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My Look For The 2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards

It’s been exactly a week since Toronto gathered to celebrate the creme de la creme of Canadian fashion at the 2019 CAFA’s and I am still not over this dress yet. I don’t think I will ever be!  This is one of the rare nights out of the entire year where everyone puts a little extra “sumthin” into their look and does their damn best to wear and support the amazing fashion talent coming out of this country.

2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter

2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter
With Canadian fashion designer and STITCHED contestant Christopher Paunil

Lots of commentary on Instagram stories about what I should wear when I posted stories from Christopher Paunil’s designer, the Toronto based design talent who created this beautiful fit and flare gown. If you’ve ever looked for a wedding dress from a Canadian designer you 100% have come across his work. If you’re fashion obsessed, his name isn’t new to you either or perhaps you may recognize him from STITCHED, the fashion focused competition show that aired last year on Slice. Christopher’s bread and butter if you will is bridal and he absolutely kills the game, but his evening wear is actually my fave. I’ve had a long time love affair with the designer and have worn him many times, but this dress just seemed extra special. Every single piece of clothing I have ever worn that he has designed, has fit like a glove and always makes the decision on what to wear so difficult. There were four looks in the running for CAFA this year and it all came down to the the sexy “Ezra” gold sateen jumpsuit and the stunning “Emmy” fit and flare gown in the end. Both are part of the designer’s current collection and the latter is available by order for $2,250.00.

2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter
left to right: Stylists Talia Brown-Thall, Liv Judd, and Zeina Esmail
2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter
With Nadia Pizzimenti and Talia Brown-Thall
2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter
a quick selfie taken at the Joe Fresh table before the awards commenced

So, this was the second time I shared my outfit options from a designer’s studio on my IG stories and you know what…I actually LOVE you guys weighing in and sharing your perspective on what you feel is the best choice. I am thinking this may need to now become a thing because this time around, it totally helped me make my final decision. Although, so many of you did rally behind the jumpsuit, but not to worry, I am actually going to buy it . To be honest, the houndstooth fabric just looked so stunning when I tried it on and the drama of the large bow and train at the back just took shit to the next level. Because of that, I wanted to keep my make-up relatively simple and opted for a subdued smokey eye and a punch of colour on my lips.

2019 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards - Sasha Exeter

Photography by Chris Cheung and George Pimentel

I cannot take credit for the make-up. I don’t have the skill set to beat my own face like this. My beauty look was courtesy of the amazing team at Charlotte Tilbury. The goal was to create a flawless look, but one where my skin still looked real and not airbrushed like that IG make-up look that is becoming so popular. . My MUA that day, Sidonie, mixed a bit of the Hollywood Flawless Filter as a complexion booster in deep bronze with the Magic Foundation. Guys, Charlotte Tilbury has been slaying palettes lately. I have several eye palettes I die for, but I have yet to purchase any of the cheek palettes. We use Lovegasm on my face last week and it will for sure be my next Charlotte beauty purchase. Even the packaging of it is absolutely stunning.

For the lips, I ditched my original idea of going with Charlotte Tilbury’s “Stoned Rose“, a more neutral colour and decided to go big and bold with a beautiful orangey-red matte lippy called “Tell Laura”. I topped of the look with some custom lashes from Teka Neufville. They are the most beautiful and durable strip lashes I think I’ve ever worn. Super light on the lash line and can last up to 40 wears.

Special thank you to the amazing Christopher Paunil and Sidonie who is part of the amazing team at Charlotte Tilbury Holt Renfrew in Yorkville.

A Night At The Opera(nation)

Well folks, I don’t normally post about events on my site but there was so much love for the dress I wore to last week’s Canadian Opera Company’s Operanation that I’ve decided to post some photos and details on my look here. As soon as I heard that this year’s Operanation party was going to have a whimsical fairytale theme, I’m not going to lie, I got pretty stoked. The concept of formal has seemed to have disappeared over the last few years, which makes me really sad. Somehow denim has made it’s way into events where the invitation clearly cites “formal” and I think it’s time we bring some glam back to the Toronto scene.

