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Ten Thousand's Foundation Shorts

Dynamic fabrics, tailoring and details make for a versatile pair of athletic trunks

by David Graver
on 06 June 2016

After selling out their launch run in three weeks, apparel brand Ten Thousand is ready for another round. Their debut collection, including two variations on Foundation Shorts and a Foundation Shirt, return to the market—with the former employing a stretch fabric that offers versatility throughout all athletic endeavors but designed specifically for training. Further, the shorts offer an elasticated back, numerous ergonomically placed pockets (one of which is zippered) and reinforced laser-cut vents for breathability. These are trunks—in a board short style, with either seven- or nine-inch inseams—built for performance. As a testament to their success, Ten Thousand will also be offering their apparel in-store, through a new partnership with Equinox Fitness Clubs.

According to Keith Nowak, co-founder and CEO of Ten Thousand, "The real impetus for what we are doing came from some personal frustration, if you will, with the market. We have all been athletes our whole lives. We've tried everything and worn everything, but there's been a disconnect between the way big brands build product and market themselves. It's all focused on seasonal, replenishment, and performance gimmicks." Nowak and his co-founder thought on what they valued most in training apparel. "The best brands in the world, in our opinion, do a few things really, really well. They're focused on core products and core strengths. We thought there was a room to build here in men's training category—not soccer or basketball, but training." They began refining athletic shorts (and shirts) to "peel everything back to its essence."

"We didn't want to build a fashion company and we weren't going to try to out-cool someone else. We wanted to go deeper and develop something unique," Nowak says. For the development of the Foundation Shorts, the Ten Thousand team honed in on three elements. "One is the focus on training. That's the core of what we are trying to do: build apparel for committed hybrid athletes with attention on strength, interval, and endurance." This helped dictate cut and fabric selections. Second, he continues, "We thought about customizing the product for how it fits you. That led to the two inseam lengths and the option for liner or no liner." Finally, from a purely visual standpoint, he says, "The third piece was our aesthetic reason: we wanted a combination of classically masculine aesthetic with modern performance. This lead us to the board short." He notes that this is the first performance board short on the market with a built-in liner, all developed for training.

As for the Equinox partnership, Ten Thousand will have product placed in the fitness club's top eleven locations as of mid-July. "It's the first step in larger, broader partnership, expanding beyond retail," Nowak continues. "For us, this was a really great opportunity to do two things. First, it lets consumers try on our gear in the real world before buying. Second, it expands our reach and brand story through a great partnership. Their customer overlaps with ours 100%." Beyond the retail collaboration, there are plans for product development down the line, as well.

The Foundation Shorts are available for pre-order online now, with the lined version selling for $56 and the unlined version selling for $50.

Images courtesy of Ten Thousand

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