DOXA Run – New Running Apparel Brand & Interview With John Hansen

DOXA_Image_InstagramI first saw the logo of DOXA early last summer, while I lived in Copenhagen. Probably through Instagram and started following them, thinking that they had a nice look to their gear. I wanted to interview John Hansen, the creator and designer behind the brand, to get to know why and how it all started.

John is a seasoned runner and designer who wanted to bring a clothing line for running that would work through the workout to everyday life. I really like how he’s looking at this idea and how he also wants to do good while he’s at it. DOXA has a Kickstarter campaign now for their first capsule collection and they will give 50 race singlets to Kenswed Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, if the campaign is funded. The school is a way to give the children a chance for better living conditions and future. Here’s the link to the school for you to check it out .

Who are you and what is your background?

My name is John and I’m 36 years and have worked with fashion for 15 years, the last 1 year as self-employed in AITY Consultancy, where I do design work for different danish brands.

Alongside all this I have DOXA – the place where I unite my passion for running and my hobby and interest in fashion. I live in Copenhagen where the social running crews has been exploding the last few years. This definitely awoke my interest even more of combining fashion and running – to become a part of the new athleisure trend.
What is Doxa? And what is it to you?

As mentioned above, DOXA is more or less the person I am, running, fashion and lifestyle combined into one.

DOXA is everything for me, but at the moment I’m not able to make a living by the brand, but hopefully it will turn into that one day.

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Where did the idea behind Doxa come from?

DOXA was born out of my idea to bring something new into the running scene. I know I can’t compete with the more established brands such as Nike and Adidas, but there is a lot of space for other brands, who makes cool running gear with an urban approach. Because these days people want to look cool before, during and after their social run with all their friends, colleges and maybe their love of life – who knows.

Where the name Doxa comes from?
I wanted to create a name that had a visuel effect and that I could work with in different prints and effects on my product. I like the different geometric shapes of the letters and the shortness of the name. It’s precise and direct and something people hopefully will remember. Another important aspect for me, was that I could incorporate one of the letters in my design and prints-the letter X.

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What is / will be the difference with Doxa compared to other similar brands?

I think that DOXA is different because of the fashion angle. A lot of running apparel maybe looks too sporty(boring) and functional compared to how most customers actually wants to look. When I go by the subway to a park far away to do my trail I would like to blend in with the people and not look like a nerdy runner, who caught the bus like a fail. So in my opinion DOXA is the brand that’s missing in the athlesiure arena-the brand that combines fashion with functionality and makes people look cool. In the end that’s what most people want to.. 🙂

My hope is that DOXA will be sold from fashion stores and giving the costumers the opportunity to combine it with their daily wear. This is also different from what most other similar brands do-a traditional distribution would be through classic sportswear stores. But I believe that DOXA fits in with a mix of fashion and sport and has an edge that will make costumers notice DOXA on the shelves.
Where does the ideas come, with patterns and fits, from?

I combine sport with fashion, so my ideas is born in fashion with the intention of incorporating it with the functionality in sportswear. The fit is the most important part of the product. As a runner myself I know the importance of a good fit, without that you can’t perform. But I also believe that fit is not everything, with the great interest in sportswear you need something that stands out and the customers feel that their running gear reflects their style. People want to feel fashionable while running, not only while out running but also on the way to the running field and when hooking up with their friends after.

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Where do you see Doxa in 5 years? What are your goals?

Hopefully I’m able to work with DOXA as my main business and make a living out of it. I would love to see my brand represented all over the world in selected fashion and sportswear stores. And at the same time I want to keep on working with Global Relations to keep on creating better opportunities for the young talents in Nairobi. Hopefully we can create something bigger and greater together. It’s important for me to be able to contribute to the ones that need the help and support to succeed. And if sometime in the future my work with DOXA could make some young kid in Nairobi life a little bit better, I could not be more thankful.

How did you come up with the idea of doing this all with Kickstarter?

After a lot of brainstorming with a good friend about how to get a new upcoming brand out to the costumer, we came up with the idea to try Kickstarter. I needed a platform to show my work and my dedication to running and the good work at Kenswed. Kickstarter is a great place for new brands to start up and a forum that reaches out to so many people. The interest has been great, but there’s still a long way to the gold. Whether I reach it or not, it has been an amazing journey and I’ve learned so much on the way. Hopefully I will reach my goal and then being able to contribute to Kenswed and send out all the cool runninggear to my cool backers. Kickstarter is hard work, but the risk is low and I would diffidently recommend it to anyone who wants to make awareness of their products and needs there funding to get started.

