They say inspiration can strike when you least expect it. For me, it was when I was pounding out mileage along Vancouver's legendary Spanish Banks.
The sun had just begun to rise as I reached for my run capris and a brightly colored racerback tank to go for my morning training run. I headed down to the beach and joined the score of athletes already on the path. As I settled in to a steady pace, I noticed how well I fit in with everyone there. We all looked exactly the same. Like we had all bought the same clothes from the same store at the same time.
Then I saw her.
She was beautiful, tough and disruptive. Wearing what looked like her boyfriend's t-shirt and a pair of loose fitting university "gym" shorts. She looked so cool and confident. She was running to run. Not to fit in. Then it hit me. In this endless sea of sameness she was not wearing the running uniform. So why was I? Why were any of us?
I was still thinking about this when I got home. Before you know it I had grabbed a big pair of scissors and proceeded to cut up all my iconic Wonder Woman t-shirts. Then I cut off and hemmed up a pair of old basketball shorts. I cut sleeves off sweatshirts and bands off the bottoms of all my shorts.
I broke the uniform. And it felt good.
We kept this concept of "Breaking the Uniform" in mind when we first began to sketch and select fabrics for the new RYU collections. Our training gear is not in jellybean colors. It's not cluttered and overbuilt. Instead it's functional. Wearable. Clean lines, modern cuts and tailored fits allow you to wear these pieces anytime of the day, not just when you’re training. Subdued color palettes are accented with a few bold colors to create a distinctly fashionable, wearable look. Most importantly, we designed it with the kind of details athletes crave. Hidden pockets, locker loops, flat cords, TriLayr waistband construction and a score of technical features to enhance your performance. We're making it tough enough for your hardest workout and beautiful enough to fit your life outside of training. Speaking of which, I've got to get a run in today. Maybe I'll head down to the beach again. You never know what I might see.
Juliet Korver is Product & Design Director at RYU. Stay tuned for more posts from Juliet as she writes about being an athlete and a designer. Like what you see? Subscribe to our newsletter for great training articles, exclusive offers, and priority access to new product releases.
Want to see what breaking the uniform really looks like? Check it out when we launch our new flagship store Fall 2015.