BRAND SPOTLIGHT : WPN WEAR – AUSTRALIAN BASED MEN’S ACTIVEWEAR

S
TARTED IN 2014 BY FRIENDS WITH A PASSION FOR ANYTHING ACTIVE AND ADVENTUROUS, DANIEL JONES AND DARREN NANKIVELL NOTICED A SEEMINGLY LARGE GAP IN THE MARKET FOR MEN’S ACTIVEWEAR. WITH 13 YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE IN DESIGN, ENGINEERING, FASHION, AND MANUFACTURING, THE DUO CREATED WPN WEAR – A LINE OF ACTIVEWEAR THAT GOES BEYOND THE LARGE LOGOS AND LOUD FLUORESCENT COLORS. WITH THE HELP OF THE POPULAR CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM, KICKSTARTER, WPN WEAR SET OUT TO SPARK A MOVEMENT TO BUILD A LASTING CULTURE BY BRINGING TOGETHER MALE ATHLETES FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE LOOKING FOR SUCCESS. THEY’VE AIMED TO OFFER GREAT QUALITY PRODUCTS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES. THEY PRIDE THEMSELVES ON BEING A TRUE TRANSITIONAL ACTIVEWEAR BRAND, SPECIFICALLY FOR MEN, BY FUSING A HIGH-LEVEL OF CRAFTSMANSHIP, WITH ON-POINT URBAN DESIGN, AND SOME OF THE MOST TECHNICALLY ADVANCED MATERIALS IN THE MARKET. FROM THE GYM AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, TO CASUAL BAR OR CAFE SETTINGS, THEY BELIEVE THAT PERFORMANCE APPAREL SHOULD NOT BE RESTRICTIVE WHILE IN THE GYM, NOR UNSIGHTLY WHILE IN PUBLIC. WE SAT DOWN WITH CO-FOUNDERS, DANIEL AND DARREN, TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR CREDO AND WHAT THEY CAN SEE IN THE FUTURE FOR WPN WEAR.


HOW DID WPN WEAR START? WERE YOU BOTH JUST CURIOUS IN CREATING AN APPAREL BRAND OR DID YOU HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN MAKING MEN’S SPORTSWEAR?

Darren and I have grown up playing sport and competing at all different levels. Now-days as busy professionals and guys with a serious passion for anything active and adventurous, we noticed a seemingly large gap in the market for men’s Activewear.  Our mission was to build a brand that had a culture behind it. Not only producing high performance fitness apparel with on point urban design, that could transcend the gym, but a brand that would bring men together from all walks of life in the pursuit of success.

HOW VITAL WAS FUNDING PLATFORM, KICKSTARTER TO YOUR BRANDS SUCCESS? DO YOU CREDIT IT FOR YOUR EMERGENCE IN THE MEN’S SPORTSWEAR MARKET? HOW HAS IT ALLOWED YOU TO GROW?

Kickstarter was fantastic for our brand. We really benefited in more ways than one. It allowed us to gain massive exposure world wide, new fans and customers, the funds to created a new range of apparel and on top of all that, we’ve learned skills in marketing through various different avenues.  

HOW MUCH AND WHAT TYPE OF FIELD TESTING DO YOU DO WITH THE WPN WEAR CLOTHING. WE SEE THE GREAT TECHNICAL FABRICS AND MINIMAL DESIGN, BUT WHAT KIND OF DURABILITY SHOULD GUYS EXPECT?

All of our products go through rigorous testing. It starts with our fabric procurement.  We have partnered with a Canadian company who specialize in the manufacture of premium high performance fabrics. They serve as our R&D facility for pre-production testing and technology innovation. One of the key attributes that set our fabric apart is the technology, which is actually woven into the fabric. This means zero degradation and ensures the technology attributes last the life of the garment. Many other brands these days use potentially harmful sprays for their ‘technology’ which actually wash out after an average of 15 wash cycles. As well as the pre-production testing we take further action by having all of our athletes in a range of sports test our products once it comes of the production line to ensure durability. Having their feedback is a crucial part to staying on top of our game in quality and functionally. It goes without saying that the time and effort we make to extensively test our products and ensure high quality finishing, means that our garments stand to outperform and outlast most our competitors. So our customers can be confident they’re getting a product that will last wear after wear and wash after wash.

RENEGADE 2 IN 1 SHORTS – $79.95

TELL US ABOUT THE VOICE OF THE WPN WEAR COMMUNITY. YOU DON’T PUT WPN WEAR INTO A SPECIFIC SPORTS GENRE. YOUR PRODUCTS APPEAL TO WEIGHT LIFTERS, RUNNERS, CROSSFIT, PARKOUR… IT’S VERY UNIVERSAL AND WORKS FOR ALL ACTIVE LIFESTYLES. WAS THIS INTENTIONAL OR DID YOU LEARN THAT WPN WEAR WAS BIGGER THAN JUST 1 TYPE OF ATHLETE?

It was most certainly our intention from the beginning to create a brand that wasn’t compartmentalized. We wanted athletes and active guys from all walks of life to be able to perform at the highest level in any physical activity whilst maintaining a sense of style that could transition to everyday life. Whether it’s catching up with your buddies for a drink, doing some casual business at a café or heading to the shops, we believe that performance apparel should not be restricted to the gym.

YOUR MARKET PRESENCE SEEMS TO BE MOSTLY IN AUSTRALIA, BUT WHAT HAS THE RECEPTION TO WPN WEAR BEEN IN THE UNITED STATES? ANY BIG SPONSORSHIPS OR DISTRIBUTION DEALS?