COC Operanation - Narces Yasmin Gown
Wearing the “Yasmin” by Narces. Shoes by Rene Caovilla from David’s Shoes. Shot by David A. Pike

In the past, I have been very predictable and safe with my evening wear options. Black, black anything form fitting, oh and did I say black? I promised myself this year I would wear more colour and so far…so good. I love supporting Canadian designers because we have so much amazing talent in this country. I got to wear a dream of a dress designed by the beautiful Nikki Yassemi, the creative mind behind Narces, a Toronto based womenswear line that specializes in bridal, evening and special occasion ready-to-wear.

COC Operanation - Narces Yasmin Gown

COC Operanation - Narces Yasmin Gown

The bestest friend a gal can have and the perfect fairy godmother to Maxwell. Talia Brown has really helped me evolve my personal style during our four year friendship. Talia is in Self Portrait from Fitzroy Boutique.

There were several options, making it nearly impossible to choose, but narrowed them down to about five with the help of my best friend and stylist, Talia Brown. She knows me and my body better than anyone in the world. Yes, even better than Réjean…so outfit decisions for big events are rarely made without her. I was also lucky enough to get instantaneous feedback from so many of you guys when I posted our front runners on IG stories. THANK YOU FOR THAT! It made my decision that much easier and it was also surprising to hear that you all loved the pink belted “Felixa” ball gown with pockets. That one was a no brainer for a fairytale theme, but after much deliberation and the coaxing of Nikki, we went with the Yasmin gown. You can find on her website Narces.com and is available as pre-order dress only. Her stance on it,

“Everyone can do a ball gown, but why don’t you put your own twist on the theme and make it a bit sexy? This is a sexy fairytale!”

And you know what, she was right. This piece of magic is made of the most beautiful colour tulle with a slit that hit at just the right place. The belt detail is intended to be worn at the front, but at the very last minute I decided to switch it up and wear the bow in the back to enhance the train.

Here are some of my favourite photo moments from the evening

COC 2019 Operanation
L to R: Andrew Lovesey, Me, Nikki Yassemi of Narces, Talia Brown-Thall, Nelson Thall
COC 2019 Operanation
The most entertaining plus one ever – Andrew Lovesey

Speaking of amazing dresses and evening soirées…I am in the midst of planning for next week’s CAFA Awards and the gown hunting has officially commenced. You can catch all the dress options and behind the scenes on my stories.

A very special thank you to the talented David Pike who captured the most stunning photos of Talia and I before the event and to Chris Cheung, who somehow was stealth enough to really cool candid moments in the rain, as we entered The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Canada Goose Opens First Flagship Store in Toronto

If you live someplace where you must endure freezing cold temps between the months of December and March, you have probably become very well acquainted with Canada Goose. I’ve collected various styles from the Canadian born Arctic luxury apparel brand over the years that has allowed me to survive some of the coldest winters in history and brisk spring weather without sacrificing style.

Canada Goose opens its doors in the city it calls home (CNW Group/Canada Goose)

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Last night Canada Goose opened the doors to it’s first flagship store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto’s premier retail destination, which is getting a ton of press lately for it’s highly anticipated luxury retail expansion. About 10x’s larger than it may have appeared on my Insta and Snapchat stories, the 4,500 sqft space features Canadian design elements that help to bring the brand’s story to life. Canada Goose Canadian roots are clearly on display in the store with bespoke design elements that connect the space to it’s Canadiana roots; like the ridiculously stunning, oversized single piece marble desk, which was commissioned all the way from B.C. Plus the handmade, down filled upholstered furniture from Montreal based company, Montauk Sofa. And there is no shortage of options to choose from inside – trust me! With well over 100 different styles in 40 colour ways, Toronto’s flagship will house the largest variety of product anywhere in the world.

