Though still a newborn, Attila Lifestyle piqued my interest the moment it popped up on my timeline. Oh, the perils of being online! Picture this: A black kimono jacket in a heavy fabric with a long collar that stood dramatically. Sharply contrasting the noncolor is its lining—flocks of cranes in flight, a flurry of white feathers and scarlet heads. Taking cues from Jerry Lorenzo and Bhutan street fashion, I could already picture myself wearing it inside out with the sleeves cuffed outwardly for more visual interest. Perhaps even crop it and secure it shut by kilt pins.
To sweeten the deal, the jacket comes with matching drawstring wide-leg pants. A picture of Kate Moss in low-slung bottoms comes to mind; if you’ve formed your consciousness in the noughties, you know the picture im talking about! Intrigued, I immediately messaged the brand to know more about it. And to my surprise, the ensemble turned out to be a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gear—a fighter’s uniform.
Founded by Andrew Yap, a Filipino art director based in Singapore, and his business partner, athlete Aacus Ee, Attila Lifestyle brings a streetwear edge to sportswear. Dare I say, it blurs the line that separates functional sportswear from being streetwear-worthy.
“From the get go, we knew we wanted to design elegant sportswear that resembled looks you see from fashion brands. We wanted to balance it with the concept of something primal—something like a "never give up, never say die" kind of warrior's attitude that you see in any athletic pursuit.
“[Our inspiration] was a weird combination of being fascinated with brands like RVCA, Kith, Off-White, and Gucci. We like the whole laid-back vibe that RVCA brought to less mainstream sports—skateboarding, surfing, martial arts. On the other end of the spectrum, we also really love the crazy indulgent yet nonchalant way Alessandro Michele has built Gucci,” shares Andrew.
But their stylized "gi" is only the beginning. The boys see themselves carving out a space in fashion and even hope to collaborate with local designers in addition to expanding their product range. But as athletes first, function and innovation are always top priorities. The gi itself has been outfitted with features such as a rash-guard lining and reinforced weaving for enhanced durability while retaining lightness.
When asked what we can expect to see next, Aacus says, “For sure we’ll cover basic performance-wear, like leggings and shorts, in the near future. We’ve always wanted to do a workout poncho that people can use on their commute before and after a workout—product development on that will start ASAP.”
The noir BJJ gi is available on AttilaLifestyle.com, while the blanche is ready for pre-order. Sizes are based on the height and weight of the wearer. While athletes are recommended to order true-to-size, streetwear enthusiasts and casual wearers may size up.