Afsar Zaidi On How HRX Is Striving To Ease The Fitness Journey Of Indian Athletes
- IWB Post
- September 7, 2018
When IWB launched The Locker Room Talk campaign last month, few had envisioned that it would achieve the magnitude of success that it has. As we moved ahead with our resolve to challenge every roadblock faced by Indian sportswomen, more and more people joined us in the revolution.
One of our partners for the campaign, HRX Brand, joined us in our quest to motivate the four teams (Indian women’s Rugby, Ice Hockey, Football, and Kabaddi ) to blaze ahead, pumping their fists and shouting their anthem that is being custom-made for them by IWB.
The brand came forward to keep the adrenaline flowing, and help the four teams race ahead on the field by finding power in their shoes. Our interaction with Hrithik Roshan revealed how the brand has always strived to back Indian sportswomen in their pursuit of strength and victory.
HRX Brand’s owner Afsar Zaidi reflected similar zeal for the cause in a recent interaction. He told us how the brand is all about fitness and working relentlessly towards easing the fitness journeys of country’s sportspersons.
Talking about fitness, he said, “The body can be changed with grit. Be the person that you want to be and if you believe in it then don’t let that change easily.” He also told us about their all-new women’s collection, the brand’s unyielding belief in the women power and how HRX is continuously striving for perfection so as to provide for the country’s sportspersons more efficiently.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Swapna Barman recently won a gold medal in the heptathlon at the Asian Games 2018. She has six toes on each of her feet but that did not stop this great athlete. However, she has always struggled to find shoes and has on many occasions, done without proper shoes thus harming her feet. Seeing her determination and dedication towards her nation and her sport, what can HRX Brand do for such deserving athletes who bring glory to the nation, despite the physical pain and torture?
I am glad that you brought this up. The very day Swapna Barman won the gold the HRX team reached out to her to support her in her training for the Olympic gold. The product team is already assessing to see if we can make shoes for six toes, which happens to be her special requirement, and support her through her preparation.
How involved and vested is your brand in uplifting the physical fitness of our Indian athletes? What are the company’s plans and strategies in regard to this?
Our product is improving with every passing day but we haven’t reached a stage where we can gear up athletes with performance clothing and equipment. Having said that, we will get there in less than a year from now. In the interim, we have all the things that an athlete may require for training though and we reach out and support them through various foundations and associations we have access to, like Indian Women Blog, for instance.
Your brand is launching the women’s collection soon – can you tell us more in detail about this?
HRX has always had women’s wear. We are actively expanding the portfolio now to add more width and depth to the collection. We have leggings, running shorts, vests, tops, jackets, hoodies, sweats, tracks, sports bra, seamless yoga wear, training shoes, running shoes, socks, and most other items, which a woman requires for staying fit and active. Introduction of more designs and cuts for women’s wear is quintessential to bring it at par with other international players and for making it more appealing to the woman consumer.
When it comes to women’s athletic wear and gear, a lot of times, fashion takes precedence over functionality. How has the HRX Brand addressed this while working on the women’s collection which is to be launched soon?
We are a fitness brand and hence the focus is always kept on mobility, agility, ease of movement, flexibility etc. We keep our focus on cuts and shape, that is, while running we need the sleeves and armhole to be a certain way so primary focus is the functionality on to which we add the layer of designing. Seamless yoga wear is another such collection where the focus is on the fluidity of movements while wearing that garment. Colours and designs have to be equally appealing and that balance is struck by our designers and sourcing team. Sports bras as a category allow no room for mistake. Shape and fit are again of highest concern and then we pursue the cuts and trends by making the back a signature one like Lulu Lemon.
Does your brand have women in the designing and decision-making capacity/positions for the women line of gear?
HRX has women at its core. The business, finance, marketing and alliances, design team etc. are all led by women.
Talking of design, our women designers also design for men. Designing is a function of skill, sensibility, and awareness and a combination of this can be in either male or female. Our design team, sourcing and buying teams are gender agnostic as long as the basic skill set is considered.
While designing shoes for women, who are the sportswomen who inspire your brand to make shoes, keeping in mind the functionality and performance?
As mentioned earlier, we are still getting ready with our sportswear collection and I am sure every woman athlete would add to the inspiration board but for now we have trainers and running shoes which are inspired by the Indian woman of the age who is fit, agile, multitasking and successfully aces all her tasks and responsibilities.
Stay tuned for the custom-made anthems, as a part of The Locker Room Talk. We have more sports rush coming your way!