MOVE IT OR LOSE IT: The London-based menswear designer Saul Nash is giving new meaning to constant motion through a collaboration with Equinox.
Beyond collaborating on limited-run designs that will be sold online and in select Equinox clubs starting Wednesday, Nash helped develop the “Saul Nash: Creativity in Movement” class. Offered to members in select Equinox locations, the 45-minute experience blends performance art and dance, which is not a stretch at all for Nash.
With maximum mobility key to many of his designs, the 30-year-old creative routinely bridges performance, dance and fashion with his presentations, and has been known to show his creations in motion through choreographed performances. Outside of the fashion realm, he’s choreographed music videos for Justine Skye, “ShyGirl,” Neneh Cherry and others.
The Equinox partnership is new terrain for the designer and Equinox, which is known for its style-minded advertising and social media, and its slick, understated clubs.
In search of a new collaborator last year, Equinox’s vice president of retail Annie Walters suggested finding someone with roots in movement for a 360-degree engagement for the brand, Walters said. Rather than narrow the search to the active space, the outlook was geared for the lifestyle space and the mission was set. After weeding through plenty of emerging brands, the team discovered Nash, she said. “Once we spoke with him, we knew this was a guy this year. His product is fabulous. This past year was a really pivotal one for his brand.”
In 2022, Nash won the International Woolmark Prize and the Queen Elizabeth II award for British Design. To raise Nash’s visibility with its members, Equinox had him partner with its group fitness team to help craft the class. The heartrate-raising experience “is not like anything that we have ever offered at Equinox,” Walters said. It will be offered in select clubs including London for about a month, and Walters called it “a differentiator.”
The unisex collection features gilets and knitwear including tank tops and quarter-zip tops. Retail prices start at just under $100 for a top, and outerwear averages between $350 and $500. Once the collection is sold out — that’s all folks. But Equinox already sees potential opportunity to partner with Nash again.
This all-encompassing approach is a first for Equinox, a 108-unit global operation, having integrated a retail endeavor with input from group fitness, creative and marketing. Some Equinox executives traveled to London to shoot a video with Nash that will be splashed on the company’s social media channels and advertising. It was directed by Equinox’s executive creative director Will Mayer and the Italian image maker agency Scandebergs. The designer’s “kindness, openness and eagerness to see how everything could come to life” floored Walters, she said. “I have never worked with such an open soul, who took all of this is and said, ‘Yes, let’s make something wonderful together.’”
Nash touched down in New York last week to visit the fitness-loving operation’s Hudson Yards main studio and its towering home office overlooking the Hudson River. For Wednesday’s launch, Equinox will flag the collaboration on social media, its home page and through email outreach. An assortment of video posts will play out over the next month. Nash said, “It’s really exciting to partner with Equinox and be able to explore the brands core principles around movement.”
Although Equinox shoppers gravitated toward core essentials during the pandemic, they have shifted to more fashion-forward and lifestyle products, whether that be for travel or everyday purposes for the past three quarters, according to Walters. “Anything that takes you from the studio to the street has been a huge opportunity. That is why this is really an important time for him to launch with us,” she said.
Equinox will be expanding in the months ahead with a club in New York City slated to bow in late summer and a second Washington, D.C. outpost is in the works on Wisconsin Avenue.