This Fall, Suiting and Sportswear Team Up


Tailored suiting and youthful sportswear come together for fall — and in T’s Men’s Style issue, out Sept. 10th. Max Pearmain styled models in the season’s free-spirited look, capturing the quiet confidence it imparts. “Everything in the world feels loud right now,” he said, explaining why he and the photographer Kalim Sadli chose such a serene, minimal setting for the clothes.

Detroit’s Renzo Cardoni draws star-studded following

 Rami Mona moves down a long white table covered in his creations. He shows off a pair of wine and gold Cleveland Cavalier shorts and a denim jersey with “Lakers” and “Bryant” airbrushed in yellow. He pauses at a tie-dyed hoodie for NFL wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

“I’m putting the Dolphins logo right here,” says Mona, his tattooed fingers passing over the orange and blue dye, “and his last name on the back and No. 14. One of the games coming up, if you watch, you’ll see him warm up in this for sure.”

The tie-dye is a bit out of the ordinary for the young luxury sportswear designer, who typically deconstructs licensed athletic apparel and adds his own flair using leather, denim, camouflage and, his favorite material, snakeskin.

“That’s what I love about these athletes; they let me do what I want to do,” he says. “I send them different mockups, and they give me the OK.”

The Sterling Heights resident, who just turned 26, has designed custom sportswear for such superstars as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Detroit rappers Big Sean and Dej Loaf have repped his Cardoni collection, as has Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Wale and Khloe Kardashian. At last season’s Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons defensive line sported his hoodies.

He’s perhaps the most sought-after, high-end sportswear designer in Detroit. Yet Mona started from nothing in his mother’s basement. Skipping college, he sold his shoe collection for money to start Renzo Cardoni at age 21. (Renzo is a nickname; Cardoni nods to Detroit’s Cardoni Street, where a late friend lived.)

“I didn’t have connections. I didn’t have resources from college,” says Mona, wearing gold-rimmed glasses and a black Detroit “D” cap. “I took something from nothing, and I built it.”

Mona moved production from Shelby Township to the second floor of an Eastern Market mixed-use space a few months ago. He now has 10 seamstresses, two cutters and several interns working on his “team.” A sports fanatic, Mona frequently drops sports analogies to describe his company that produces 50 pieces a week.

“This is a team. If one person is injured, we keep going. We can’t just slack,” says Mona, intimating he’s the key player. “Like, I’m LeBron. If LeBron doesn’t play, we’re not going to win the championship.”

Merging his interests

While attending Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mona hung out with rising Detroit rappers. He wanted to be part of the industry, but he didn’t rap. His interests were sports and fashion. So he merged the two and marketed his product to musicians.

As a test, Mona took the first jersey his mom bought him in sixth grade and embellished it with snakeskin fabric. At the time, sportswear designer Don C came out with hats featuring snakeskin and sports logos.

“I was like, ‘This is it. When he’s doing that with hats, I know can do this with jerseys,’ ” Mona says.

His first item was a Michael Jordan jersey. Mona turned the No. 23 into python snakeskin and the mesh body into leather.

This was around 2012. As Mona puts it, “leather was hot.” He popped on the fashion radar soon after. The first big-name artist to support him was rapper Fabolous.

“He took me in like a little brother. He respected what I was doing and where I was coming from,” Mona says. “Being 21, not a lot of people have the vision of just trying to start their own brand.”

Flash-forward to today, and Mona names Beckham Jr. as his No. 1 fan. Before games, fans can often spot the Giant warming up in a Cardoni hoodie.

“He was my client, but we grew to be like brothers,” Mona says.

Yet his “biggest moment,” he says, was when Stephen Curry’s wife, Ayesha, wore a Cardoni snakeskin-lettered Warriors jersey.

Grinning, Mona launches into the story: Curry’s brother, Seth Curry, contacted him to buy a Golden State Warriors jersey. Thrilled, Mona sent it as a gift. Seth wore the jersey to a few games before giving it to Ayesha, who wore it like a dress the night her husband won the NBA Championship.