Canada Goose opens its doors in the city it calls home (CNW Group/Canada Goose)

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

And if you’re going to drop upwards of $1000 on a winter jacket, you deserve a first class shopping experience, right? If you’re in the market for premium outerwear this season, you can expect nothing but first class service from the store’s brand ambassadors; who are also more than happy to hold your purchases while you continue to shop the mall and will give you store carry-out to car or ship-to-home service if requested.

Canada Goose Flagship Opening

Opening Ceremony for Canada GooseWearing Opening Ceremony for Canada Goose exclusive black Chilliwack bomber

Photos by Jess Baumung

And I’m sure you’re all wondering whether or not special collaborations will be available in store. Everyone has been chatting about the brand’s recent work with Opening Ceremony and star Blue Jay player José Bautista and lucky for us Torontonians, both are expected to be available here in addition to exclusive in-store only styles, prints and colours. Get a glimpse at vintage pieces from the Canada Goose six decade archive and purchase both classic collections and new pieces at the flagship, which is open to the public now!

Manulife Vitality: Life Insurance That Rewards Your Healthy Lifestyle

What do you live for?” is a question I was recently asked at work while discussing an upcoming project and a million thoughts and answers rushed into my head at once. Family, love, unity, peace, and health were just a few of the words that immediately came to mind. Sure, I do a pretty good job at taking good care of myself by eating well, working out and staying active, but I have not been thinking about my future in regards to my family/loved ones after I pass. I have always found it difficult to think about death and what happens following but now that I have started thinking about starting a family at some point, the topic can no longer be avoided.

As we grow older, get married, build families and even start businesses, you come to realize that life insurance is a fundamental part of a sound financial plan. For some reason our generation doesn’t normally think about life insurance for ourselves until we are forced to and truth be told, up until a few weeks ago, I did not have a life insurance policy of my own. Turns out, life insurance is more affordable than you may think, so there’s no excuse why more can’t entertain obtaining coverage before any these milestones.

Trust me, I know the idea of life insurance can be daunting or better yet, confusing and it’s hard to know what you really need or want. So here are four reasons why you should be considering it:

  1. To add financial security. Trust me, once you decide to have children, you will want to know your kids (and partner) will be taken care of when your gone.
  2. To protect your family and loved ones if they depend on your financial support for their livelihood. In this instance, it will replace your income when you pass.
  3. To leave an inheritance.  Even if you don’t have any other assets you can create an inheritance for your loved ones by purchasing a life instance policy and name beneficiaries.
  4. To bring peace of mind. No amount of money could ever replace a person. Period. There aren’t many things in life that are guaranteed, but having life insurance can help provide protection for the uncertainties

Photo by Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo.

That being said, I recently discovered Manulife Vitality – a life insurance program that actually rewards people for leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. For those of you who make a conscious effort to stay active, workout and eat clean, these dividends plus the affordable program options just may encourage some of you to begin thinking about life insurance as well, sooner rather than later. This past Tuesday, I got a chance to help kick off the launch of the Vitality program in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, alongside dear family friend, Mike “Pinball” Clemons, Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts. The theme/question of the day was, “What do you live for?” and visitors at the event got to share their answers with the Former Argo QB and two time coach. The Manulife branded pop-up had fun, fitness focused activations and visitors were able to get free bike tune-ups, discover TRX exercises with the help of Goodlife Fitness staff, jump into the boxing ring with Pinball to test out Canada’s first ever “Workout Computer”, receive prizes/giveaways and learn more about why Manulife Vitality may be a suitable option for life insurance.

So how does it work exactly? After purchasing a product with Manulife Vitality, you are then required to fill out the Vitality Health quiz online to see how your health measures up against your age. Through this process, you’ll be given your Vitality Age, which could actually be higher or lower than your real age and serves as an indication for your overall health. Part of what makes the program unique is customization – and seriously who doesn’t love products or services created just for them? One of the best parts about Vitality is that once the system has gathered all your lifestyle and health data; a customized, goal oriented program is created to encourage and inspire people to make healthier choices by using convenient and easy-to-use tools. Manulife has have even partnered up with Garmin to include a free wearable tracking device to make tracking healthy activities a breeze. And not to worry all you Apple Watch and Fitbit lovers out there – you can connect these devices to the Vitality system as well!

