It’s not exactly hyperbole to point out that the lifestyle aspect of an athlete’s daily routine is being highlighted just as strongly as their physical performance. Whether it’s getting to the gym, field or court, the importance of being mobile, comfortable yet fly has become a billion-dollar business within a zillion-dollar business.
Under Armour has been keen on the lifestyle tip well before it was highly marketed, thus making it a reputable expert on the subject. The company, which was among the sports apparel pioneers to use scientific technology in their gear [Editor’s Note: This writer is eternally grateful for having those temperamental fabrics during Operation Iraqi Freedom III] is coming off a historic run where it outfitted the top pro athletes in all the major sports (NBA’s Steph Curry, NFL’s Cam Newton, MLB’s Bryce Harper, NHL’s Carey Price and PGA’s Jordan Spieth), which allowed the door to already be unlocked for their next endeavor, which is the UA THREADBORNE™ SHIFT.
Ask your kitchen sink and it’ll gladly tell you that multi-purpose anything is the way to go. From the inside, there’s all the high-end bells and whistles: stability bands in both the forefoot and heel; TB upper; “fit with flex” technology but hey, consumers see with their eyes first and foremost these days. So to champion the custom feel, a new age look was designed to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends.
To kick off the launch of the UA THREADBORNE™ SHIFT, a distinguished cadre of influencers has jumped on board, including DMV rapper de jour GoldLink, PrankvsPrank YouTuber Jesse Wellens, Odd Future’s trusted DJ Taco and Future’s secret weapon, dancer Meechie.
You wouldn’t know it by his demeanor but GoldLink has officially arrived as an artist. His most recent album, At What Cost, has already garnered widespread acclaim, including a 4.2 rating on HipHopDX and his travel itinerary is more than packed, and includes upcoming UA partnership the HypeBeast Hotel at Coachella 2017.
“It made sense for me to be on the campaign because [CEO Kevin Plank] started out of his grandma’s basement in D.C.,” GoldLink admits. “And then for the headquarters to still be in Baltimore, I definitely thought it was a good thing for me.”
GoldLink credits Wale’s 100 Miles & Running with being the turning point for his city getting the recognition it deserved but also boosting the fashion sense of his artistry.
“That put the city on pause for a second,” he exclaimed. “Stylistically too. This is when Wale was wearing skinny jeans and raw denims and 501’s and everybody was like, ‘Baby, we have to dress like Wale! This is it. He’s doing the Mark Ronson stuff!’ That was a good culture shift for us.”
Shifting the culture is something Taco can relate to in just his 21 years of life, as his OFWGKTA were nothing short of media magnets at the top of the current decade. Since evolving into his solo entity, he revisits how his personal style has also upgraded, allowing for the UA THREADBORNE™ SHIFT to be an essential part of his own collection.
“When we were younger, we didn’t care. We’d have a show and be like, ‘I’ma show up in some damn slides and some sweatpants because I just woke up and it would be okay because we’re still gonna fuck shit up.’ But as I got older, especially for certain shoots, I’m going to put on a nice pair of shoes. Maybe some jeans, maybe a t-shirt that I haven’t worn yet. Something to get people talking.”
The dawn of social media has made it to where even a menial task such as going to the grocery store could turn into a fashion spectacle if that person chooses, but faking the funk isn’t something that Jesse Wellens identifies with in anything he does.
Having a recent viral moment with Snoop Dogg’s “Lavender” video is something that just falls into place for the multifaceted shooter, who attributes his military background with helping him stay focused in a self-motivated occupation such as YouTube-ing. Whether he’s in front or behind the camera, he explains he always dresses for the part.
“If you look good, you feel good. That’s what I always felt like,” Wellens tells DX. “So if I’m out shooting something and I look good, then I’m going to make a better product. So definitely what I wear [helps] make better films for myself.”
Being Intentionally Casual
With age, becoming more passively calculated about one’s look becomes the norm because let’s face it, there are other things to do with our time. But imagine actually having a job (outside of professional sports) that causes you to constantly work up a sweat — and appetite.
Take it from Meechie, who will also be appearing with Future at Coachella 2017, being comfortable is a must when it comes to dancing but being presentable is most certainly an ex-factor as well. Along with his brother Toosi, Atlanta-based dancer Meechie has managed to put himself on the forefront of the culture’s evolution of b-boying. Instead of forcing another rapper into the space, the young trendsetter has amassed a social reach nearly a million and the attention of his hometown heroes (as seen at a countless number of their live shows).
When asked if the worlds of (serious) dancing and fashion can peacefully co-exist, he expressed how it was contingent on the user. But in his case, you won’t catch him looking any ‘ol way.
“I already gotta be fresh as hell. I’m fresh like my life depending on it. Like if someone say, ‘If you’re not fresh, then your momma stop breathing.’ If the feds watching!”
Looking Good, Feeling Great
“I actually hoop in Under Armour. I’ve been wearing it since like the 6th grade. I don’t even know when they started making shoes but UA was like my basketball clothes. So it’s not really I changed much but putting the shoe on is a little different. They’re comfortable as fuck.” — Taco
“I want to look good and still be able to run-and-gun with the camera so having some athletic/good looking shoes is definitely the move. These are real comfortable. The sock that goes around the ankle is also key. Huge comfort.” — Jesse Wellens
“Under Armour understands sauce and that people gotta be comfortable and look fresh at the same time. People don’t wanna have tight clothes on just because it’s ‘this’ it’s fire. Nah! My feet breathing hella good right now. It feels I have on socks right now. It feel nice. Like a glove on my foot for my toes.” — Meechie
“When you see something that does work, whether you understand fashion or not, you can still make that difference and say, ‘This guy knows what he’s doing — even though I don’t know what it is — and this clearly … I don’t think he knows. So it’s kind of like we don’t have to put a stop to wack fashion; people can make that conscious decision for themselves.” — GoldLink