Nike, Adidas and Puma are some of the top brands that come to mind when we think about performance and athleisure wear. With their highly recognizable logos, these brands are so ingrained in our culture that we automatically associate them with many aspects of our lifestyles such as sport, working out or even loungewear. However, there is a new athleisure brand that is making waves in the market: Y-Fit Wear.
Y-Fit Wear is a UK brand that features a variety of high quality sportswear for both men and women including their sought after legacy tracksuits and their new HourGlass Collection.
However, it’s not just the embroidered “Y” on the clothing that catches my attention. To be honest, I could say that Y-Fit are doing a lot of the same things that Nike and Adidas are doing. The idea that intrigues me so much about this brand though, is what it stands for.
“The reason why it’s called Y-Fit Wear is to always remember why you do what you do,” says entrepreneur and founder Mark Agyakawa.
Mark created Y-Fit Wear in 2016 after experiencing issues with his kidneys. Before his health complications, he used to play football (soccer for my Canadian/American friends) and even took part in some pro-trials in the states. When Mark found out about his health complications, he had to stop playing and took 10 months to get back to full health. During this time he refocused and this led to the creation of Y-Fit Wear.
The perspective of this brand is what makes it so different from any other athletic clothing line. Agyakawa says that it is “the element of purpose” that makes his brand stand out. This ideal is seen throughout the brand from its slogan: “move with purpose” to the brand’s vision: “the feeling of success outweighs the pain of the process”.
Purpose is not the only thing that drives Agyakawa. It is also important to him that the brand shows black people that they can achieve success in a wide variety of ways.
“As black men our outlets for career success are usually limited to sports or music”. He’s far from wrong when he says this, growing up, the only people I saw being successful that looked like me were rappers or professional sport players. Not once did I see or think about being a black business owner or entrepreneur (entrepreneurship wasn’t even taught in my school, but that’s another story for another day).
“Black culture influences a lot of popular sport brands and in reality it is very different from what we see in pop culture”, Agyakawa states. This is what sets Y-Fit Wear apart from Nike or Adidas. The fact that a black entrepreneur is out here celebrating his culture ins a positive way, whilst giving us an accurate representation of what it’s like and profiting from that.
Y-Fit Wear is a brand that has a lot of meaning and backstory that people can get behind. From its purpose based vision, to breaking stereotypical norms for black communities. Y-Fit Wear’s message is clear: do what you love with purpose and you will always find success.