Manulife Vitality

As you may assumed by now, Vitality program status is simply based on the number of Vitality points you earn each year which results in a tiered system; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. This status is used to determine a member’s eligibility for rewards and to calculate their annual cost of insurance. By being active, getting regular health screenings and even reading online health related materials, earns more Vitality Points when you track them using the easy online tools provided to members or the Manulife Vitality mobile app. Intrigued yet? If you’re interested in learning more information on the Vitality program or would like to sign-up for your own customized life insurance, head to manulifevitality.ca

This post is sponsored by Manulife, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Nordstrom Presents: Camp Nordstrom in Toronto September 10th

It’s been a long time coming for fashion lovers south of the border but Nordstrom is finally opening it’s doors here in Canada this fall. The luxury retailer has pulled out all the stops making sure the highly anticipated openings of their CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale locations September 16th and October 21st at 10am respectively, are on top of everyone’s minds. To help celebrate the launch of the much welcomed luxury department store, Nordstrom is hosting a slew of events over the next several weeks but the one I am most excited for is Camp Nordstrom fitness event taking place on Saturday September 10th.

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Mackenzie White - Nordstrom Camp TorontoMackenzie White, Model and Yoga Instructor

As a leading fashion speciality retailer offering carefully curated clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty collections, Nordstrom has also entered the fitness apparel game by launching their exclusive modern activewear collection, Zella, in 2007 which features flattering workout separates for women designed to let you to move with ease, a men’s and children’s collection, in addition to swimwear . Camp Nordstrom is a one day only fitness event, hosted by yours truly, where guests will be able to check out the Zella line and participate in one of two complimentary fitness classes led by Model and Yoga Instructor Mackenzie White.

Camp Nordstrom

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Camp Nordstrom TorontoPhotos by JessBaumung.com

What I’m Wearing: “Live In” Leggings and “Pure Energy” Seemless Bralette c/0 Zella by Nordstrom

What can you expect: Taking place outdoors at Toronto’s Sherbourne Common Park on Lower Sherbourne at Queen’s Quay, the Camp Nordstrom event will feature both a morning and afternoon high energy boot camp style class with a yoga cool down, a Greenhouse Juice Pop-UP bar, an interactive photo booth, giveaways and much more.

WHEN:      Saturday September 10th, 2016

                  Registration at 9am & noon

                  Classes commence at 10am & 1pm

WHERE:  Sherbourne Common Park. 61 Dockside Drive. Toronto, ON. M5A 1B6

I will be hosting both sessions and hope to see you there!

#MyAdvantage at Rogers Cup with National Bank

For over 20 years Toronto’s first and only professional tennis tournament has had a special place in my heart. Now known as Rogers Cup, my earliest memories date back to being 10 years old tagging along to watch some of the world’s best players back when it was called the Players and DuMaurier Open. It was then I knew it was the sport I wanted to play seriously and I had dreams of one day playing on centre court. At 13, I no longer wanted to sit and watch matches from my Mom’s company’s private box and starting working each summer on the “Ball Boy” squad, quickly working my way up to an “On-Court” Supervisor by the time I was 15. As a kid, nothing was cooler than being on centre court under the starts for a big match.

National Bank Rogers Cup

As my own game excelled and I began traveling extensively as a junior, I stopped working at the tournament but some of my fondest memories from my childhood has been on the grounds of this tournament held at York University. Fast forward many (many, many) years LOL and I am still heading to the tournament each summer, but this time with clients, brands I work with or to cheer on my former hitting partners who are still on tour.

