Last updated on April 5, 2021
I use this word to describe a lot of the people within my small circle. It’s an attribute in a person that I find I connect quickly with, so it’s not surprising that an emulation of that word found its way into my wardrobe.
The term resilient can be vague, but what we do know is that it’s generally thought of as a “positive adaptation after an adverse situation”. It’s the mentality of prevailing in the darkest of times and sustaining a sense of grounding.
There are infinite scenarios in which this word rings true, and every person’s struggle looks different. For some, it’s being able to get through the stress of the day. For others it’s forward motion towards a job promotion. It’s training with the vision of getting your hand raised in a fight, moving up in a ranking, or perfecting a technique. In more delicate circumstances, it can be learning to love yourself, leaving an abusive situation, grieving a loss, or gaining the ability to eat a meal. For many of us it’s the idea of simply weathering the storm for a brighter tomorrow.
If anyone has had a tough time in their life, where seeing the light in the dark as only a candle in a cave, you know that being able to be resilient is not an easy feat.
To better relate to the brand, it is essential to understand the process of resiliency. When people are presented with obstacles, there are three ways in which they react. Either to erupt with anger, withdraw internally, or to simply become upset and make changes for a different outcome. You can go through the first two as a stepping stone, but the only the third option is the one that promotes well being and will encourage a solution. When you are able to shift your mindset, seek support, and see your challenges as opportunities, you inherently reverse the impact to go from negative to positive.
Launching their debut collection in the midst of the worldwide lockdown, RSLNT couldn’t be a more apt name for their brand. Established out of NYC, owners Eric and Aom have introduced an exciting addition to fight apparel. A beacon of hope for normalcy for those who needed it when the world went silent. Being fighters themselves, they have the understanding of perseverance, A trait needed for constructing an aesthetically pleasing, high quality, activewear line. Working closely with developers to conceptualize their vision, they have brought a fresh look to the community while keeping the authenticity of where their brand originates from.
Muay Thai shorts, a prime offering in their outerwear, derive from Thailand and are an important part of what differentiates Muay Thai from other martial arts. Traditional Thai shorts fit on or above the upper mid-thigh and are banded on or below the belly button for less restraint when kicking or kneeing. A stark difference from their boxing counterpart which falls above the knee and covers the midsection. For added mobility, an extra roll or two underneath the waistband will allow for further hip flexibility. Those who train conserve the secret of ‘the shorter the shorts, the stronger the blows’. The RSLNT logo sits on the front of every set of shorts so when you look down, It’s a reminder to keep going and gives the last bit of confidence to finish strong. So, when you see someone training and they roll and adjust their shorts, know that shit just got real.
When I first began training, I only felt comfortable in leggings because that’s what I always wore during typical workouts and shorts made me feel insecure. On top of that, I’ve never competed, so in my head, I felt like I wasn’t supposed to wear them. It wasn’t until I asked around that everyone told me that anyone can wear Thai shorts. It’s a custom, a staple, and is welcomed to all levels of students. Once I started going to more advanced classes, it was asked of everyone to wear them at practice. Those days, I used to borrow my roommate Chance’s shorts that he didn’t wear anymore and began training in those.
It was a special moment purchasing my first pair of Muay Thai shorts. I was hesitating when the person working the booth, who I now know as pro fighter Joseph Muller, let me try them on over my jean shorts and snapped my photo to see if I liked them. With encouragement from Chance, I bought two pairs. Looking back, I’m so grateful for those memories and photos. Although, In hindsight, I got a size too large, which is a rarity as Thai shorts typically run small, especially on women. They didn’t fit well, and were pretty bulky, but I loved the pattern. They were mine and that’s all that mattered. I was so excited and so was Chance. He competed in a pair that I bought that day, which I later gave to him as a gift. It’s now a running joke between us that we always swap training shorts.
Fast forward two years, I have a much better understanding of what Thai Shorts should feel like. They should be comfortable and be a representative of who you are. The first pair I felt that I really embodied, was when my partner and I bought matching RSLNT “Tiger” shorts in black. The fit was perfect and compliments my style outside of the gym. When we purchased them, we followed their account and began exchanging messages. By being so open and honest during our conversations, their immediate response time, and kind understanding, they really stood out as a company. This is what any brand should strive to be. Customer engagement is a make or break for me and though they didn’t have to, they went the extra mile. They repost every photo that their customers tag them in on social media and are always quick with gratitude before you get the opportunity to say it first.
It does not go unnoticed that RSLNT has invested a huge amount of time and effort in constructing a brand that embraces all walks of life. They support fighters from various backgrounds, collaborate with like minded artists, and promote human rights activism. During summer of 2020, they fundraised for Black Lives Matter and released shorts that 100% of the proceeds were donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is an American non-profit organization founded in 1998 focusing on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. You can learn more about them here.
The takeaway is knowing where and who your money goes to. Down to the smallest details of including stickers in the packaging, individualized tags on the inside of the clothing, custom logo stitching, and test runs of each new product before it’s release; Eric and Aom oversee it all, and it’s evident that they take tremendous pride in their work. To kick off the new year, they have expanded from active wear and have included high grade equipment in their repertoire. Catering to the hitter, they offer boxing, MMA gloves, and shin guards. And to the holder, they’ve introduced focus mitts. Ranging from matte, metallic, or glossy and with your choice of colors, it makes us wonder ‘what is next?’.
RSLNT has allowed me a sneak peak to their next few announcements and I promise you, you’ll want to keep and eye out. While the daunting task of beginning a brand deters so many small businesses from ever getting their foot off the ground, RSLNT has maintained a solid sprint with increasing speed since the start. More than just an apparel company, they have come into a niche market and have grown organically in their first year of business. Their fun and ultramodern designs are beautiful, but their ethics is what keeps customers loyal.
Gloves off, outside of the ring, we all have a fight we’ve grappled with. Our personal trials develop us and build self-efficacy. It takes heart and drive to overcome chaos, and they are determined to create a community that welcomes and supports everyone to do that; all while making sure you look good doing it. There’s so much in this world that will try to keep you down and tell you no. You have to remind yourself that you matter, you’re loved, and you can do it. Stay strong out there. Be RSLNT.
Shop RSLNT and follow their social medias below to stay updated.
Thank you for reading!