“You know how you get married and you frame a picture with you and your husband that will stay with you forever?” Mona says. “This picture with her, her husband, their two kids and the trophy — with my jersey on — that will go down in history.”

That, and the time TV personality Khloe Kardashian wore his yellow Tristan Thompson jersey to a Cavs game. Kardashian, who’s dating Thompson, bought the No. 13 jersey from a Cleveland store owned by Mona’s friend.

“Later that night, we were watching the game. I guess her boyfriend scores a point, and she gets up, and you see the jersey. At that moment, it was just crazy, because it was like two iconic females in, like, less than a week wearing my jerseys.” Mona says. “… Right there, I knew that’s another lane I’m going to work into — making female sportswear and kids sportswear. Not just men’s.”

Customized pieces can reach nearly $1,400 for a jersey and $400-plus for shorts. More affordable merch, including $175 Cardoni hoodies and $95 tees, also is sold online.

Growing up with a mother working two jobs, he understands the prices aren’t cheap.

“I’m not trying to charge people this much because I want to,” he says. “It’s because I have to. We put all this time and effort into a piece; you have to make sure it’s worth what it is.”

Thursday morning, Bree Russell bent over a machine, sewing a red Toronto Raptors jacket.

“We spend more time taking things apart than putting them together,” says Russell, explaining that she removes the waistband, trim and logos from licensed apparel. “Then we add in our own touches: zippers, the snakeskin.”

The 33-year-old Westland resident started as a seamstress two years ago, after she found the job on Craigslist.

“It’s been a really interesting experience to watch this company take off,” says Russell, acknowledging the demand from athletes and celebrities. “It’s always fun when you open Instagram and you’re like, ‘I made that! And that person is wearing that!’ ”

The next collection

Mona always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but his mother served as his motivation to work hard.

“One of my goals was to make her quit her job, like, ‘You don’t have to work no more. I got you, mom.’ And that’s what I did,” he says.

Now Elham Mona only works part-time as an assistant store manager to avoid boredom.

But there were days she left the house at 7 a.m. and didn’t return from work until 11:30 p.m.

“They didn’t even see me,” she says of her three boys, now 23, 24 and 26.

Thanks to her eldest son, she also moved into a new house.

“He supports me now,” says Elham Mona, 57. “I’m so proud of him.”

When he’s not traveling to such places as Los Angeles and Oregon — where he partnered with Nike to give 200 high school football players hoodies this summer — Mona spends most days in the lab trying to create “the next hottest thing.”

“I’m already working on stuff for 2020,” he says.

Coming up, he’s releasing an orange and black Jordan jersey for Halloween. He’s also designing trunks and a robe that boxer Manny Pacquiao plans to wear this fall.

Detroit rapper Gary Thomas, known as GT, recently wore a Chicago Bulls camouflage hoodie while performing at Summer Jamz 20 at Joe Louis Arena.

Thomas, 25, says he’s supported the brand from the beginning and loves its vintage flair.

“I get a lot of compliments from older people,” he says.

Of the hundreds of pieces Mona designed, he can’t pick a favorite.

“Every time I make a new jersey, I get inspired,” he says. “I still get that feeling I get when I made my first one. As far as I came, I still feel like this is just the beginning for me.”

Mona could move to New York or Los Angeles, where there’s materials he can’t buy in the Motor City, but he’s a Detroit hustler. And he wants to stay to help create a “fashion district,” which doesn’t exist — yet.

“It would be dope to see that one day Detroit has a Detroit Fashion Week,” he says. “Hopefully … I can be an influencer and motivate people to build Detroit as one, maybe we can have that one day.”

Adidas extends Number 1 position in the sportswear market in India

Adidas India continued its strong performance in the Indian sportswear market by growing revenue by 22 percent year on year for the financial year ending March 31, 2017.