National Bank Rogers Cup

Frankie AbandaMontreal’s Franckie Abanda – National Bank of Canada Ambassador

This year, the National Bank of Canada celebrates it’s 10th year as the title sponsor…you may have noticed I recently I traveled to Montreal for the bank’s #ALTCourt soirée to commemorate their anniversary. Unlike the rest of the sponsors that have preceded National Bank, their partnership extends beyond the staging of Rogers Cup.  They have helped many young athletes reach their full potential on the international tennis circuit by providing performance grants and brings significant support to the sport providing opportunities for future Canadian starts like my friend Franckie Abanda. And if that’s not enough, National Bank’s “On The Ball” initiative has been a huge hit – no pun intended! The program collects tennis balls that have lost their bounce and places them on the bottom of classroom chairs across Ontario and Quebec. This reduces the noise levels in classrooms, which increasing students’ ability to focus. To date, the program has collected over 1 million balls helping almost 340,000 students.

National Bank Rogers CupPhotos by Meghan Yuri Young 

I am back at the grounds today to watch the top 3 seeded players take on their opponents and will be enjoying some complimentary drinks between matches at the National Bank booth by centre court. If you’re heading to the tournament today, be sure it to check it out. You can win seat upgrades, prizes, plus their GIF cam and cinq a sept (5-7pm) cocktail hour is the perfect way to pass some time in between games. Get social and make sure to share your images on your favourite social channels from the booth using the hashtag #MyAdvantage.

Tickets for the remaining matches are still available for sale. Head to RogersCup.com to purchase online.

National Bank ALT COURT Soireé in Montreal

Tennis has long been known as a heritage sport that still embodies the ethos the game had when it was first created over 140 years ago. Although the sport’s culture has changed slightly over the years, thanks to the new generation of tennis stars, you can still expect to see players wearing “all-white” at Wimbledon, complete silence during match play, and many other traditions. However, on the night of July 7th, National Bank wanted to change our outlook on tennis. Here’s a glimpse of the insanely eclectic evening they hosted at Montreal’s Uniprix Stadium:

To help celebrate the bank’s 10th year as the Rogers Cup title sponsor, ALT COURT (short for “Alternative Court”) was created and luckily myself and 11 other friends from Toronto flew in for the grand soireé. The event embodied contrasting elements one would never expect to find on the court – hence the party’s ‘apropos’ name.  It featured dope light installations, vintage-style games, the largest table tennis set up I think I’ve ever seen; for up to 10 players at a time, tunes spun by DJ Ryan Hemsworth, choreographed dance performances by Tentacle Tribe and much more. I even loved how the models were styled by Tinashe Musara in what looked like the futuristic version of the tournament’s ball girl uniform’s. It was the perfect evening to celebrate this decade long partnership and to help create some excitement for the upcoming men and women’s tournaments in Toronto and Montreal respectively, taking place July 23-31st.

ALT COURT

National Bank ALT COURT

National Bank ALT COURT

National Bank ALT COURT

National Bank ALT COURT

National Bank ALT COURTPhotography by Sarah Birkett and Karel Chladek for National Bank

For more information on Rogers Cup and to purchase tickets in advance online head to RogersCup.com

NBA PlayOffs Ultimate “Girls Night Out” with BMO

“Oh what a time, to be alive.” Drake’s line couldn’t be any more apropos if you’re currently living in Toronto. There seems to be so much going on here right now and even if you’re not into sports, its almost impossible to not get caught up in the energy. The NBA All-Star game was hosted here on the coldest weekend of the year. The Raptors have reached the second round of the playoffs for the second time. BMO Field, home of the TFC and now the Toronto Argos this season, just celebrated their grand re-opening this week revealing more seating and a covered roof – finally! The 104th Grey Cup will be hosted here this coming November and how can I not mention the release of Drake’s highly anticipated album, Views.Toronto is literally on fire right now and I couldn’t be happier to call this city home.

Since the team’s inaugural year in 1995, the Toronto Raptors has had some great players gracing the hardwood; Damon (Mighty Mouse) Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Marcus Camby, Chris Bosh, Doug Christie, Mo Pete but have yet to successful make it to the Eastern Conference finals, but maybe this could be our year. Thanks to BMO, the Raptors official bank and title sponsor,  my birthday was made extra special this week with an ultimate “Girls Night Out” at the ACC for the game two of the Raps/Heat playoff series.  If you followed my snapchat story you saw the arena was out of control. I can guarantee you the team’s overtime win shaved a few years off my life and biting my nails down to the cuticle destroyed my birthday manicure but hey, a win before the team heads back to Miami is all a girl could have asked for on Thursday night.

