This feature has been produced in partnership with SQDAthletica
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat,” the famously tart-tongued Karl Lagerfeld once quipped.
But here we are in 2018, and the gym is no longer just for meatheads in cleavage-baring muscle shirts grunting their way through upper body supersets. Today it’s a place to see and be seen, to mix and mingle, to show off your style, and sure, to work out if you must.
Mega brands have jumped on the trend for athleisure with aggressively logo’d-up performance apparel and neon hues that could blind a naked mole rat. But it’s the indie brands we have our eye on – the ones who embrace sportswear not just as technical threads but as part of a lifestyle, and who don’t sacrifice aesthetics in pursuit of the increasingly blurry lines between work, play, and working out.
Fortunately for work-hard-play-hard guys here in Australia, one of our favourite labels to fit the bill is a homegrown go-getter with ambition and the moxie to match, and they’re celebrating their native land with a new collaboration.
Ready Player One
Meet SQDAthletica. Brisbane born and bred, the brand has made it its mission to help men find balance, refine their style, and get fit for life with a range of active lifestyle essentials.
The collection focuses on apparel and accessories with minimalist inclinations and an appreciable lack of overzealous branding.
Lines are clean and colours are neutral, keeping every piece refined, functional, and ready to accompany you from occasion to occasion.
The Kinesis collection embodies true dynamism.
Ready Player Two
Meet Will Patino. Originally from Wollongong, the former air conditioning technician picked up a camera in 2012 and established himself as one of Australia’s leading landscape photographers. The move was more than a career change for Will – it was a new lease on life.
“I’d seen family members go through depression before and it was something I definitely sympathised with, but I couldn’t completely understand,” Will says. “Then, all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“I was at a point when I needed something more mentally, but I didn’t quite know why or what was going on. I felt like I almost needed to run away.”
Instead of running, however, he learned how to work shutter, and six years later his images have been featured in campaigns for Apple, Samsung, and Tourism Australia.
SQDAthletica is the latest company to take inspiration from his snaps, one of which now adorns a limited edition collection honouring the singular scenery of Australia.
A Winning Team
Meet Kinesis. The collaboration between SQDAthletica and Will Patino features the latter’s photograph of the ocean at Wollongong, an image that encapsulates flow and movement, and the urge to return to nature. For both parties, the collab was an easy fit.
“It didn’t take me long to realise how good photography was for me and how much I was benefitting from it on a mental level,” Will says of his battle with depression. “Photography really helped me to reflect on who I am and what I have a passion about and I guess find myself, as cliché and as corny as that sounds.”
Will’s personal journey caught the eye of Ben Falvey, SQDAthletica General Manager of Operations, who saw in it a story intimately familiar to the brand.
“Men can hit a certain point in their lives where time for themselves falls to the wayside due to work or family commitments,” he explains. “We’re aiming to help them get some balance back in their lives by giving them opportunities where they can do something for themselves – whether that’s exercise, shop or catch up with their mates.”
Will’s story of seeking balance resonated strongly with SQDAthletica’s mission to provide it, and a partnership was born.
Across The Finish Line
The Kinesis collection embodies true dynamism.
The flow and movement of the ocean captured in Will’s vibrant photograph meets the flow and movement at the heart of SQDAthletica’s design ethos. The range includes three limited edition pieces: the Kinesis Tee, the Kinesis Habitat Crossfit Short, and the Atlas Anorak Running Shell.
The Kinesis Tee is an exercise in sophisticated simplicity. Lightweight for active and everyday wear, the shirt blends cotton for breathability and elastane for stretch and shape protection. The pared-down design features only the aquatic image in SQDAthletica’s triangular logo and the photographer’s signature on a sleeve.
The Habitat Crossfit Short kicks things up a notch. The Wollongong ocean print takes centre stage on the versatile bottoms, which boast water-resistant fabric and seamless construction to eliminate chafing.
Last but never least is the Atlas Anorak, a masterful mix of form and function with a nifty party trick. The lightweight, water resistant shell is a handsome companion on your daily run, then it packs down into a pocket-sized package ready to join you at work or a weekend gathering.
SQDAthletica’s Kinesis collection drops in store and online this week, so scoop up your favourite sophisticated piece and give your worn out basketball shorts the boot.