There has been something of a bit of a revival in sportswear in recent years, with a shift and more effort being made to design sportswear that is more versatile as a clothing option in men’s wardrobes. The stigma that sportswear is only for gym or sports orientated men is no longer the case, as a result of more creatively, trendy and well made sportswear being designed. We see this balance between sportswear and lifestyle blended perfectly in our recent collaboration with BALR.
BALR. is a distinctive brand who specialise in creating on trend fashion by fusing the two worlds of fashion and football together. BALR. designers combine youth, ambition, quality and luxury into all of their contemporary pieces of clothing.
In our photoshoot, our models encapsulated the youth and ambition of BALR. combined with just the right amount of attitude against the graffiti walls of Hackney in East London. London School of Barbering captured a loud street & dominant masculine feel in this photoshoot complemented by the super sharp and modern haircuts with plenty of edge cut by Creative Director Michael Kontos.
We had the opportunity to find out a little bit more about this unique brand and the story behind it, after speaking to Demy who is the Creative Director at BALR. Read the special interview below…….
LSB: Tell us how BALR. was born and why it was set up?
B: When I played for Spartak Moscow, I had a lot of time to think because you spend lots of time in the backseat of cars. While waiting to board a flight to another far away game, I noticed that every member of the squad travelled with more or less the same suitcases. I wanted something different. That’s when I started giving it more thought and dreamt up a complete range of items that a football player could use and wear off the pitch.
LSB: Describe your audience who wears the BALR. brand?
B: Our audience is pretty varied. A lot of football players buy our products, from established players to Fernando Torres, along with up and coming talents in the UK. Also the businessmen who travel a lot and the high-school kids who look up to those people.
LSB: What makes BALR. stand out from other brands?
B: We’re at a unique intersection of fashion and football. On one hand, you have sports brands and on the other hand, you have the high-end fashion label. We’re right in the middle of that, hitting the sweet spot for everyone aspiring to improve their skills, life and lifestyle.
LSB: Describe your brand in 3 words?
B: Lifestyle, Fashion, Luxury.
LSB: Where do you take inspiration for all of your designs?
B: I usually just scroll through my Instagram and I see so many different styles, I always end up inspired.
LSB: Your logo is quite a dominant factor in all of your designs, why was this decided as a focal point?
B: When you build a brand, a logo is one of the most important parts. We started out in 2013 and wanted to quickly establish a recognisable brand. The eye-catching BALR. logo managed to do exactly that.
LSB: What is the meaning behind your brand name BALR.?
B: It comes from the word footballer, but stands for anyone who aims to be successful. Whether it’s on the pitch or in a board room, a BALR. is someone who always strives for success.
LSB: What do you think of the revival of sportswear as a current fashion trend?
B: I don’t really see it as a revival; how many people go to work in a suit these days? Everyone’s wearing sneakers and even formal trousers are sweatpants inspired nowadays.
LSB: What fashion trends do you think are hot for men right now?
B: Big, bold logos and tracksuits.
LSB: Have you got any do’s and don’ts when it comes to wearing sportswear?
B: When it comes to colours, I personally prefer black, grey, white and navy blue. Those are also the colours of BALR. so that’s an absolute ‘do’ for me.
LSB: Are there any celebs that wear your stuff?
B: Oh yeah, a lot! We have collaborations with Torres and DJ Hardwell. But other celebrities are regularly spotted in BALR. We had Dani Alves wearing our gear recently, Odell Beckham Jr., Martin Garrix and basketball player D’Angelo Russel to name just a few.
LSB: What is your favourite BALR. product right now and why?
B: The BALR. Yacht! It perfectly fits the life of a BALR. – simply enjoy the perfect weather, cruise the Mediterranean waters with friends and cold drinks. What else do you need, right?
LSB: How important is hair styling when it comes to doing your own photo shoots in promoting BALR.?
B: We always make sure the details are right and hair styling is one of the most important parts of a look. So yeah, we pay a lot of attention to hair styling as well.
Hair Stylists: Michael Kontos & Henry Stevens
Photographer: Kathryn Younger
Fashion Stylist: Rachel Witter
Fashion Stylist’s Assistant: Nailah Rowe
Models: James Caleb Gillick, Jamie Galloway, Corey Cross & Jayden Beales
Take a sneak peek of what went on behind the scenes at the photoshoot – including some seriously cool moves from one of our models who is a wicked fitness instructor!!