Elaborating on their decade and a half long friendship, Ben Stubbington and Robert Geller explain how their fortuitous relationship and collaborative natures led them to where they are today. The collection, which explores life over a ‘96 hour period,’ is meant to generate a greater potential for workability by using a close study of the daily actions of people over the course of 96 hours. Robert and Ben attempt to take workout technology one step further by working around the clock to make ensure their products are as sensible as they are sleek.
Whether it be the diverse palette of colors or fabrics, partners Robert and Ben aimed to create a line of comfortable and accessible athletic wear that doesn’t stray from the integrity of the brand’s fashionable image. Among the many impressive innovations that have come from the collaboration is the sweat technology that the brand developed to avoid the inevitable cold factor that results from sweat accumulation that builds up in workout clothing. L’Officiel USA sat down with Robert and Ben to discuss their latest project.
The collection explores your life over a ’96 hour period’. Can you tell me a little bit about this idea lent itself to the product?
Ben: When we decided to move forward with this collaboration, Robby and I would meet and chat about what this could look like. We both really liked the idea of examining Robby’s life and taking those ideas to apply to today’s men. What would you need over a 96 hour period in Robby’s life? His life revolves around the idea of the sweat life: balancing his family, his design business, travel and sport. And we wanted to create clothes that would look great when traveling, super comfortable and stylish on plane rides, high performance while playing soccer, or while simply spending time with my family. Through mine and Robby’s shared time together, a theme for this collection arose: “Take the Moment,” highlighting the importance of taking time to reflect within our everyday busy lives.
How did this collaboration come about? What was it about Lululemon that you were drawn to?
Robert: Ben and I met about 15 years ago through a mutual friend in a park in New York City. I was playing soccer and we ended up chatting for a little while and really getting along. A little while after Ben had taken the job at lululemon, we met at a CFDA event and very loosely spoke about the idea of collaborating. And there’s no brand better at creating intentional performance wear to take you through your day than lululemon. Through this partnership, I’ve become fascinated with the versatility of lululemon’s fabric technologies and was excited to infuse this innovation into the collaboration.
The 12-piece collection has a few colors interspersed. How did you choose the color palette?
Robert: I have been developing my color language over the past 15 years of my career and color plays a central role in my work. I wanted this collaboration to be based in that language while addressing the sporty nature of the collaboration. We created a base of grays, mauves and dusty greens and set that against a powerful bright yellow.
Functionality is a big part of the clothes you design. What do you want the customer to take away from this collection?
Ben: One of the strongest things about this collection is the connection between style and functionality. We were inspired to create this collection to solve the needs of the modern guy who lives a busy, active life and wants to dress comfortably without sacrificing style. I really love the idea of making clothes that allow you to move through life more comfortably. I believe that clothes today need to perform across a multitude of activities, from the pace of the city to dips in the ocean. Focusing in on solves like ‘Thermal comfort’ ‘Fast drying’ ‘Anti-Stink’ ‘Waterproof’ and ‘Wrinkle resistance’.
Let’s talk about those PANTS. They’re amazing. What inspired the pattern? They’re reversible? True or false…
Robert: Both Ben and I really like the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic and we worked with the amazing development team to create something really special. The fabric is a non-petroleum bio-based Nylon that we have hand dyed in Japan. This means that every pair is completely unique.
Talk to me a little bit about the fabrics – they’re super advanced.
Ben: Everything about the design of these pieces is intentional and ties to the collection’s theme of “Take the Moment.” For the Take The Moment Collared Long Sleeve and Collared Short Sleeve, we chose a unique Tydal Dye Ripstop DWR Nylon ripstop fabric to provide interesting textures not often found in performance wear, with the custom dye treatment that is extremely hard to achieve, that ensures each piece is one of a kind. But also this fabric is DWR for water-repellency to keep you dry when needed, its lightweight yet durable. In the Take The Moment Short Sleeve and Sleeveless, we chose the Silverescent® Dry Touch Mesh Heather, which contains Silverecent® Technology, to inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria in the fabric, while the mesh structure of the fabric makes it highly breathable for even the hottest workouts. The Take The Moment Hooded ½ Zip and Pant feature a textured jacquard-knit Luon® fabric which is soft for post workout and travel, but also sweat-wicking so you don’t get cold after your workout from trapped moisture.
Robert: One technical aspect that I wanted to mention is the external tape that we have on many pieces. I always admired how cool it looks on the inside of technical garments and we challenged ourselves to keep the functionality while bringing it to the outside of the garments.
If you had to choose a favorite piece from the collection—what would it be? Why?
Robert: For me, it is really difficult. It’s like choosing between your children! Since I have to, I would choose the windbreaker. I have one of the samples and wear it all the time. It is perfect for the days that I go to play soccer and meet my family and friends afterward for lunch. On the colder days, I layer it under my coat and I can’t wait to wear it on my next long flight. It is the perfect easy, do everything jacket.
Ben: The Take the Moment Sleeveless, the ‘Dark Shadow’ colorway, The Heather Dark Shadow with Magnum, and Dark Shadow side paneling just work so well. I love the cut with the dropped square armhole. I normally only wear black but this piece and colorway holds comfort for me I stole an early sample and have worn it to Yoga and a Taryn Toomey class with Robby and its now a staple for me.