Being a runner has been a part of Matt Taylor’s identity for nearly his whole life. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he went from being the fastest kid in gym class to crushing high-school basketball and baseball with his speed. But he really hit his stride at Yale, where he also developed a penchant for gear that he parlayed into a marketing gig at Puma post-graduation. After a few years working on, among other things, collabs with Olympians like Usain Bolt, Matt started looking for ways to reconnect with his pace-setting heyday and the stuff that went with it—Ivy League-esque pieces with the distinctive, almost-throwback personality of the uniforms he rocked as an undergrad.
So in 2014, after three years spent laying groundwork—he discovered a special kind of antimicrobial mesh with a Swiss factory and collaborated with British design guru Luke Scheybeler on the look—Matt fired the starting pistol on Tracksmith, a collection of collegiate-inspired and hyperfunctional shorts, tanks, and windbreakers with a (discreet, promise!) leaping hare logo. And while Matt wouldn’t at all mind if you walked your dog or grabbed coffee in his stuff, he really, really suggests you give it a run for its money. “I started Tracksmith in part because of my passion for running as part of a team—there’s something really special about that dynamic that becomes part of your lifestyle,” Matt explains. Proof of his commitment to that mile-logging lyfe: The company's first office is right at the Boston Marathon halfway marker, and Tracksmith’s first retail shop is next to the finish line. —jane gauger