Tracksmith branding celebrates running’s ‘style and culture’

Former Rapha creative director Luke Scheybeler has worked with Matt Taylor, a former competitive runner and Puma marketing executive, to launch new running apparel company Tracksmith.

Photography by Emily May
Photography by Emily May

Taylor, who was most recently global head of marketing for Puma’s running, training and fitness categories, says the aim of Tracksmith is to ‘celebrate and embrace the style and culture of running’.

US-based Tracksmith offers a series of running products, including vests, shorts and bags, and uses fabrics including cotton and Schoeller.

Tracksmith singlet
Tracksmith singlet

Taylor says, ‘I’ve seen running from the industry side and I’ve seen it from the customer side and I had a lot of frustrations. A lot of the major brands are focused solely on performance and we felt there was an opportunity to do things differently.’

He adds, ‘Rapha is a brand we had looked at, so I cold-called Luke and he had very similar ideas for what we wanted to do.’

Tracksmith shorts
Tracksmith shorts

Scheybeler runs consultancy Scheybeler+company, which he describes as a ‘start-up incubator’. He has also taken the role of co-founder and chief creative officer of Tracksmith.

Scheybeler says that for both the branding and product design it was very important that ‘everything makes sense and we take a holistic approach’.

Taylor says the Tracksmith name was chosen with ‘track’ to represent the idea of competition and ‘smith’ to represent craftsmanship and quality.

He says, ‘When we chose the name, the process was literally about putting a thousand names on a board. We wanted something established and substantial.’

Photography by Emily May
Photography by Emily May

For the products, Scheybeler says Tracksmith is very influenced by ‘collegiate American sportswear and US menswear brands’.

He adds, ‘A lot of the concepts used in fashion came from sportswear, such as button-down collars.’

Tracksmith uses several marks, with the running hare being the only consistent. Scheybeler says, ‘Some people have pointed out to us that obviously in the fable the hare came second to the tortoise and we quite like this – we’re more about the spirit of the sport than brutally crushing the opposition.’

Photography for the initial communications has been shot by Emily May. Scheybeler says, ‘We went to Vermont and ran a mini-training camp and just tried to leave the runners alone – for a creative director that can be quite hard.’

Photography by Emily May
Photography by Emily May

Tracksmith is currently selling online through its website, which Scheybeler describes as the ‘key brand platform’.

Taylor says the company will aim to focus on events and ‘non-traditional retail’ as well as listening to customer feedback and developing new products.

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  • Paul Machin November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nice garms. But ‘Tracksmith’ is a lazy bit of naming – we already have Peppersmith, Sipsmith and probably more smiths besides.

    At least with Rapha there’s a solid historical resonance (the product of real passion and research), which I’m certain is one of the reasons why it’s been massively successful.

    This brand feels empty by comparison.

    Still, I’d definitely wear those short shorts…

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