“My idea was to do something very forward and comfortable that’s easy to wear, but also very summery and upbeat at the same time.” – Chuks Collins
As the conversation around fashion’s composition becomes more comprehensive, the sentiment of inclusivity stretches across ancestral figures, and size runs. Alongside the designer and founder Chuks Collins, The Athletic Side of Us (TASOU) crew made sure their New York Fashion Week runway show featured menswear and womenswear for all. Between models wrapped in printed blazers and neon cut-out bodysuits, some unisex motifs were constructed to be LGBTQ-friendly.
“[I create from] the two philosophies of ‘art self’ and ‘act self’ — act as the foundation of this collection — expressions of the soul acting in congruence with expressions of the mind and body,” affirmed Collins of his new effort with TASOU. Beyond their team’s “something for everyone” approach to style, the brand’s mission is to bring value to unique custom dynamics through fluidity. The current arrangement incorporates fabrics that are meant to express how life evolves. Each item strives to emphasize the athletic nature of people.
This awareness to break outdated patterns comes in tandem with THE IREDE FOUNDATION (TIF), which inspires actions so that child amputees and their families can live independently and limitlessly. The vibrant asymmetrical fits and some of their leisurewear proceeds help fuel a 4 pillar system. The educational tools provided fall under the following categories: Educate, Empower, Inspire and Innovate. TASOU’s ongoing runway shows destigmatize the notion that comfort cannot live beside more well-known luxury goods.
We produce to “… debunk the cultural box of what activewear can mean. [We are bringing] the world of fashion and essential accessories forward into aspects of everyday life. Through functionality, life is being incorporated into TASOU’s collection along with the sleek streets of New York City and [the founder’s] native Nigeria,” the designer’s rep confirmed during a NYFW set. Further, each runway piece was purposed to be set in the classical Benin Kingdom, where transitional fashion was said to “… meet this ancient civilization from southern Nigeria,” as described for the recent presentation.
His diverse models walk with natural hair, full-figured physiques, and overall beauty concepts that celebrate Black and POC beauty. TASOU is designed for everyday life — the streetwear meets athletic wear spring/summer collection was developed with a couture sensibility. Featuring both high-end materials and stretch-based loungewear methods, all in attendance could observe a sense of belonging through the visual balance. The brand’s 2022 prototypes featured fluid, and forward-thinking garments surrounding accessibility and the richness of diversity.