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Do you have some connection to Kenya or where did the idea for that come from?

The idea was born from the simple idea; that I really wanted to do something good for others not as privileged as me. I met a guy when I was out running with Runners United, we talked a lot about his work in Kenya with the young running talents. He told me how tough their living circumstances were and how running often is a way out of poverty. His good friend Per-Olof Hansson is founder of the NGO Global Relations that works with the young people in Nairobi. So I contacted him and we started talking and sharing ideas. I really admire his work and feel honored to be a part of it.

And last but not least…

What does running mean to you?

It means the world to me! It’s my space away from everything, where I come up with new ideas, where I clear my head and where I gain new energy. Running is my life! I’ve been doing it for over 25 years and I will keep on running as long as my legs let me..

Go and check the Kickstarter campaign HERE! and their website HERE!

And keep yourself updated with the brand at Instagram @DOXARUN

I wish all the best to DOXA and John and hope to see this all grow to what you have dreamed! 🙂

PMA ❤

I feel that this heat is sucking my brain out, or more like melting it. And poor little dog is just dead sleeping all the time… Not for us from the north, I guess. Though I have never liked hot weather, at all, since I was a kid.

I love to run at late evening, I love to run at winter, there’s just something that makes me happier. I don’t feel myself stronger running when it’s hot, just sleepier in a way. It feels that you’re running at the same spot all the time and like you can’t breath, because the air is super thick. But I still run :). I just have to admit to myself that I should run either at early morning or late evening.

And it’s not like it’s never warm or hot in Finland, it is! But now I live in inland and always before I have been living either between two lakes or by the sea… There’s a difference in the air. I never thought that I could miss sea or water, because I’ve never been that much for any water related things, but since the only water that is close to me is a super small fake lake… it just doesn’t feel the same. So I’m pretty stoked to get to go to Finland end of august and breath and see all my loved ones!

I think after last week I have been in a slump. I’ve been missing my mom and my family back home a lot and also kind of for the first time really missed my handsome half. Maybe it’s getting harder now when the days get fewer and you know that you see soon… But soon I don’t have to miss anymore :).

But also I can feel that I’m somehow sad, I know that I have been having expectations about my body and this month, that are unrealistic. I know that I had this image and hope in my head about how I want my body to look… like in a month you can change that much hahah! I wanted to look like some super hero amazing when my bf comes home, and I know that I look a lot better, at least in my own head but I think I’m afraid that he won’t notice any difference. That would not be that nice… I also notice these feeling that I haven’t done enough, which is ridiculous because I’ve done just what I have wanted and felt like, even pushed myself lot harder and further than I could ever think. I should be so proud and I am, but there is that old tiny voice in my head that loves to push that doubt back… So stupid! I hate that doubt asshole!

I know that I’m little terrified of this future fall time, there’s so many things that I want to do and so many more that I need to do, and I can feel that I’m starting the age old prestressing already… Like I haven’t learned by this age that it doesn’t help, just makes things more difficult. One day at a time, that is all I need to remember!

There are few things that I had put on my notepad to write, but they have been too hard or whatever to start.

FOOD

Since I was a teenager my relationship with food has been little hard. I’ve always felt that the fact that I know how to cook, has not been best for me. I love food! And I don’t have any little voice with this that says “stop eating, you’ve had enough!”. I recently read about binge eating, and realized that I’ve been doing that for many many years now. I always thought that do I have some eating disorder, because my eating habits are not the same all the time or even close to. And because of that my poor body has been through so much, too much! My weight has been, in my adult life, between 58-80something kilos. The weight that I’ve noticed that I feel most comfortable in is around 60-65kg. At the moment I have no idea what I weight, but I don’t really care, I just want to be healthy and feel good in my own skin. There’s still little to go to my goal of feeling good in my own skin, but I’m on my way. I know that at some point I’m super annoyed about jeans not fitting from my thighs or calves, because when I run or do what ever a lot they tend to get big, but that is more like a badge of honor in that point!