Adidas, Adidas India, Indian Market, Sportswear Market, Sports Brand India, Reebok, Adidas Market

Adidas India continued its strong performance in the Indian sportswear market by growing revenue by 22 percent year on year for the financial year ending March 31, 2017. This growth is the fastest of all the major sports brands in India. adidas India extended its revenue market leadership position and now it is almost 20 percent larger than the next brand in this space. This was as stated in the adidas India audited financial numbers for Financial Year 2016-2017.

The company also recorded the highest ever profit from a single financial year by clocking almost INR 95 crore (PAT) in financial year ended March 31, 2017. More than doubling its profits from the previous year. This is significantly higher than the other major sportswear brands in India who, with the exception of Reebok, delivered losses in their last submissions. The company has grown on the back of consistent good performance across its popular categories such as running, training and football. It has also grown strongly in its Originals business as it has become the most popular athleisure brand for India’s millennials.

While Adidas continues to perform remarkably in India, the Reebok brand, which is part of adidas Company has turned the corner. It registered profits for its last single financial year and has also grown its revenues by 16 percent year on year. Both Adidas and Reebok brands continue to invest in the Indian sportswear market with a number of strategic and consumer-centric initiatives. Both brands operate across multi-channel formats and additionally adidas opened its first own retail store in Delhi last week. It plans to open a few more in the coming months in its continuous quest to improve consumer experience in India.

Bjorn Borg sportswear aims to become major brand

Bjorn Borg AB, the underwear and sportswear label named after one of Sweden’s best-known tennis players, plans to expand in the UK, Germany and the US as it sets its sights on becoming a global brand.

Bjorn Borg launching his clothing range in Selfridges store, Birmingham.

In recent years, Bjorn Borg has mostly focused on the Nordic and Benelux countries. But to continue growing after 2019 when its current five-year plan ends the company will start doing more in the UK and Germany, after which it expects to target the US, chief executive officer Henrik Bunge said.

“To make Bjorn Borg a global, iconic brand you can find everywhere, the UK and Germany is the next step,” the CEO said at the company’s headquarters in central Stockholm.

“Toward the end of the current business plan, in 2018 and 2019, it’s time to look at most probably the US,” he said.

Since Mr Bunge took over in 2014, a brand associated with brightly coloured underwear has become a sportswear label that offers sweaters, pants, tights, shorts and skirts. That’s coincided with a so-called athleisure fad, whereby people also wear sports clothes outside the gym.

The fame of Bjorn Borg — a five-time Wimbledon tennis champion — should be global enough to help the company compete with sportswear giants such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Lululemon Athletica, Mr Bunge said.

“If you want to become the biggest in the world, you need to be big in the US so of course we need to expand there,” he said.

How to Find the Right Footwear for Your Workout

It’s easy to get caught up in marketing gimmicks and fads when it comes to shopping for sneakers, so we turned to four leading experts to find out how to best go about shopping for a pair — because no one wants to hit the beach with crutches.

Reebok’s head of advanced innovation, Bill McInnis

  • Know the difference between a shoe that’s designed for gym classes versus a running shoe. A shoe designed for the gym focuses more on lateral movement and traction vs. a running shoe that tends to have a little higher midsole height. The additional height is to accommodate the additional cushioning typically required in a traditional (non–barefoot) style of running shoe.
  • When it comes to wearing a shoe that is activity-specific, it’s probably less a case of whether it’s a “necessary” thing and more a question of how do you optimize an activity by using a shoe specifically designed for it. Outside the gym, for example, you could play football or basketball wearing running shoes, but you wouldn’t be as effective. The same holds true in the gym.
  • Running shoes are typically designed for distance or endurance running. If distance running (2-3 miles or more) is a focus of your training, I’d recommend sticking with running shoes. If, however, the bulk of your training time is spent in the gym, you should probably look for a shoe with a little more support, like a cross trainer.
  • If you spend most of your time on the machines at the gym (and I’m excluding treadmills here as running shoes are most appropriate), you want to focus on flexibility as you want your foot to stay active to avoid that numb or tingling sensation you can experience on machines. You also want to focus on a good fitting upper, particularly one that doesn’t bind too tight in the lace area as that can contribute to numbness as well. From our range, either of our RealFlex shoes would be good choices.
  • If you spend most of your time taking classes at the gym, then I think you’d want a versatile lower profile shoe with flexibility, traction, and lateral support. Again, I think from our range, the RealFlex Transition is a good example of a versatile shoe for a variety of classes.

