Textile Insight

Textile Insight November 2017

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textileinsight.com November/December 2017 ~ Textile Insight • 25 Products & Experiences Dedicated to the Legacy of Running. hether it's the ambi- ence of the physical store, the visual marketing aesthetic or the textiles used in the brand's apparel, TrackSmith is focused on functionality for a core group of competi- tive runners looking to improve performance. These are runners doing speed workouts and setting goals; people who run hard, sweat and wash their clothes often because they do intense training. Viewed through this lens, "it starts with materials." explains Brian Moore, TrackSmith chief operating officer. "We're making people realize the importance of quality, functionality and materials used," says Moore. "It's about making an investment in product, like runners making an investment in training." Moore continues, "Footwear brands have been good at getting this message across to runners. TrackSmith does this in apparel." TrackSmith customers self-identify as runners, and for these individual the experience of the run itself is important. "This is something TrackSmith customers share," says Moore. To emphasize his point, Moore adds, "Our shirts are not the free t-shirts from a race. Our customer is not a hobby jogger." TrackSmith first set up shop in Wellesley, MA in 2014, appropriately located midway in the Boston Marathon route. Recently the brand moved 13.1 miles down the course to a duplex on Boston's bustling Newbury Street. Called Track House the space does triple duty as TrackSmith offices, retail space and a gathering hub for local runners. Moore wears many hats at TrackSmith, having input on product from raw to finished goods. He and TrackSmith founder Matt Taylor conceptualize the line, and Moore continues the development process with eyes on analytics, sourcing, and design. Garments are noted for both performance and great feel. "We are picky with our vendors," explains Moore whose background includes high-level footwear and apparel posts with The North Face, Timberland, Saucony, and Burton Snowboard's Gravis brand. "Most (suppliers) are European based, in addition to some North American vendors and some in Asia." Merino wool is sourced from Europe as well as Australia or New Zealand. Moore uses Italian mills for knits, and Schoeller for wovens. "Materials need to stand up to users who put fabrics through their paces. The quality pays off with materials that perform over time," explains Moore. Stephen Kerns, president, Schoeller Textil USA describes TrackSmith as product and material-centric. "Running is their passion but they don't over- glamourize it. The product is high-quality but not over-stated," explains Kerns who adds, "I love their story telling; they are selling the running experience." Schoeller product used in TrackSmith jackets and shorts feature NanoSphere finishing technology that is water, oil and dirt repellent and highly wash and abrasion resistant, and DrySkin durable material. On first glance TrackSmith may appear as a heritage, retro, or even a hipster brand. But that's not the case. States Moore, "The fact is we're legacy, not heritage. And the core run community is looking to connect to this." The men's Reggie ½ Tight and the women's Sessions shorts are good examples of this design focus. The choice of material and thoughtful garment construction make the products stand out for dedicated runners. For instance, the Fall 2017 Reggie ½ Tight features a softer, lighter blend stretch fabric that offers excellent support without heavy compres- sion. The face fabric is used on the body of the Tight and the back of the fabric is used on inside panels to take advantage of abrasion-resistant properties. "The material won't break down despite a lot of friction, and the outside won't pill," says Moore. "If you run a lot you appreciate these characteristics." The Sessions Short features a stretch knit, with a lightweight feel but a form fit. "This is more in line with the original running short before wovens took over," says Moore, who explains how over the years wovens become too billowy and baggy for real runners. The Sessions Short stretch knit offers coverage without chafing and features Polygiene odor-free technology. For Spring 2018, a second length will be offered. With TrackSmith, the name says it all: "Track" is a symbol of commitment to training and racing, while "Smith" represents dedication to specialized craft and obsession with quality and function. O Staying On Track "We're making people realize the importance of quality, functionality and materials used." Brian Moore, TrackSmith RETAIL DESTINATION RUN

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