The home gym has gone from a high status add-on to an absolute must-have. Following the style-conscious zeal that made exercise a sexy, shimmering leotard-infused romp in the 80s, we now find ourselves in new era of wellness—one in which every choice has to be smart and well-packaged.
When designer Momoko Higashifushimi debuted Athletic x Luxury, her carefully curated line of fitness design products at ICFF, the concept felt perfectly in sync with our look good/feel good culture. The series is comprised of interchangeable units that serve as open-view storage, as well as a large, wall-learning mirror. The Super Yoga Grid ($9,600), made of aluminum and oxidized brass, was conceived as a wall-mounted shelf. The unit has detachable pegs that can be arranged to accommodate assorted gear, like a yoga mat, yoga blocks, a balance ball, set of dumbbells, and even a smartphone or tablet. The Super Sports Grid, as the name implies, handles bigger equipment—think skateboards, racquets, and surfboards.
At home we typically want to conceal our workout essentials, but Higashifushi turns that idea on its head. “Instead of trying to hide the equipment, I chose to showcase and display, it” she says. “This helps users to access their equipment easily and encourages exercise more often without any barriers.” Proximity might be the key to consistent workouts (consider the alternative, out of sight, out of mind philosophy), but is having constant visual reminders of our athletic discipline an aesthetic advantage?
The Power Mirror ($13,300) walks the line between design statement and fitness accountability. The sculptural, oversized piece was scaled so that the entire body is visible, including extended arms and legs. It also works as a stylish element in the living room. A separate Techie Hook can be attached to the mirror to position a phone or tablet so that it’s easier to watch while exercising. The Super Grid Unit ($19,800) is a triple post wall-mounting shelving structure. A Spartan offering that wouldn’t look out of place in a locker room, the piece is absolutely advocating for clean, open-concept approach to storage. Similarly, some of the color combinations on the Grid units are looking to be noticed.Each one is hand-assembled in New York, and made of a combination of aluminum, stainless steel, and brass.The series is also anodized, which the designer wanted for a durable finish and to prevent scratches.
Her own background makes for an interesting reading. Higashifushimi received a BFA in Furniture Design from the famed Rhode Island School of Design and ventured into a fashion career, working as a handbag and accessories designer for luxury brands like Helmut Lang, Zero+Maria Cornejo, and Calvin Klein.
With her namesake line’s first offering, the story is more personal. “Since I hit a certain age, I started thinking a lot about changes in the body with aging, especially about beauty and overall health in women and how mentally it affects us,” she says. “I designed the collection with a hope that it helps us not only to keep us strong, healthy and beautiful but also to accept what we are and who we are at all stages of our lives. For example, I used to not like looking at myself in a mirror, but the Power Mirror helped me to become more comfortable with myself and also help me to pay attention to stand/eat/move just a little more gracefully.”