As the fashion industry pushes ever forward into the sportswear market, some brands seem to be missing something. They might pack serious clout when it comes to style, but in terms of performance, not so much.
Japanese brand Mizuno comes at the issue from very much the opposite direction. Founded in Osaka in 1906, this sportswear manufacturer has always led in the field. It has lent its athletic know-how to the top tiers of disciplines ranging from golf and rugby to tennis and judo, but really found its feet, as it were, in running shoes.
“We think that what makes our brand special is not only our core values – heritage, innovation, and Japanese identity – but the fact that we are probably the only big sportwear brand that, for more than 100 years, has focused only on performance,” says Mr Luca Marchet, Mizuno’s lifestyle category manager. “Mizuno is constantly in pursuit of perfection, to almost nerdy levels. But this is what you need to excel.”