Keeping fit at the gym, whether circuit training or doing your Zumba class, requires the right outfits – they need to be practical and tailored to provide maximum comfort – and, if you like to be stylish in your day to day wear, then why compromise on gym clothes either? Nick Jelley, a personal trainer with an interest in designer fashion, wanted to create fitness wear that was practical yet stylish – so, in 2013, he founded Xinx, the stylish sports wear brand. I caught up with Nick recently to find out more…. Hi Nick…
Hi! My name is Nick Jelley and I am the managing director of XINX, a fitness clothing brand which I started in 2013 alongside my gym. My background is as a Personal Trainer and I have always been involved and enjoyed keeping active, particularly in the gym these days.
What was the inspiration behind XINX?
My inspiration to launch a fitness clothing brand came from various influences. In my opinion, fitness clothing can tend to be uninspiring in design and also doesn’t provide the most comfortable fitting products. I wanted to rectify this – to create fitness clothing that featured fashionable designs whilst meeting the technical requirements for exercise and athletic physiques.
As you are a personal trainer and have a passion for designer fashion too, launching XINX seems to be the best of combining both of your interests. Growing up, was your career aspirations sport or fashion orientated or neither? When did you start to cultivate an interest in fashion?
Growing up my aspirations were more centred around fitness management which is what I studied at university. I made use of this through opening my gym which is more of a strength & conditioning facility compared to a typical health & fitness club. However, my entrepreneurial instinct is that I am always looking at new opportunities and decided that a fashion brand would work well alongside management commitments of the gym. Whilst I have very little fashion industry experience, I understand business and have a fitness background so am determined to establish XINX as a worldwide designer fitness fashion label.
What do you look for when deciding what to add to your brand – popular styles, old favourites, customer suggestions, your own tastes or bits of all those?
Initially I researched a selection of established brands to identify what products they were releasing to create a mood board of what I liked. Then working with a design and manufacturing team focused on matching the technical fabric quality alongside creating the best measurements to suit the products. Following the initial range, we considered customer suggestion alongside best selling products to progress into new designs where we again consider fashion trends to create mood boards for new collections.
From your current collection, the Flash capris & vest caught my eye. What has been your most popular design to date? Have you got a personal favourite?
Funnily enough, the Flash range has been our most popular item to date closely followed by the men’s prime vests. My favourite men’s items are the Prime and Stripe vests, while my favourite women’s is the snake shorts which I knew we had to create as soon as I saw the fabric. There is no design there, it is just the textured fabric which is so soft! It is difficult for people to realise the garment quality through the website, due to not being able to feel the product, however the first comment people mention when trying items from the range on, is about the comfort.
If you were able to visit anywhere in the world, to inspire a collection, where would you go?
We visited South France last year taking in design ideas from the shops in Cannes and St Tropez, which gave us some inspiration. I think Italian designers are great and also feel the Far East seems to offer futuristic designs, but I also draw inspiration every time I am in London. It is difficult to choose one destination because you can take a photo whenever you see a design and due to the internet you can browse so many websites for items to draw from for new designs.
Which famous lady and gent (dead or alive) would you love to see as the “faces” of XINX?
That is a very difficult question! I have considered this before and would ideally want someone similar to myself who has a genuine interest in fitness whilst also being interested in fashion. From the gent’s point of view, I think Jonny Wilkinson would top my list as a top English sportsman and rugby player (rugby is my favourite sport), however I feel Hugh Jackman would also be good because even though he isn’t as strong as me, I know he is into his training also….
Are you hoping to expand XINX in 2016 by adding other lines, such as trainers etc?
We are in the process of adding additional accessory items as well as bringing in certain selected brands as partners.
As you are based in the UK, are you able to offer your online service & delivery to overseas clients?
Yes, all our designs are available for worldwide delivery via our website www.xinx.co.uk. We already receive orders from Europe, the US and Australia and we hope this will continue to grow as we progress as a label.
When not personal training, what sports or activities do you enjoy pursuing?
Nowadays, I mostly participate in gym based training, taking part in strength based competitions as well as the occasional cardiovascular event, whether it be running or cycling or charity event. I have occasionally raced in triathlons and the London Marathon and cycled the UK this summer. I also enjoy rugby although purely as a spectator these days and I like to go on snowboarding annually. Admittedly, I do like a challenge and would really like to complete a charity expedition to the North & South Poles which would be an incredible experience.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
When I’m not wearing XINX, my wardrobe would have to be classed as Smart Casual although I am a fan of 3 piece suits when the occasion calls for it and my tailor regularly gets an email of a new item whether it be a suit, chinos or a shirt.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I am a fan of Selfridges which I tend to visit in London quite often. From a brand point of view I like Ted Baker however the fit doesn’t always match my physique and I recently discovered Orlebar Brown which I am into at the moment.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I will be looking to add some clothes to increase my winter wardrobe and I will be contacting my tailor soon most likely for some more shirts when I have highlighted any items that I like. For shoes, a pair of suede derbys and loafers are on the list as well as a new pair of espadrilles in time for the next holiday.
Boots or Shoes?
Definitely shoes. I only tend to wear boots when it is snowy or icy for better grip, otherwise I prefer shoes which offer greater versatility with so many style options.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about XINX
To see our collection please visit www.xinx.co.uk where we also release our blogs. Also our social media addresses are:
Thank you very much Nick for chatting to us – I’m sure that 2016 will be a great year for you. So, dear readers, do you like to be stylish when you workout? Are you Zumba fanatics or bendy yoga experts? I like Pilates, and I would love to master yoga some day! Do tell, what do you do to keep fit?
All photos published with kind permission from XINX.