Like the outcome of the rematch in Rocky II, Creed is an unlikely triumph. And unlike most of the entries in the punch-drunk franchise (with the exception of the triple Oscar-winning original) it’s surprisingly credible, peppering its montages with hard-hitting themes like privilege, ageing and absent father figures, anchored by powerful central performances from Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Not to mention the odd blast of thumping hip-hop.
Once the credits roll, two things will happen: you will experience an overwhelming urge to go to the gym, and you will experience an overwhelming urge to buy some new gym clothes. Creed is like a two-hour Nike ad. And while its star has some way to go to before he shills as much product as the actual Michael Jordan, his sportswear game is tighter than a controversial points decision.
So much so, in fact, that FashionBeans felt compelled to analyse what athleisure lessons you can learn from Creed beyond just “Go to NikeTown”. Gonna look fly now.
1. In The Black Corner
On a symbolic level, Jordan’s almost exclusively black and grey wardrobe, with a bit of white, could be interpreted as him being mourning for his dead father and hiding his true colours. (In his early fights, even his gloves and wraps are black.)
On a sartorial level, a monochrome palette paints an athleisure look as something more slick than sportswear’s normal neon tinge, so it works in the juice bar and the weights room. Mostly black everything also just looks badass. Plus on a practical level, you can get dressed in the dark in both senses – and lack of matching kit is no longer a valid excuse for skipping a session.
Hugo Boss Eveningwear
2. Go Hell For Leather
Even if you didn’t know that Jordan’s all-black varsity jacket was a Nike x Kobe ‘Destroyer’ (sadly now only available on eBay), you can still appreciate how it subtly signposts the character’s attitude. And furthermore, how it helps him box jump over one potential pitfall of athleisure outfits, which is that too much flimsy jersey fabric in one look can come across a bit Tesco tuxedo.
A heavyweight leather – whether varsity, bomber or biker – provides some much-needed structure, textural contrast, plus that all-important ‘-leisure’ suffix. And because it’s a premium fabric, it moves the whole ensemble up a class.
3. Throw A Body Shot
Lightweight gilets are everywhere, including the Creed wardrobe department. And with good reason: they pack almost all of the punch of the bigger versions with much less of the unnecessary bulk. They’re also infinitely more versatile: you can throw them over the top of a hoodie, or under a jacket.
Again, they’ll provide some of that textural contrast to an otherwise jersey-heavy look that we touched on above, as well as more practical benefits such as warmth and water resistance.
4. Shadow Box Clever
Silhouette-wise, streetwear works like the gym to make your top half look bigger. In place of bench pressing, it bulks you up with oversized tees, sweats and bombers, but also by minimising your lower half with tapered jeans, sweats and even leggings.
In the gym, you actually have to build your upper body – sorry. But compression tights or skinny track pants – especially slimming black – can nevertheless give you some Johnny Bravo-esque visual gains. Especially if, like Jordan, you pair yours with a top that has a chevron (stripes work well too) emblazoned across the chest, to create the illusion of a V-shaped physique. Even if you’ve ‘misplaced’ your gym card.
Mango Man AW15
5. Get A Fighting ‘Fit
As with so many recognisable beats of the original, Creed thrillingly updates the iconic Rocky training run through the streets of Philadelphia, incorporating elements from that ‘Gonna Fly Now’ theme with a verse from ‘Lord Knows’ by Philly native Meek Mill.
It also freshens up the Italian Stallion’s grey tracksuit: along with the Jumpman logo, (M B) Jordan’s (M) Jordan sweats boast a modern, tapered fit. When it comes to athleisure and sportswear, fit is often the difference between looking slick and looking sloppy.
If Jordan really is gonna fly now, then it’s not because his trackies are flapping like parasails.