NBA PlayOffs Girls Night Out

So yeah, not our typical girl’s night but but trust, Lauren McPhillips and I enjoyed every second of our VIP #BMOBallStar experience. The evening kicked off at Jurassic Park, the team’s appropriately named fan zone. It’s kind of intense (in a good way) with tons of activations for fans to engage in but seriously my fave was the Raptor’s replica locker room that was created by BMO. The perfect spot for ultimate fans where you can snap and post shots in front of your favourite player’s locker. It’s here where we almost passed out from excitement after receiving our customized Raps jersey’s with “So Sasha” and “Renegade” on the back. How badass right?!

NBA PlayOffs Girls Night Out

I cannot express how much I detest line-ups. I have actually been known to arrive at sporting events late just to avoid waiting with the masses to get into an arena. But guess what? If you’re a BMO cardholder, line-ups don’t exist for you at the ACC. With a private entrance into the arena, you are treated like a VIP before the game even starts. Seeing as though I’m usually arriving to games late, the other night was the first time I have ever gotten a chance to be court side before legions of crazed fans thirstily show up early before tip-off. And as you can imagine, an empty stadium with seats draped in “6ix” shirts as gifts for fans, which is pretty dope, made the perfect backdrop for pics and snapchats.

NBA Play Offs Girls Night Out

NBA PlayOffs Girls Night Out

As for the game…my anxiety was so high, I don’t even think a prescription for Xanax could have calmed me down. It’s nice to see Toronto fans actually get into a game and cheer their asses off. If you were watching Lauren and I’s snaps, to say the arena was electric would have been an understatement. The game being tied at 84, taking it into the first overtime didn’t help either. To help take the edge off, we drowned our nerves and footlong hotdogs with ridiculously delish Raptors Coladas until the buzzer went off with the Raptors winning the game close to 11:30pm.

NBA Girls Night Out

As an avid sports fan with true love for my city, I’m excited to see the investment being made by corporations in Toronto’s professional sports teams and our childhood sports communities alike. Corporate sponsors like BMO plays an integral part in creating excitement during the season and post season for the Raptors and TFC. Not to be outdone by their fostering of sport in communities across the country with highly successful community basketball and soccer programs that help to breed Canada’s next basketball and soccer super stars.

Thank you BMO for an incredible experience that I will never forget. It will legit to difficult to top this birthday next year!

Nike 2016 Innovation For Everyone Event in NYC

Nike Innovation For Everyone

The fitness apparel game has changed with more players seeking marketshare than ever before. Brands whose core business had only been about high street fashion are now jumping onto the fitness craze bandwagon. With some, actually making quite beautiful contemporary activewear with luxe technical fabrics. This change in the landscape has no doubt left big players like Nike to continue to push the envelope on their apparel and footwear technology innovations. About a week ago I made the longest possible trek from Toronto to NYC (approximately 28 hours and 6 missed flights due to bad weather conditions) to Nike’s highly anticipated “Innovation for Everyone” event.  Tired and extremely frustrated, I had seriously contemplated cancelling my trip altogether knowing that I missed so much of the festivities. However having been to more Nike media events than I can count, I knew that if I sat this one out I would most likely regret it. Similar to previous innovations summits I’ve attended, the event featured TV, print, and digital media from all over the world who checked their egos at the door and anxiously waited for the special reveals of Nike’s most technologically advanced products to date.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for Everyone

