The Athletic Side Of Us (TASOU)
TASOU The Active Self Collection featuring the TASOU Graffiti Print
The Athletic Side of Us’ (TASOU) new collection features looks for women and men by designer Chuks Collins. The collection is set against the Ancient Benin Kingdom, where transitional fashion meets this ancient civilization from the southern part of Nigeria.
TASOU’s collection was shown at 608 Fifth Avenue, as Fifth Avenue Association hosted the inaugural season of NYFW on Fifth! 608 Fifth Avenue served as a vibrant location for fashion week events and offered designers and brands the opportunity to present their collections on the most iconic street in the world.
The looks in the collection are transitional and for everyday life, its streetwear meets athletic wear with couture sensibility. As a brand that celebrates and promotes the athletic side of humans, TASOU has focused this collection to also give back to those who desire to be athletic but had that taken away from them due to limb deficiencies.
Photos : Davey Jones
“My idea was to do something very forward and comfortable that’s easy to wear, but also very summery and upbeat at the same time. My menswear is inspired by me and what I think about when I pack a backpack for a few days trip,” says Collins.
With this collection TASOU relates the human experience with functional clothing that also focuses on sustainability by being eco-forward. The highlights of the collection: “Art Self” and “Act-Self” expresses aspects of humanity that are interwoven with how we choose to be creative and how we decide to be active. Thus, the “Act Self” for the collection is Collins utilizing real athletes for non-traditional athletic activities who were chosen to showcase the different activeness in humans. With our expanded idea of what being active is or “Act Self,” the brand is facilitating a new way forward for those whose activity or mobility felt limited, hence their initiative to offer limbs to children who don’t have limbs to promote their “Act Self.” Sales from the collection will go towards providing sustainable prosthetic limbs to children in Nigeria, through TASOU’s partnering organization The Irede Foundation.
Looks are meant to be functional, fluid and forward that work for both men and women to fit the human experience. The TASOU Graffiti set for men, a shorts and top set can be worn for any activity, the shorts can be worn for an outing, running, swimming or just staying at home to lounge around.
The sets are done in three prints and are inspired by the Bronx and the borough’s art scene, where Collins also lives. The prints are done in white, yellow and orange, the “Benin Print,” reflects the ancient kingdom of Benin. The dress up shirt can be worn with a blazer, with denim, or with whatever is found in one’s closet. Collins designed the shorts with fluidity in mind, to also be worn with the tank top and various other looks in the collection.
Another look from the collection are shorts, which comes in three colors: black, blue and orange all made out of a blend of polyester and nylon, both made out of recycled plastic bottles, with design elements of perforated edges with meshing at the top part of the back. The tank top is made out of sustainably sourced organic cotton, ready for the on-the-go person. The shorts can be worn for running, swimming and for everyday summer errands.
The women’s looks were intentional for Collins, as his aim was to create liberating, free and fluid relaxed wear, with the aim to amplify the empowerment of a woman, or the woman to be in a girl, all for the intended purpose of women exploring every aspect of themselves. The first look, a deconstructed silhouette made from credibly sourced organic cotton in the women’s collection. The white shirt is a classic with a detachable bra back cover, allowing the freedom of expression for the feminine form in a powerful transitional piece.
Looks include mesh belting that offers comfort in wearing, similar to the men’s looks. The TASOU Graffiti print in black and white, as well as the orange looks can be found in the women’s collection- and are all made from recycled plastic bottles. “I wanted something that was functional for women that can be worn from day to night from pants and dresses. I was also looking for colors that would transition with other items in a woman’s wardrobe,” states Collins. Most pieces in the men’s and women’s collections are also considered gender fluid, like the boyfriend t-shirt.
TASOU’s February debut allowed for Collins to present his fresh point of view and introduce the bridging of streetwear and active wear, allowing for the conversation that is being introduced now. The brand will be fully available for purchase for the first time since its first outing. Thus, building on February’s inaugural collection, the brand seeks to not only create looks that are stylish and feel good, but that are also good for the planet. All pieces of the collection are made sustainably, with low carbon outputs. The looks are made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cottons, hemp and repurposed fish nets.
The Lost Kingdom of Benin
This lost kingdom occupied southern Nigeria, in the forests of West Africa and was founded by the Edo people. It was a kingdom which flourished from the 13th to 19th centuries, and it was a major hub of trade and functioned under relations with Portuguese traders wanting gold and slaves. In the 18th century the kingdom began to decline due to civil wars, ultimately being conquered by the British in 1897. It’s contribution to the modern world is the former kingdom’s production of brass sculptures and intricate artwork that the African continent has ever seen.
Crafted by founder Chuks Collins, his idea was to create something that’s more than an athleisure company. TASOU is a brand where the dynamic fluidity of life evolves the athletic nature of people. Everything that we are is our ART self and what we do with our roles in society is our ACT self, and through the brand, Collins has created looks where people can choose the athletic side of themselves.
Created to debunk the industry boxes of what activewear can mean, Collins is bringing the world of fashion and essential accessories forward into aspects of everyday life. Through functionality life is being incorporated into TASOU’s collection, along with the sleek streets of New York City and his native Nigeria, the brand gives the fluidity to choose what we call it.
The IREDE Foundation (TIF)
TIF continues to inspire actions so that child amputees and their families can live independent and limitless lives through the 4 pillars of Educate, Empower, Inspire and Innovate.
They educate members of the public on issues concerning disability through advocacies and sensitization programs. They empower clients with mobility aids so that they can live their lives free of limitation. They inspire actions through partnership and engagement with government and corporate stakeholders to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind. And they innovate by creating tools and services that enable an inclusive society for Persons with disability.