Wouldn't going to the gym sound more inviting if we had a lot of cute and affordable gym outfits to choose from here in Manila? Thankfully, there's now a local brand determined to get you moving while clad in the most stylish workout clothes. Find out more about emerging sportwear brand Atsui below as we talk with its co-founder Leslie Silvestre.
1. What is the concept behind Atsui? Where did the name come from?
"Atsui is a proudly-local Filipino performance and athleisure brand inspired by Eastern philosophies. Atsui means 'hot' in Japanese, which we believe is relevant because hot can mean on trend. It is also what happens when you work out; you get active and your body heats up. Japan also has a special place in our hearts because of how inspiring their way of life is–purposeful, mindful, always improving themselves."
2. Please describe your design aesthetic.
"Atsui provides a wide-range of functional performance and athleisure pieces in stylish designs, rich color palettes and prints. Each piece that we create is carefully designed and engineered with uncompromised quality to provide the support needed for yoga and pilates, as well as other high performance activities such as spinning, boxing, and crossfit."
3. Who designs the clothes? Where do you get the inspiration?
"We have a team of designers who conceptualizes our collections. The designs are tested by real practitioners before they are produced and sold."
4. What made you decide to start your own business? How did it take off?
"Atsui started in 2014 with a vision to provide pilates and yoga wear that would match the needs of everyday enthusiasts in function, fashion, and price. I lived away and trained pilates for a few years, and then decided to bring my experience back to the Philippines, I was taken aback to find that there were very limited options in the country; quality activewear was available, but it was often too expensive. The response for Atsui within the community has been overwhelming, and now, we are extending the brand to everyone who enjoys an active, stylish, and fun lifestyle."
5. Who do you have in mind carrying your pieces?
"Atsui is for the serious athlete, those aspiring to be, and those who just want to move with style and confidence. The ideal Atsui girl is sophisticated, highly-active, yet remains stylish in her every move."
6. What are your brand's greatest strengths? What sets you apart from other stores?
"Atsui is a local brand with products that are at par with global standards. We have a strong commitment to quality and we make sure that we use the best fabrics to provide the support needed for high performance activities, and offer them at honest, appropriate value. For our pre-holiday collection, we are proud to introduce airemov–a specially woven four-way stretch and moisture-wicking fabric with increased elastane that allows each piece to move as you do."
7. What about its weaknesses? How are you able to overcome these?
"Since Atsui is a new brand in its infancy, and we started off in yoga and pilates, we have the challenge of gaining awareness for the brand across different sports and all kinds of movement. We have the challenge of communicating Atsui's quality and proving to consumers that they’re getting their money's worth in terms of performance, design, and durability. We’re in the 'getting to know you' stage with consumers and we hope that we’re here to stay among their athleisure choices."
8. Where do you see your brand in the coming years?
"We believe that athleisure is not a passing fad and it’s here to stay as consumers want to be stylish and comfortable when they’re on the go. We want to be one of the local names that shoppers rely on for their fashion and athletic performance choices, both here in the Philippines and in the coming years, across Asia Pacific. Big dreams for a new brand!"
9. What should we expect from Atsui in the coming days?
"We just launched our 2017 Pre-Holiday collection last week and so far, the reception has been great! With the brand’s re-launch, we are also in the process of improving customer experience through our website and social media sites and we are expanding our reach in other retail and activity centers."
To check out and get a hold of Atsui’s latest collection, you can visit Atsui.ph. Select pieces are also available in activity centers such as Yoga+ Express, Bikram Yoga Makati and Cebu, Bliss Yoga, and Yoga Hub Cebu. You can also follow Atsui on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.