One on One with Athleisure’s Liam Maynard

Athleisure (athletic apparel that people can wear is non-athletic settings), is the trend that’s changing the way Canadians dress and is having an rippling effect on the fashion industry today. With everyone from H&M to Kanye West creating lines that focus on joggers & sweaters, these items are being worn anywhere but the gym. The active-wear market is expected to reach $178 billion by 2019 according to the NPD and with fitness and wellness becoming more of a lifestyle we don’t see this trend going anywhere soon. I got a chance down to chat with Liam Maynard the owner of Noble Gentleman and brand manager for Zanerobe in Canada about where he see’s this trend going and the best way to style your joggers for Fall.

You guys were one of the first people responsible for making joggers popular in Canada, where do you see the jogger trend going in terms of innovation?

If you look at our brand as an example, Zanerobe customer is a very tech-based customer. We’re really known for progressive fits because we have a few feathers in our hats we can offer new products and people will give us a shot. We feel denim has come back into play but also the Salerno, which is similar to our Sureshot (Zanerobe’s signature jogger style) without the banded bottom. More mature guys that want the look and feel of a Sureshot but don’t want the banded bottom because it comes across as to junior will gravitate towards this style. Definitely the evolution is in new fabrics and silhouettes.

Can you tell us abit more about your collaborations with Over the Rainbow?

The capsule is a 6-piece collection that focuses on three of our core offerings, joggers, hoodies and tees. It includes 4 tees, one hoodie and one jogger. Our signature Sureshot pants are made in a military green for Fall/Winter while the hoodie and tees feature our Tech Shield Logo.

What’s one tip you can give to guys in general to style joggers in the winter?

Layering, we really find that with a style like the Sureshot (with a drop crotch) you can tuck it into boots or you can wear it a little shorter (flip it up to cut two inches of length). Generally if you look at a pant with a longer torso you can wear it with long tees as well as more classic fitting crewnecks and sweaters. Historically a guy would wear joggers with just one layer but now he can wear it with a woven and jacket. It’s really about layering and color blocking especially with the longer torso, you have more of a platform to use.

Would you say joggers are ever appropriate for men to wear at work?

It depends on the environment, when we first started we really pushed it to wear with sneakers but it really boils down to footwear. It starts at the bottom from footwear to pants to tops. The footwear is really something we’ve really started to work with in terms of partnering with Nike, Adidas, Filing Pieces etc. to get their take on how to style it. I defiantly think a style like the Salerno is a pant that because it doesn’t have a banded bottom, you can wear with loafers and dress it up a bit.

Is there any footwear you’d say you can’t wear with joggers period?

Crocs (Laughs), you cant wear Crocs! Generally it’s one of those things that it’s a nice clean movement, so don’t take your footwear for granted just don’t wear Crocs!

Where do you see Athleisure going in 2016? Do you see it continue to grow or become more of a trend?

I see it being a huge trend, Zanerobe opened up a huge, high end sneaker shop called Sub-type in Sydney. That helps us see some new wave buying trends. We’ve also started to develop some technical fabrics (similar to Nike Tech) like our Foam Core to grow in that market. I think it’ll continue to grow but at the same time you have to be smart because you can’t wear loungewear all the time, so we defiantly have that in our collection but we don’t see it overtaking traditional categories.

Anthony O’Dell is a freelance writer that’s focused on all things style related. When he isn’t articulating the news and development that impact the industry today you can find him on the basketball court or shopping on Queen Street West. 

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