment with the latest moisture-wicking and four-way stretch materials. “We believe running deserves better,” says co-founder Luke Scheybeler (also known for co-founding Rapha). “Our goal is to redefine running one product at a time, utilizing several consumer touch points to bring reverence back to the sport.”

Whether it's training in high temperatures or race day, the Van Cortlandt Singlet ($65) and matching shorts ($60) are built for speed and comfort—cut to ensure minimal to zero chafing, and created to move moisture off the body. All of Tracksmith's offerings are designed and tested with extensive R&D on and off the track. Since running clothes don't often reveal their flaws until the mile count racks up and body-heat rises, each of the products are tested by experienced marathon runners during long training sessions.

Available as of today, Tracksmith's products are currently for sale exclusively from their webstore.

Images courtesy of Tracksmith

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Chimpanzee Bars

Going beyond natural ingredients, the Czech company takes a user-centric approach to their products

by Hans Aschim in Food + Drink on 23 July 2014

All Natural, Energy Bars, Outdoors, Snacks, Health Food, Prague, Wellness


In the world of energy bars, the use of all-natural ingredients has become commonplace. While it's a largely positive shift for a host of reasons, the use of those ingredients doesn't necessarily result in a healthy product and can umbrella some rather nefarious sweeteners. The team at Prague-based Chimpanzee Bars, however, takes every single one of their ingredients and the nutritional value behind each component in their bars and powders seriously. For example, instead of honey (or corn-derived sweeteners), the brand uses rice syrup, which is less sweet and contains a higher percentage of polysaccharides and maltose for a clean, even, slow-burning source of energy. "The very prime idea was to create a great tasting energy bar without any chemicals, preservatives and so on," says co-founder Ondrej Vesely. "Not just energy bars, but unfortunately most of the food we buy is full of things which do not have to be there," Vesely adds. Think of Chimpanzee's offerings as a highly considered, utilitarian view of food with the user's best interests at heart and a simple promise: no weird stuff.

The brand currently offers protein, slim and kids bars as well as a handy (and tasty) Quickmix shake, perfect for the breakfast-averse riser looking to get in some morning activities. Currently available across much of Northern and Central Europe, Chimpanzee's products can also be found using their handy store locator.

Images by Cool Hunting

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Interview: Ricky Hendry on Tech-Led Fashion

Smart textiles and the future of innovation within the current landscape of men's style, presented by Cole Haan ZeroGrand

by Graham Hiemstra in Tech on 23 July 2014

Sponsored, Apparel, Design, Footwear, Innovation, Menswear, Style, Technology, Cole Haan, ISAORA, ZeroGrand

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While one of the most evident ways in which technology has seeped into contemporary culture is no doubt wearables; fashion and tech have—and continue—to collide, from DVF collaborating with Google Glass to 3D-printed insoles. While some products seem to be conceived purely for aesthetics, many make the uncertainty of daily life in and outside the city a little bit easier to manage by way of textiles.

Innovative examples of tech-laden materials impacting our daily lives can be found in everything from the new high-tech Cole Haan ZeroGrand brogue to ISAORA's heat-retaining, water-repelling apparel.

As leaders in the menswear community for making fashion-forward performance apparel with the latest in technology, ISAORA is always a sure shot when looking for what's happening right now—and what is to come. The brand's designer, Ricky Hendry says of the current popularity of technology in fashion, "It seems it's becoming increasingly important. It's always been there, to some extent, but it's definitely become more prevalent across the board in recent seasons. My feeling is it's a reflection of the wider trend towards an active and healthy lifestyle."

The focus with some of the most successful products is on function, rather than tech for tech's sake—supporting Hendry's belief that it's a reflection of wellbeing and lifestyle. As he explains, "We're pretty close to a new generation of smart materials that monitor, regulate, respond and adapt to environmental changes, temperature variations, vital signs, heart-rate, etc. Most of that already exists in some form, but it's going to become a lot more sophisticated and widely used. Further out it's not so hard to imagine nano materials that have the ability to change their structure, and everyday fabrics becoming part of the internet of things."

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"What we're really excited about at the moment is a class of materials know as optically modified polymers. [They] incorporate finely ground minerals with a high thermo-reactive value that convert radiant body heat into infrared energy, which is reflected back to the body and proven to increase oxygenation of cells, improve circulation, aid regeneration and recovery, and optimize blood-flow. Sounds pretty crazy I know, but it's scientifically proven to give you super powers. Or so I'm told," continues Hendry with tongue firmly in cheek.

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Regardless of season, certain climates (ahem, New York) demand a serious level of attention when dressing for the day's activities, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and material function. From lightweight shoes (like those by Cole Haan) to bodyheat-controlling apparel, it seems everybody with an interest is genuinely excited to see what's currently available in tech-conscious fashion and what is soon to come in such spaces. Hendry says, "I think it's something that's constantly evolving and evolution is natural, necessary and inevitable. With all the current excitement about wearable tech it's an area that there's going to be a lot of focus on and this will lead to innovation."

Portrait courtesy of Phil Chang, all other images courtesy of ISAORA and Cole Haan

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