We’re sure you know by now that Zarely was initially created by dancers and for dancers. But when we decided to transition from tights-only to high-fashion athleisure, we wanted our activewear to meet those same standards of style and functionality. That’s why we asked athletes, trainers, and sports medicine professionals to lend their expertise to our European designers to help make garments that are chic and functional regardless of discipline or training condition .Thus, the I AM LEGEND line was born. We used premium Italian and French activewear fabrics for ultimate quality, and on March 12th we put them to the test at our first-ever brand corner opening at The Garage — Active Care’s High Performance Training Center in the heart of San Francisco.
The Garage owner and Zarely collaborator, Lisa Giannone, took us through her famous Hammer workout, but not before giving us a taste of her recipe for success. “ I fully believe that if you go hard, if you push your body’s limits , your mind follows…When you can train yourself hard…If you can get up and overcome the ‘ugh,’ the payoff is a big level of vigor that you bring not only to your physical being but to your whole life.” “ I also believe in asking WHY on everything I do, pushing to find and define the next better way to solve a problem, to perform - this is the energy that made the natural fit between myself and the Zarely culture….we intend to do ‘it’, our product, our approach, better, the best!” And Lisa knows what she’s talking about. The UCLA valedictorian has treated Olympic athletes, NFL players, and professional boxers, not to mention the entire San Francisco Ballet, serving as the company’s physical therapist and trainer. Her vast knowledge of the body is what makes the Hammer workout so unique: it was designed to aid in preventing injury every bit as much as it was to whip you into shape and sky rocket your physical performance.
Watch a video of Lisa’s workout on our Facebook page (and see if you can spot some familiar faces) but if you’re in the San Francisco area, do take a trip to the Garage to experience the Hammer for yourself.
After the workout, the head of our Ambassador program, Ruben Martin (principal character dancer, San Francisco Ballet), caught his breath before discussing the I AM LEGEND campaign. Zarely Role Models and principal dancers and faculty members, Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro, Davit Karapetyan, Pascal Molat, and Jeff Lyons all talked mindset, inspiration, and why they wanted to be involved with Zarely.
“ I think it takes dedication and focus,” said Vanessa Zahorian. “ I’ve been here twenty years in San Francisco Ballet, and it’s patience every day: going to the studio, working hard…we want to pass this on to the next generation, all this expertise that we’ve learned.” Taras echoed Vanessa’s thoughts adding, “ There’s no secret. Ballet is hard work…smart work. Listen to your teachers!”
“ My inspirations were two dancers,” said Pascal Molat, “ Baryshnikov and Michael Jackson. You see someone moving so well with the music, such synergy … I wanted to do the same. ”Of course, Ruben wasn’t going to let Pascal get away without an MJ impression - the Zarely Brand Corner Opening will go down in history as the day Pascal Molat debuted his surprisingly impressive Moonwalk! The video is on our Facebook page and, believe us, you don’t want to miss it.
Zarely Ambasador Jeff Lyons championed another of our core tenets, “ To last in this profession you have to be able to work well with other people…It’s a collaborative effort to get the best out of the students and it’s very rewarding to see that happen.” He went on to cite collaboration as the cornerstone of our design process, “ The process of the research going into the ballet tights…surveying companies from around the world and the Zarely team actually talking to people about what they wanted…by the time it got to the point you were producing the tights, it was a really good product.” So good that Vanessa is taking the tights with her! When she retires this year, Vanessa Zahorian will take on a new role as Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet Academy. She plans for her students to wear Zarely: “ I really like the color of the tights and the feel. They are very thin and show the definition and I think it’s good for the kids…are they using their muscles? Are they engaging and pulling up?”
At the beginning of the event, Lisa Giannone described her Hammer workout as being for “vigorous, rigorous people,” and we feel the same about I AM LEGEND. That’s why the Garage was the perfect fit for our first brick-and-mortar display. I AM LEGEND is now available for purchase at The Garage, 2955 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, California. Pop in to take class and check out the I AM LEGEND line, remembering always to be kind, work hard, support and be supported.
Text by Dawson White
Photos by Zach Epperson
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