Fitness expert and celebrity personal trainer, Kira Stokes


  • Always buy your shoes 1/2 to 1 full size bigger than your “dress shoes.” You need room for your toes to push forward during exercise. This will avoid the dreaded “black toe.”
  • Running shoes can be used for more than just running. I encourage clients/students to go for runners versus cross-trainers even for my bootcamp style class Stoked 360. Often times cross-trainers are too rigid and although they provide more lateral support, do not allow the foot and ankle to strengthen as they should for various activities. They become almost a “crutch.” This, of course, applies to those who are injury free, without special needs.
  • Know your gait or foot placement — i.e. do you pronate (foot rolls in), supinate (foot rolls out), or have a neutral gait? Go to a store that has experts who will watch you run or walk on a treadmill to determine your needs with regards to extra support within your shoes. For example, if you pronate, you will need a shoe with a footbridge in the interior portion to help prevent the foot from rolling in. This is often times visible with a different color than the rest of the shoe. If you go  to a store without such experts, check the soles of your current shoes to see where the tread is most worn. If the inside of the tread is worn, you most likely need a shoe to correct pronation. If the outside portion is worn, you most likely need a shoe to correct supination. If the tread seems evenly worn, go for a shoe marked neutral.
  • Obviously, fit and function comes first, but if you can find a shoe that accommodates your needs AND looks amazing, go for the cool factor! If you love the look of your sneakers, you will be much more motivated to put them on and kick your exercise routine into high gear. I find bright colored sneakers truly evoke more energy and put you in a better mood. Nothing better than burning calories with a smile on your face!

Director of coaching for AA Elite Coaching, Andrew Allden

  • Go to a running shoe or running specialty store, not a department or general sporting goods store as they will usually allow you to take a test run.
  • Size matters, fit is the number one issue. The biggest mistake most folks make is wrong size — generally too small (this is particularly true for women). You can’t go by what you normally wear even if you have worn running shoes previously or even that make or brand. Running shoes are more true to size than they used to be, but don’t get stuck on a number, go by the fit.
  • Don’t skimp on socks. Don’t get $100 shoes and $1 socks and then wonder why you get blisters. To that end – always wear socks when you run, this will increase the life of the shoe, particularly if you are a heavy sweater. [ed note: Opt for moisture wicking socks.]
  • If it works, don’t fix it. If you have a shoe model that has worked for you, don’t do the iPhone/iPad upsell to the latest model.
  • Go shopping at the end of the day when your feet are at their biggest.
  • Break shoes in gradually. Don’t wear new shoes in a race or on a long run until they have been used on several shorter runs.
  • Minimalist or barefoot type shoes are not for everyone. Just because you know one person who raves about them does not mean you should make that change.

New Balance Pro tips

  • Always wear the type of socks you intend to exercise in when trying on athletic footwear, thus ensuring a proper fit for your workout.
  • Have the salesperson measure your foot — length and width — for both feet.
  • In order to see if the shoe fits, do a “thumb test.” You need about a thumbnail’s width between your longest toe and the end of your shoe.  You should also be able to wiggle your toes freely inside the shoes.
  • Try on both shoes of the pair — don’t necessarily assume that both feet are the same size or that since one shoe fits, they both will. [ed note: If one foot is larger than the other, purchase your shoes according to the larger size and put in an insole.]
  • Take them for a test drive. Many stores let you take a test jog/walk around the block before buying. Walk, run, and jump in the shoes to make sure they are comfortable when doing multiple activities.

Now that you’re better informed as to what to look for, here’s a look at some of the latest high-performance sneaker styles worth trying on, some of which have been referenced above.