When it comes to urban, sophisticated athleisure wear, Vancouver-based Reigning Champ lives up to their name. Their locally-manufactured pima cotton tees and minimalist aesthetic have become a staple of the young professional crowd, who visit their store fronts here, as well as in Toronto, and Los Angeles (not to mention online). They’ve also caught the eye of like-minded labels around the world, resulting in limited-edition collaborations with Asics and Adidas. Their latest partnership? New York performance eyewear company District Vision.
Founded in 2014 by Tom Daly and Max Vallot, District Vision develops innovative sunglasses designed for serious runners and mindful athletes. Picture sleek, avant-garde frames that could easily grace catwalk shows by the likes of Acne Studios and Saint Laurent (where the pair previously worked), but backed with extensive research and testing.
For their first serious foray into the Canadian market, District Vision teamed up with Reigning Champ to create “Radical Retreat.” Inspired by the Human Potential Movement of the 1960s and California’s Esalen Institute (an interdisciplinary learning centre rooted in meditation), the tool kit features Reigning Champ’s premium terry sweats in Big Sur teal green paired with District Vision’s Nagata Speed Blade sunglasses in a limited-edition tinted gradient for diverse light conditions. And in celebration of the launch, Reigning Champ will be hosting its own “Radical Retreat” right at home in Vancouver.
“We see it as an introduction to a more mindful approach to movement,” says District Vision co-founder Max Vallot, who will be guiding the workshops alongside Mike Spino, former director of the Esalen Sports Center. Their aim is to show how meditation and breath awareness can tap into one’s true potential and improve overall athletic performance.
“What we’re trying to introduce people to is a way of integrating the two,” Vallot adds. “To use meditation and mindfulness to inform an approach to fitness—rather than just working out for the sake of it or to get into good shape. To actually learn something about themselves.”
“Radical Retreat” takes place on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17 at Reigning Champ on 1148 Robson. Visit reigningchamp.com for more information and to reserve a spot.
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