I just really want to get my eating in a place where it doesn’t go up and down and back up and then down. Last week and early this week I had this weird stomach ache and I knew that I have been eating junk with the good stuff, and decided to start food journal, just to see what it was that made me feel bad. Maybe it’s those potato chips that I love so much… I kind of hope that it would be them, then I couldn’t eat them like before and it’s not like they are good for you! But they are soo good!! They are the only thing that I sometimes miss so much, that sounds ridiculous…, that I can taste them in my mouth without having them there. Okay, I have a problem! 🙂

I want to be able to learn the true feeling of hunger and the feeling of when I’m done not full. I don’t enjoy that full feeling at all, I look like I’m pregnant, and that’s not a joke. I don’t want to keep eating just for the need of it, because I don’t know how to stop. I don’t want to eat more than my boyfriend, who is way bigger than me… And I don’t want to be one of those little overweight people when they are older or now. I don’t want to be in one of those couples where the girl is way bigger than the guy. And this is not something that I hate in society, just don’t want to be like that myself because I know that if I am, I am probably also depressed and unhappy.

Then to the next thing that I have been thinking a lot… FASHION

I’ve always been in to fashion, one way or another. I’ve worked somehow in that field, but now later I have noticed that I’m more into sports fashion or putting both of them together, that everyday classy feminine one and then some sports in there. I used to be so into this thing, that I bought every month few fashion magazines, even if I didn’t really have the money, or I would easily buy clothes, even something small with the no money that I didn’t even have. This is probably pretty common for some people… nothing new in a way. But for me, something has totally changed. When I moved to Germany, I realized how non existent the english or any other language fashion magazines are. And I think I live in the worst place, if you want some of them. There is one place where they have some, but not at all what I was used to in Helsinki. And it’s not only about the magazines, this city is not for you if you’re interested about fashion, high or sports or whatever, just not the city.

When I moved here and long after, before I found my running thing, that was a real problem for me. It is still but I just don’t care the same. In Helsinki one of my favorite things to do was just walk around the city and look all the stores without buying. I got something from that. Here, you can’t do it, unless you love Primark… that should say something.

And now, when I’m more and more into this running life, I’m with a new problem… there’s not that much variety here to get running gear. 🙂 So, most of the time I’m daydreaming in the internet.

I also know that I’m really brand loyal, my bf loves to tease me about that. My absolute number one is Nike, no questions! They are one of the rare brands that are not only for super functional stuff but both, good looking and functional. And I trust Nike as a brand, because I have some stuff that I’ve bought many years ago and I really use them a lot and they are still in a amazing condition. I also like Under Armour a lot, they have really nice functional stuff, not so much amazing looking maybe but they work.

And I have this thing that I can’t wear many labels at once… I know it sounds ridiculous, but if you have Nike shoes, you don’t wear Adidas shirt or something. NO! 🙂

But now I’ve come to this conclusion that I want and like to wear more and more sports wear in my everyday clothes. There are many girls in this world who totally rock that and that’s inspiring! If that’s something that makes me feel best, then heck, why not! Thank god, I don’t need to be like everyone else!

You know when you say something like “I will never use skinny jeans” or something like that… it always comes back to bite you in the ass. I did say that actual thing some years ago, and surprise, I only wear skinny jeans… But now I have new problem. A big one for me! I have always, always, always hated the leggings style that girls have had for some years… most of the time they just don’t look good at all. I don’t understand how someone can think that those really used, almost see through cotton leggings are good looking in any way?! And they are not pants! If I can see all your pores and cellulite and even your underwear, is that nice…no!

Well my thing at the moment is that I love training/running/performance tights. And I have always said that I would never use leggings, and I haven’t and I never will. But I kind of would like to wear all those amazing printed tights sometimes, with not my ass showing to the whole world but as a part of my style. Because for me they are not leggings, they are made for actually something and you mostly use them when you need them, not as a “I just put these on because I don’t care”.

So let’s see what happens in the future… I have already been using my running tights sometimes as a “pants”, though after run mostly. But I think I’ll be more of a jeans kind of girl, sometimes wear those tights too :).

But I absolutely love how some brands are getting more and more in to this, let’s mix the performance and street wear into one. That’s awesome, at least a person like me! 🙂

So I have been running, I have been eating and I have been going through some kind of emotional roller coaster but I’m getting back to my calmer self :).

I did couple new records last sunday on my long run, pretty stoked about that!! Feels pretty weird to be able to run faster when you feel like you don’t move at all because of the heat haha.

http://vimeo.com/67394805

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