On day one, Nike’s President & CEO gave attendees a peek in the breadth of innovations we were all going to see during the event including Nike Air VaporMax; the future of a global icon, Nike Anti-Clog Traction technology that has a mud-beating polymer and will take a player’s game on the pitch to another level, Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 – the world’s first sport informed adaptive lacing shoe and of course the new and improved Nike+ app. Celeb Nike Brand Ambassador and notorious funny man Kevin Hart took to the stage to help kick off the festivities. What came as a surprise to most, the comedian and actor bypassed opportunities to make the crowd erupt in laughter and instead spoke passionately about training and what he’s been able to achieve through social media and the Nike+ Community. To build off the latest updates to the app, Hart hosted a private NRC/NTC combined session for the first time alongside elite athletes Sonya Richards Ross, Victor Cruz, Shalene Flanagahan and Global Nike Running Head Coach Chris Bennett.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

This June Nike+ will get a refresh and the brand promises the new app will inspire athletes to pursue their potential.  And what can be more motivating than hearing Kevin Hart’s voice cheering you on at every milestone? The actor’s voice has also been integrated into the app similar to elite athlete cheers you get when completing a run in the existing platform. What else can you expect to see from it this summer? The “plus” now equates to “personal”. Members will be able to stay connected to the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and the SNKRS apps. And if that’s not enough, a personal store based on the info members provide the app that houses performance product recommendations personalized to members’ sport and lifestyle preferences. Also, a unique QR code that can be scanned upon arrival in a Nike retail outlet allowing store employees to immediately pull products for you based on your profile and reserved invitations to their favourite sneakers. These combined offerings taking care of each step of a member’s athletic life. “We live in a world where technology and data are all around us. Technology is at it’s most powerful when it serves people. And today athletes want more than a dashboard – they want a relationship” says Nike President and CEO Mark Parker. The biggest impact I think will be within the Nike Training Club component which until now was reserved for the ladies. Internally the Nike team discovered that tons of men were actually also using the app and with the workouts designed specifically women, it only made sense to add male-centric workouts into the app to appease everyone. This means that in the future we can also expect to see men incorporated into NTC Live events and workouts both regionally and across the globe.

Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nikki Neuberger, Vice President of Global Brand Member Services

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Adaptive lacing? What the hell is that, right? My thoughts exactly as I impatiently sat in the airport thirstily refreshing my twitter timeline looking for updates from the event I was beyond fashionably late for at this point. Well, the HyperAdapt 1.0 is Nike’s latest platform breakthrough deep utilizing deep rooted research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. The self lacing shoe challenges the traditional understanding of fit as we know it and is said to be the solution of individual preferences and idiosyncrasies in both lacing and tension preferences.  “Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it,” says Tinker Hatfield the sneaker icon behind the Air Max 1, Air Jordans 3 through 15 and more. “We are able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.” This I can attest is true specifically for running and training, the brand has thought of every single convenience function imaginable. From a technology standpoint, Nike seems to have pushed past it’s competition in athletic footwear apparel with this innovation however, I am not completely sold on the design aesthetic. Although relatively light, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the flashing blue light in the midsole, I think shoes with flashing lights are reserved for children under the age of 10, but this design hiccup is certainly trumped over the fact the shoe that ties it’s own laces. Below, soccer star Cristian Ronaldo, is the first athlete to try on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for EveryoneTinker Hatfield watches as attendee locks himself into the HyperAdapt 1.0

Nike Innovation For Everyone Tiffany BeersNike Senior Innovator Tiffany Beers played an integral role in the development of this shoe and is also known for her work on the self lacing Nike Mag, Air Yeezy, Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard collabo, the ParaNormans and more.

When I finally got to the event grounds, I immediately beelined for the shoe to see if first hand. When you step into the shoe, your heel hits a sensor and the system automatically tightens. Then there’s two buttons on the outer side of each shoe’s upper to tighten and loosen if necessary so you can adjust until the fit is perfect providing a tailored-to-the-moment custom fit. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available ONLY to members of the Nike+ community beginning holiday 2016 in three colour ways. Click here if you would like to receive a notification when the shoe becomes available.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Air VaporMax

Nike continued to tackle technology in footwear by redefining and re-developing the widely adored Air Max shoe. Debuting in 1987, the Air Max was the first shoe to have a visible air cushioning unit. If you’re old enough to remember it’s inaugural release like me, you have literally seen the legendary shoe transform in the 90s when the entire sole because an air unit. The next leap in technology is Nike Air VaporMax’s standalone outsole.