I feel the market for men’s ‘Activewear’ brands in the US is still in its infancy. It’s a market that is still heavily influenced by the somewhat faceless super brands but there may just be a shift towards brands like ours that have focus on that community and more bespoke apparel. With that in mind we’ve had a great response to our brand in the US so far and have our sights firmly set on growing our distribution across the country in the coming years.

RELOAD PULLOVER – $79.95

ALONG WITH THE GREAT DESIGN, YOU’VE ALSO MANAGED TO KEEP FAIR LABOR PRACTICES A HIGH PRIORITY IN YOUR BUSINESS PLAN. WAS THIS SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE NEEDS ADDRESSING IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY?

Sustainability was part of our ethos from day one. Our company was created to better people’s lives and we felt that this shouldn’t just be reserved for our customers. It should stand to enrich the lives of everyone involved in the supply chain. Unfortunately many companies tend to turn a blind eye towards this but again I feel our community appreciate the efforts we take and from that we gain further brand loyalty.

CAN YOU TELL OUR AUDIENCE MORE ABOUT YOUR ICESKIN TECHNOLOGY AND HOW IT SETS WPN WEAR LINE APART FROM THE OTHERS?

The IceSkin fabric technology is simply mind blowing! You really need to experience it to believe it. It is literally woven with natural Jade minerals. These minerals react to the moisture in your sweat, helping reduce your body’s’ core temperature of up to 5° in a matter of seconds. It also features moisture wicking and Bact-Out® anti-odour technology, which will keep you drier and smelling good to longer which is great for us blokes.

YOUR CASUAL APPAREL IS ADORNED WITH MOSTLY POSITIVE/INSPIRING MESSAGES OR QUOTES WITH THINGS LIKE, ”KILLING IT”, “HUSTLE” OR  “LIVE THE DREAM” ARE AMONG THE FEW. WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THESE MESSAGES AND HOW DOES IT REPRESENT WPN WEAR?

To be honest most of them are terms we use regularly. Some keep us motivated and others like ‘Hustle’ are a mindset that we have each and everyday. I think these slogans really speak to our community; they’re on the same wavelength because in their own life they are also in the pursuit of success.

ICON T-SHIRT – $69.95ELEVATE TANK – $27.95 / HUSTLE TANK – $59.95

ALONG WITH GREAT PRODUCTS, YOU ALSO OFFER HELP SUPPORTING MEN WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES IN AUSTRALIA. WAS THERE A DEEP PERSONAL MEANING BEHIND THIS BY EITHER OF YOU PERSONALLY OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU LEARNED ABOUT AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A WORTHWHILE CAUSE?

Through personal experience in this area we felt that it’s an issue that is just so overlooked. Men are taught from an early age to just bottle things up and ‘man up’. It’s considered weak to talk about your feelings and as a result we have this insanely high rate of suicide in men. This has to change and we feel that our brand and our messages through education, fitness and health tips and events we can help turn this around. Our mission in the next 6 months is to team up with a non-for profit organisation here in Australia and begin donating part of the profits from sales of our apparel to help raise awareness to men’s mental health and reduce the suicide rate.

SOME OF THE PROBLEMS WE FIND WITH OUR WORKOUT GEAR IS THAT AFTER REGULAR AND EXTENSIVE USE, IT BEGINS TO BREAK DOWN AND RETAIN BODY ODOR, ESPECIALLY IN THE UNDER ARM AREA. WPN WEAR EMPLOYS SOMETHING YOU CALL “BAC-OUT”, WHICH IS SAID TO PREVENT THESE PROBLEMS?

It sure does! With our Bact-Out technology we’ve successfully eliminated the dreaded man stink for good. The antimicrobial nanotechnology flights off 99.9% of odour causing bacteria and sweat stains. Keeping your favourite threads fresher and smelling good for longer.
This Bact-Out technology is woven into the fabric when they spin the yarn so the properties will wash out no matter how many times you wear or wash it.

IF YOU HAD TO GIVE SOMEONE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE WPN WEAR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ANSWER AND WHY?

Lifestyle.
Our brand is created to enhance the lives of men and help them achieve their goals along the way. It’s not just a gym brand it’s a lifestyle!

CORETECH COMPRESSION SHORT – $49.95SHOUT OUT CAP – $19.95 / ICESKIN TOWEL – $29.95

WHERE DO YOU SEE WPN WEAR IN THE COMING YEARS IN THE ACTIVE WEAR MARKET? DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW PRODUCTS COMING OUT IN 2017? DO YOU SEE YOURSELF MOVING INTO MORE THAN JUST APPAREL? POSSIBLY OTHER EXERCISING ACCESSORIES?

We have big plans over the next few years. Our goal is to become the go to brand for men that desire premium, style conscious apparel that has that a strong culture and community behind it, something they feel like they are a part of, not just another consumer.

We plan to have solid distribution through all the major countries around the world and also plan to open our own flagship stores starting in Australia. New ranges drop as early as December and will be continuing through the New Year.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL OUR AUDIENCE?

Just to stay tuned for our latest collection dropping just in time for Christmas.


WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT WPN WEAR?
VISIT THEIR WEBSITE HERE

About The Author: StevenDElliott

Steven is the founder of Genuine Men’s Magazine. He graduated Drexel University with a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design. Along with his passion for photography and design, Steven loves helping men find new and emerging menswear brands and offer his opinions when it comes to real-life situations.