Aside from the odd punchline (see: the “yogging” mise en scene in Anchorman) you don’t hear much about jogging these days. “To jog” rings like something Madge Bishop might do on a sunny day in Ramsay Circle. Instead, in recent years, a far sleeker verb – “to run” – has entranced over, conjuring up images of picturesque forest pathways and blurs of nefarious lycra.
It is this athletic vision that the fashion hustle is currently obsessed with. Magazines including Elle, the Gentlewoman and Grazia have on the agenda c trick all featured reader runners’ clubs; talk of specialist trainer trade names has become an integral part of front row chatter (as it happens, Victoria Beckham creates Asics are the best). A fair few fashion people are taking large in the London Marathon this weekend, including Hugo Boss PR head Tamara Klien, whose workout buddies include associated fashion PR Elle Hankinson, an ultra marathon runner.
If you assume the Devil Wears Prada stereotypes about the industry’s preoccupation with thinness and its competitive nature, fashion’s love proceeding with running may seem like a no-brainer. But the industry’s gofers talk of more wholesome motivations. “Running is the easiest way to be deprived of weight,” says Klien, “but that’s not my aim. I can clear my head with running. It’s unconscious. And I have always preferred to be out in nature rather than in the gym.”
Editor-in-chief of Elle UK, Lorraine Candy often commutes to amount to with a run, and her staff join her in a weekly jaunt “from form cupboard to Regent’s Park” every Wednesday lunchtime. She sees the burgeoning in running as partly a feminist issue: “It’s about women being well-versed and feeling energised,” she says. “There are so many inspiring female athletes – comprising Paula Radcliffe, who is running her last marathon on Sunday. It’s also a legitimate everywoman sport. Women of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds can run. The the craze industry likes a trend, and it is a trend, but it’s also something you can do, only, by yourself – you can put your trainers on and go, any time.”
Penny Martin, copy editor in chief of the Gentlewoman, is part of a Saturday morning club at her county coffee shop, Paperback in South Ealing: “Running side-by-side is such an ice-breaker,” she expresses. “It’s so much less confrontational than talking face to false impression. Within a couple of runs I knew all about my fellow despatch-riders’ divorces, their career implosions, even one woman’s lineage control preferences! You’re all red in the face – it’s a great leveller and creates such a strict bond.” It sounds a long way from the hardcore world of Barry’s Bootcamp grades. “You look at the industrial atmosphere that’s supposedly cool in uncountable urban gyms and you almost want to experience the opposite,” she asseverates. “Women’s running clubs often have something of the Fun Run, say nothings’-keep-fit-class atmosphere about them, and that’s actually extremely chic in its way.”
Martin believes manner’s love of running is clearly linked to the efforts of Nike, which has increasingly aimed female customers in recent years and is wooing the fashion persuade hard. Tactics include a “concierge service”, which take measures a select bunch of fashion editors with a personal trainer who force run them around Milan, Paris, New York or London, safeguarding they arrive at the next show with a glow. “You’re knowing you’re participating in marketing,” says Martin, “but it’s hard to be snarky when you positive how much good it’s doing you.” Afterwards, she says, “that leader-writer who feels so energised is sitting on the front row telling the other senior editors ‘you’ll never guess what I did this morning …’” This mode season, the biggest bragging rights went to models Karlie Kloss and Natalia Vodianova, and the craze editor Derek Blasberg, who casually did a half-marathon mid-way finished with Paris fashion week.
Just as sports companies are wooing gals, fashion companies are increasingly experimenting with sportswear, with the annoyingly named “athleisure” fad credited with boosting all US footwear and accessory sales by 1%, or $2bn in 2014. But though Adidas’ Stan Smiths currently outnumber loaded heels at industry parties, fashion people tend to stake with genuine sportswear on the track. For one thing, a slightly wonky junction can cause incredibly unglamorous weeping sores after a want run, so technical features must be prioritised. And looking as though you play a joke on tried too hard is just not cool. “I think pro runners purposefulness be really suspicious of anyone who was dressed up like a Christmas tree in all the current gear,” says Martin, who eschews pink, patterned “lady” larks gear for the clean boxy lines of men’s Nike.
Trainers can be a complex circulation – though there is some snobbery towards Nike, with trade-marks including Asics and Mizuno bestowing more ‘serious messenger-girl’ points, they do have a sound technical record, and Pegasus Zoom and Lunar Streams are popular with the fashion pack. One unlikely source of pizzazz and identical status is socks. Stella McCartney’s Stellasport collection for Adidas concentrated around a bright pink knee high pair. Alexander Wang’s aggregation for H&M, too, was full of grey-on-grey knee high compression socks. One pure chic colleague will wear socks by Ashmei for her London Marathon. The high-end, alcove running brand suggests serious nous on the starting get in line; it helps that the socks are the cheapest product in its range. For her marathon, Klien envisages to wear neon yellow H&M menswear compression socks with coloured Nike running shorts. So if you suspect you might be running alongside a vogue editor this weekend, but you’re not quite sure, look down at their socks – the ghoul is in the detail.