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Q&A: Kyle McClure, co-founder of Rhone

Why did you start Rhone?

The genesis of Rhone came from my partner, Nate Checketts. My dream had always been to design clothes, but he noticed a void in the men's activewear market. At the time, the marketplace was getting flooded with more and more entrants chasing the craze, but nobody was focused on the men's space.

Why did you decide to sell clothing that can be worn in so many different settings?

I really wanted to create ready-to-wear that furthered the expression of the performance lifestyle. I let fabric innovation inspire me. I appreciate the handmade craftsmanship of some of my favorite Japanese labels and the made-to-measure and bespoke tailoring of Italy and England.

Can you talk about the Commuter line?

The idea behind the Commuter line was born from a lack of apparel that gave men what leggings provided women. The Commuter Pant launched us into this category.

What about the Recreation line?

Recreation allows us to have some fun and serve the aspirational lifestyles of surfing, wake-boarding, golf, and more. If you look to our newly-inked partnership with my buddy Garrett McNamara, a big wave surfer legend, you can see how we are also pushing the envelope on how these clothes play in the wild.

Can you talk about the design process?

I wish I could show you the walls of Rhone’s office. The designs morph from doodles that I literally scribble all over our glass conference room walls to professionally rendered versions done by the design team then into the fully realized garments. The design process is also part self-exploration. I consider all of the elements that have shaped my personal sense of style and how I know and understand the world—everything from growing up in the '80's and '90's to experiences I have with friends, travels, and education. Each season starts with some seminal inspiration, and from there we collaborate and build out the collection with our merchandising, marketing, and sales teams.

Can you talk about the collaboration with Equinox?

Equinox has been such an incredible partner for us since our inception. It has allowed us to continue flexing our muscles in the training categories, and we’ve also done some important collaborations prior to this around Pride. Together we have armed hotel guests with the apparel to help immerse themselves in the performance lifestyle offered by the venue.

What's ahead for Rhone?

A continued exploration of what it means to be a responsible, sustainable, and innovative lifestyle brand in the world today. Our collaboration with Equinox Hotels represents Rhone’s first foray into the women’s space, and the most important thing for us is to strive to deliver on our brand promise of premium performance no matter what we are producing.

What do you usually wear to the gym?

I always wear our Delta or Commuter Polo, 5" Swift Shorts with a custom VW bus print I had made (when I'm in LA I sleep in a 79' VW Vanagon instead of a hotel), our concept run sock, and Nike Vaporfly 4% Running Shoes.

What is your fitness regimen like?

My routine varies, but every morning starts the same way: mild, thought-interrupted meditation and some stretching. I am a lone wolf on the fitness front, and running is the purest expression of that for me. It gives me time to retreat from the world and catch a nice endorphin high. I also like to recover from travel with an infrared sauna and concierge IV.

Photos (flat lays): Kelsey Fain Photo / @kelseyfain

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