'Keeping It Real', the New Collection By Tammi Robinson & Earned Athletic

'Keeping It Real' Tammi Robinson x Earned Athletic Collection for Women – now available on earnedathleticapparel.com.


This article features snippets and direct excerpts from the original interview by Christopher Tuazon on Earned Athletic Apparel Blog.


Earned Athletic was born through the vision of professional athletes, highly esteemed coaches, and accomplished entrepreneurs invested in the process towards achieving their health and fitness goals to the utmost level, ultimately inspiring others to do the same.


"That is the marketing piece and 100% what the brand is and stands for, but as the brand has developed it has become more and more clear to me that creating a product and building a brand with high-level athletes helps us stand out from the crowd", said Alan Scanlan, owner of Earned Athletic, "The level of discipline and effort it takes to make it to the top of a sport like CrossFit is incredible and this is now being applied to Earned".


Recently launching its new women's line in collaboration with renowned athlete and coach—and more recently, fashion designer—Tammi Robinson, Earned Athletic chats with Tammi on what to expect with the collection. The goal, according to Scanlan, was to bring out something special for their female followers. "Having three guys run the business made our ranges very male-focused", he told us, "2021 is the year for the ladies at Earned".



Who is Tammi Robinson?


While an athlete and coach by day, Tammi has spent the last nine months working in a new role: clothing designer. So what meaning do clothes have for her? "Honestly, I don't have a favourite shirt or anything like that. I'm probably the least sentimental person you'll know! But if I find something that works for my body and it feels like I'm not wearing anything, it will be at the top of the pile every day." There's a word that best describes Tammi's stylistic priorities: comfort. She grew up in baggy jeans, skateboarding shoes, and six-foot wallet chains, far less typical than girls her age. But that didn't matter because she was never afraid of going against the grain to feel more comfortable, genuine, and honestly herself. This bottom line has been the foundation for her career, which took her to Bali to train as an elite athlete, California with a third-place team finish at the CrossFit Games, and now Hong Kong as a coach and athlete. This path connected Tammi to Alan of the Earned Athletic Team, who convinced her to take the brand in a new direction.


The Design Process


Although Tammi had never designed a piece of clothing, she was up for the challenge of making a training outfit for her athletic frame while providing the quality to stand up for a high training demand. These two qualities proved to be difficult to find in Asia, let alone anywhere.

The current state of women's activewear can find quality in high-end labels like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty. While the quality of their pieces is undeniable, they are usually flattering for a slim figure and accommodate mostly lower-impact exercises. Unfortunately, female athletes typically find that yoga outfits don't last too long under the barbell. It seemed that the only real solution for Tammi was to make what she and her gym friends couldn't find, which was why Alan reached out to her. "When Alan asked me to help make a new product line, I was already in discussion with another brand to do the same. The deciding factor was that Alan made me a part of the design process from start to finish."


"This was all about what Tammi likes to wear in the gym", said Scanlan, "We went through quite a long sampling process to get the fabric blend right, the cut and design as per Tammi's taste, and to make sure these items can handle a hard workout".



Trial & Error


Once Tammi identified the goal of her clothing, identifying the pieces was easy: a durable sports bra and a pair of leggings. Next came the design process—less than easy. "There was a lot of back and forth. I didn't even know if my feedback was useful or understandable! I don't know fabrics or cuts or stitches, so I could only describe the kind of feel I wanted and hope the factory team knew what to do with that. In the end, I gave Alan feedback of each batch with video to demonstrate, he talked to the factory, and we both waited for the next prototype."


"Getting the right fabric was definitely a challenge and the right cut on the sports bra took several samples", said Scanlan, "Working directly with factories in China can be hard, the language barrier (thank god I don't have to try and speak Mandarin) for one and also just understanding their way of thinking is very different, so being very clear on instructions is important". Of course, there were communication issues. In one instance, there was a plan to create a training shirt. After asking for a "little more stretch" in the cotton, she received what can only be described as a surfing rashguard. They ultimately abandoned the shirt idea altogether. As the months rolled on, Tammi, Alan, and the factory found their groove and made adjustments every step of the way. Upon reflection, the process of making the right clothing was not different from her gym training. She set her eyes on a goal, made every effort to address weaknesses, took stock of every win and frustration, and repeated as long as the process needed.


When It's Ready


There was never a set end date for Tammi's project. The only goal was to create the clothing she wanted. But after nine months of testing, revision, and redesign, she found her breakthrough. "There were a lot of drafts that I didn't love. There was always a little problem here or there. I really couldn't see an end to the process until the day I reached for my clothing first. These two pieces are now always at the top of my clothing pile."



Keeping It Real: Who's It For


When it came time to create a name for the line, Tammi wrestled with different themes that embodied her own values. One touched on her wanderlust, while another focused on her identity as a free spirit. But at her core, her genuine attitude guided her decision as always. "Keeping It Real is 100% me, and I'm proud to see my name on it. These pieces and this name embody me, the clothing, and the whole process. Everyone should be free to be their authentic self. Everyone should feel completely as comfortable in their clothes as they are in their own skin. Everyone should believe in and love what they do. If this is who you are and what you strive to be, we made these clothes for you."


This article features snippets and direct excerpts from the original interview by Christopher Tuazon on Earned Athletic Apparel Blog.



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