This is Creative Portrait, a series where we go inside showrooms and ask up-and-coming designers for their fresh perspectives on the fashion industry.
As the designer and founder of Dyne, a high-tech performance sportswear brand that specializes in athletic pants, jackets and other apparel, Chris Bevans thinks of the job as his “full-time baby.”
That’s because he also happens to do a lot of other jobs, including a consulting gig for Nike, where he served as the brand’s global creative director of streetwear in the 2000s; a role as the men’s design director for the yoga brand Spiritual Gangster; a collaboration with VFiles on an activewear capsule collection, and a branding director role for Everybody Fights, George Foreman III’s Boston-based boxing club.
Previously, Bevans had designed collections with Lebron James, Roger Federer, Kanye West and Marshawn Lynch, and served as creative director of Billionaire Boys Club alongside Pharrell Williams. He’s had a hand in just about every high-profile streetwear project, and now, he wants to bring Dyne’s performance wear to the mainstream as a global brand. The line is a cross between a technical and wearable collection: Each of Dyne’s items made with high-performance fabrics and is embedded with a chip that, when scanned, pulls up information about how it was made, the brand behind it and how to wear it.
As an industry veteran and designer of a young clothing line, Bevans shared his perspective on the future of the wearable technology industry and what’s next after athleisure.
Bevans in his Portland, Oregon showroom
Why people should put computer chips inside their clothes: “It’s fun to interact with your apparel. Plus, there’s a learning curve. Retailers can scan the chip, learn more and sell more. Customers can get more out of it.”
How to define technical fabric: “It wicks moisture. It keeps you cool, or warm, depending on the climate. It reacts to your body temperature. It maintains the fit and gives your clothes a longer life. It keeps clothes fresher. It’s basically fabric, but better improved for an active lifestyle.”
On what’s holding wearables back: “A wearable has to be something that’s like putting on your watch or putting your phone in your pocket — it has to feel effortless, and a lot of companies have yet to find their way into daily culture.”
Why streetwear has become a blanket term: “Streetwear has evolved. I look at it as culture combining with an active lifestyle. The look’s gone mainstream.”
How to succeed as a modern streetwear brand: “The brands that have stopped designing for the retail industry, and design instead for the individual are the ones that are succeeding. We do that. Tim Coppens does that, Acronym does that. They’re the ones to watch.”
On the end of athleisure: “We don’t use that word in my office. It’s come to be synonymous with cheap products. We’re more sophisticated than that.”