Athleisure. It’s a funny one, you’ll agree. For a magazine that espouses the sartorial life, the art of the craftsman and the skill of the artisan, you may be wondering what place this strange portmanteau has on The Rake. The truth is, athleisure has become an indelible part of modern menswear ever since the flourishing middle classes of the US appropriated the tracksuit in the late 60s, before hip-hop culture took it truly mainstream. Athleisure did, however, take the slow lane to luxury: it wasn’t until quite recently that the luxury fashion houses began taking their cues from the likes of Nike and Adidas. But, the question remains, what place does it have in the wardrobe of a typically sartorial man? New York brand Wheelers. V would suggest a significant one and we would tend to agree.
Starting with the fundamental idea of modernising the classics, Wheelers. V was founded in 2014 with what on paper seems like a straightforward modus operandi: creating everyday essentials using the highest quality fabrics. Yet translating ‘straightforward’ from paper to pattern is more complicated than it seems, as the over-spilling graveyard of failed fashion brands will testify. Designing a block that purports to both comfort and a flattering silhouette is a challenge, but one that Wheelers. V has risen to.