Active Man founder, Andrew Manteit, shares his latest fitness and fashion insights, including must-have wardrobe pieces and 2017s top activewear trends. Head over to Active Man’s brand new store for more!
Which brands are you most excited about right now?
It’s hard to choose one, the brands we stock are sourced from the world’s most coveted fitness, training and athletic brands. I only choose brands and collections I would wear - it’s effectively what I would want my personal wardrobe to look like. But if I had to choose one – APL shoes are it. If you haven’t heard of Athletic Propulsion Labs before, they hail from LA and are probably the best athletic and stylish shoe on the market. Once you wear one pair, you will want them all.
In terms of a big brand – Adidas is putting out some phenomenal product (shoes and apparel) this year, for both performance and lifestyle. They have really nailed their new footwear, and their transitional pieces – hoodies and trackies – are really stylish. What I really love though, is finding new, up-and-coming gems; brands which have just launched and are doing great product, but most importantly stand for something or have a unique angle.
Women’s activewear is increasingly popular – where does male activewear perhaps lag behind?
Guys traditionally would wear their old rugby shorts or tee and trainers to the gym. However, there are some phenomenal options on the market – guys just need to know what is out there, where to find it and how to wear it. This is where The Active Man comes in – offering the right product and inspiration. At the moment, guys just aren't as accustomed to sharing their activewear on Instagram like girls do, so it isn't shouted about as much #noselfie
What are the 6 staple pieces that you couldn’t live without?
What does the future for male activewear look like – will there be an explosion of popularity, like with women’s?
- Bright trainers – I am loving both my UA Slingshots and APL at the moment
- A solid backpack – currently I have an Under Armour Undeniable II backpack
- I am all over Stance socks. I currently have about 12 pairs – the brighter the better. It’s a great way to freshen up a black tee and shorts outfit
- I am also loving the Adidas Climachill tees
- My protein shaker!
- My Beats headphones, not the big over-head types – the cord ones.
The growth in the male activewear market will come from a fashion ‘lifestyle’ shift and the emergence of more boutique men's athletic brands. As we see an increase in clothing that not only performs well and feels great in the gym, but also looks great on the street, guys will be more inclined to regularly wear athletic clothing. By the end of this year, there will be a handful of brands that will be driving this trend forward.
What are the trends to look out for in Spring/Summer 2017?
Is your shoe game strong? It’s not uncommon now for a guy to own 5-10 pairs of trainers (puts hand up). Brands are putting out some epic kicks – if you love a particular style, the chances are these days you will buy it in multiple colours. And when the version 2.0 comes out you do the same again. Or if you’re like me, you have multiple pairs which are workout specific: leg day (more heel support/more solid), training day (all-round shoe), and a running shoe. There are some great shoe designs and colours coming out over the coming months, so keep an eye out.
In terms of colour palettes, army green is strong this season, as is burgundy. In terms of fabrics, a lot of brands are trying to make performance product in which the material feels as natural as possible. By that I mean recent studies have shown that people would much rather wear cotton or natural, soft fabrics when working out, as long as they work (i.e. they didn't stick to you or smell!). Unfortunately, they are hard to come by and not cheap at the minute, so brands are trying to come up with synthetic fabrics that feel like cotton, but wick sweat, feel soft and are anti-odour.
Which brands should we be keeping a very close eye on in 2017?
Adidas is smashing it this year, their product for both SS17 and AW17 is unreal, and Under Armour is coming to the party with some very cool product; having Anthony Joshua in your corner is an advantage! Stance socks will go large(r) – every guy needs multiple pairs – and APL will make a lot of noise. We will be launching loads of new brands this year, so to be in the know, stay plugged into The Active Man world via our newsletter and Instagram.
Your top tips on creating a fail-safe active wardrobe for the everyday Urban Healthie (i.e. those keeping active in the city)?
Living in London often requires you to rush around a lot and schedules are always changing. Always be prepared – I could probably count on one hand the number of times in the past few years that my weekday work backpack hasn't had a pair of trainers, shorts and tee in it ready for a workout. Those days you think you won't have time, and then the meeting or social engagement gets cancelled, and boom – your one gym session up for the week.
Your top tips on ways to stay active with very little time (particularly for hard-pushed professionals)?
Do it in the morning! That way when that business meeting gets scheduled at 6pm or your mates want to head out for a few beers in the evening – it’s done. I have two kids and own two businesses, so there are always ‘excuses’ to not workout. However, working out is so ingrained in my life, it’s like a drug – if I don't do it, I feel like I haven't had my ‘hit’