Style Interview: Craig French
Friday 24 June 2016
Charlotte Clarke

Craig French is the Head of Buying for Zakti Active, a new brand founded last year in Victoria, central London.

Offeing a range of clothing for yoga, gym, ski, dance, swimming and cycling using carefully chosen performance fabrics that will allow you to look as good as you feel, with great prices, fast delivery and free and easy returns. 

We managed to grab an interview with him to pick his brains about the future of sportswear:

Describe your personal style:

The greatest thing about fashion is you don’t have to have only one style.  There are days where I love the urban look of asymmetric lines in black on black and other days I can be seen in an array of block colours.  But truth be told I am a sucker for a Breton stripe every time.

What was the first item of clothing you ever bought for yourself?

Wow that is going back a long time.  I have a VERY clear memory of buying my first pair or Air Jordan’s.

Any faux-pas you'd rather forget...?

The other great thing about fashion is that you can always move forward.

Tell us about the oldest item in your wardrobe:

Probably those Air Joradan’s.  But I have an amazing Breton Stripe tee that is still going strong since 1992.

What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought, clothing-wise?

I love trainers and I splurged on Louboutin High Tops, I do love them and they were worth the world wide hunt to find my size.

This season you'll be wearing...

Zakti Active.  I am loving the mix of sports and fashion styling.  It’s awesome to be able to rock up to work looking good and be able to hit the gym without having to do a complete outfit change. 

Who are your style heroes? (past and present)

James Dean will always be iconic and reminds me that fantastic plain white tee can go a long way.

David Bowie was amazing in the way he challenged fashion trends.  I’m not about to rock a leotard but it is amazing that he could. David Beckham, Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo are all great athletes that have amazing style both in action and out.

What fragrance do you wear?

Dior Homme

Which is the best dressed nation?

The UK is the home of tailoring.  Men do suits much better here.

The North America do sports really well and can rock sweats and a hoodie better than most.
But I love Japan.  They are always innovative and their shapes, cuts and fabrics always inspire unique fashion and combine the best of both sports and tailoring.

What can we expect to see from sportswear for Autumn/Winter?

Sportswear and fashion are a hybrid now.  The classic hoodie and sweat shirt are now fashion staples alongside the classic white tee. Trainers are the chosen footwear of the masses and we realise that sports clothes no longer need to be oversized and drab and that there is something such as comfortable fashion.  

Men’s wear will be dominated by gear that you can wear causally that functions.  Merino Wool will continue to rise in awareness as the functional element of the temperature regulating properties and natural antibacterial qualities are understood.  Stretch Chinos that are smart for work but also great for to and from the gym are fast becoming staples alongside antibacterial quick dry tees for layering every day.  One of my favourite Men’s pieces are the Zakti Active Jackets that are both causal, on trend and fully waterproof so there is no need to carry around an umbrella. 

How do you recommend men can work athleisure trend into their wardrobe?

Stretch Chinos, Merino Tees and classic quick dry tees and the best starting points.  They are smart, comfortable and easy to mix and match.  Merino Tees are soft and comfortable and have great texture so go well with denim and smart trousers.  Quick dry tees are prefect to keep you cool and sweat free layered under sweaters and shirts when moving from hot to cold on public transport or in the summer sun.

A great pair of casual trainers work well for a gym work out, they match to your favourite sweats when running errands and still look really cool with jeans and Chinos.

Buy a casual waterproof sports jacket.  It can go with denim, sweats and formal trousers  but is super functional keeping you dry.  You won’t want to run a marathon in it but it is breathable to allow you to run for the bus and you won’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain. 

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