Nike Air Vapor Max

The VaporMax doesn’t require the air unit to be insulated anymore by a secondary rubber layer for added durability and protection and has more air than ever directly under the feet. They did have a size 8 on display and of course I squeezed my size 9 foot into the shoe to take it for a quick test drive. Having a Flyknit upper combined with eliminating the bulk of a foam layer, the shoe significantly reduces waste and weight while increases flexibility. I tried to get the dish on available colour ways but seeing as though this shoe won’t release until spring 2017 (yes you read that correctly) this decision has yet to be made.

Nike Innovation for Everyone

Having missed an entire day of announcements and excitement, I had to get a crash course in the remaining vignettes throughout the innovation grounds. I crept up to the KD9 booth where Kevin Durant sat perched on a chair for what seemed like hours surrounded in masses of media, microphones and cameras all there to learn about the shoe’s design elements, inspired by Kevin’s new found love of photography and combines flyknit uppers with Zoom bags, first hand from the ball player and Nike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang.

Nike Innovation For EveryoneNike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang

Nike Innovation for Everyone

And what seemed to fascinate most, even if they were there for running, training and basketball categories was the new Anti-Clog Traction technology for football (soccer). This redefining technology literally repeals dirt off the footbed of the cleat avoiding mud buildup that creates added weight to the shoe throughout a game in inclement weather conditions:

If you can believe it, all of that went down within the five hours I was in the city before having to rush to head back to the airport butI did manage to squeeze in the reveal of the Olympic kits for the upcoming games in Rio and chatted about training, go-to beauty products and boyfriends with Canadian 800m Olympic hopeful Melissa Bishop.
Nike Innovation of Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nike VP of Footwear Innovation Tony Bigell speaks to the System of Performance for Allyson Felix’s Track Spike
For more details on Nike’s “Era of Personalized Performance” and complete list of 2016 innovations that you can expect to see in the near future click here.

NBA All-Star Weekend Toronto NTC Court Fit Experience

NTC Court Fit

NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto may be over but I am still feeling the effects of our special basketball inspired NTC workout lead by Nike Master Trainers Eva Redpath and Emily Hutchins. At 6:30am on Sunday morning we arrived at Mattamy Athletic Centre, which was converted into a Jordan Brand court for the weekend. To help take the sting off having to wake up at 5:30am after a long week of events, Nike treated the ladies to a braid bar experience pre workout. Just before our sweat sesh commenced, we were introduced to Canadian Olympian basketball player (and former Notre Dame Fighting Irish) Natalie Achonwa. The 6’3″ Forward, who currently plays for the Indiana Fever, graciously helped us through the ball handling skills after a dynamic warm-up and killer workout created by Em and Eva, based fundamental Nike Training Club exercises from workouts in the NTC+ app. And it wouldn’t be a ball workout if suicide sprints weren’t in the mix too.

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Live

NTC Court Live

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

All the pieces we wore for the early morning workout were super lightweight, breathable, and the tights had just the right amount of both stretch and coverage. A workout with both cross training and agility/speed drills needs the right pair of shoes. The Lunar Sculpt Training shoe has a form fitting upper that offers lightweight support and plus the lunarlon midsole provided the responsive cushioning we needed for the plyometric jumps during in the workout.

Don’t have access to Nike Master Trainers in your city? No problem…download the NTC+ Nike Training Club App on your favourite wireless device for free to access over 100 workouts. No matter what you’re fitness level is, the app serves as your own personal trainer and where you can stay motivated from the millions of other female users within the Nike Women community.

What we’re wearing: Nike Legendary Fabric Twist Veneer Tights // Nike Pro Calssic Padded Tidal Multi Bra // Nike Elastika Elevate Tank // Lunar Sculpt Training Shoes // All clothing courtesy of Nike Canada. Shop Nike Women gear now at Nike.com

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court FitPhotography by Jackie Beale and Nathalia Allen for Nike Canada

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