In this era of athleisure, it’s common to find clothing and gear that looks sporty and technical, but isn’t quite up to the challenge of serious athletic performance. But that’s not the case with lululemon’s new Moon Drift collection, developed in partnership with pro surfer and lululemon ambassador Mark Healey. We recently met up with Healey and Ben Stubbington, SVP of design and concepts at lululemon, to get a firsthand look at the collection. One thing’s clear right off the bat: Each piece has been painstakingly designed and tested to bridge the gap between performance and aesthetics. That’s because every item is built around Healey’s globetrotting lifestyle. He’ll be catching waves and spearfishing in Hawaii one day, then heading out to hunt elk in Utah the next.
“It’s really meant to transition between worlds,” Healey tells Men’s Journal.
Healey’s adventure-heavy schedule set a high bar for the apparel in the collection. To make the cut, every item had to perform well in extreme conditions. At the same time, each piece also needed to be refined enough to wear all day.
“Everything here was built first from the point of high performance,” says Stubbington. “We start with function, but it always parlays with the fashion side of things.”
Stubbington and his team worked closely with Healey to develop and test each item. Items like the rash guard and board shorts—both surfing essentials—had a particularly intensive development process. Healey tried out multiple prototypes of each and put them to the test while riding massive swells in Indonesia (according to Healey, some of the biggest waves he’s ever ridden) and Hawaii.
“We’d see Mark testing the product, surfing these huge waves at Pipe,” says Stubbington, “and we’re like, ‘Okay, we really are seeing this product work.’ ”
Even the name of the collection is a reference to Healey’s life. Chasing swells around the globe means he has a hectic, ever-changing schedule, but the natural rhythms of the ocean are the one constant.
“The moon is the only thing I can count on,” he explains. “Its effect on the ocean and the tides, that’s the only thing that’s guaranteed.”
Here’s a closer look at some of the highlights of the collection.
1. Healey Train to Beach Hoodie
This hoodie is an ideal pick for long days on the water or in the sun. “If I’m going to the beach with my family in the middle of the day, I’m in that thing 100 percent,” says Healey. The fabric has a long list of performance features: UV protection, four-way stretch, abrasion resistance, moisture-wicking, and it comes with an anti-stink treatment too. Whether you’re heading out for a hike or lounging at the beach, the hoodie is ideally suited to all kinds of outdoor activities. Thoughtful details elevate it beyond your average windbreaker. The fabric is based off a traditional pique stitch, says Stubbington, which gives it a subtle texture that adds visual interest and keeps it from feeling plasticky.
2. Moon Drift Rash Guard
Healey doesn’t mince words about this one: “This rash guard is the best rash guard I’ve ever used.” One of the major issues with rash guards is chafing. After testing out multiple iterations, Healey and the lululemon team settled on this version, which features a UV-resistant, four-way stretch fabric with an underarm gusset that allows for greater mobility, an improved fit, and less irritation. The fabric is also slightly thicker at the chest to block wind and keep you warmer, explains Healey, plus it’s fortified with Lycra to stand up to chlorine and salt. Healey’s received numerous compliments while wearing it. “Somebody complimenting you on your rash guard is not normal,” he says.
3. Moon Drift Board Short 9”
A good board short is another surfing essential, and like the rash guard, Healey and Stubbington worked through multiple versions to get these shorts just right. They pored over every detail: They chose a sewn seam at the knee because it’s more flexible and creates less chafing than a typical bonded seam, and the slightly rigid waistline keeps these shorts from slipping down in rough water. The zippered pockets are another standout innovation. “Pockets are great in board shorts,” says Healey, “but I’m not willing to compromise on the performance in the water.” So they tried out different placements until they arrived at a winner: Two pockets located on the side of each thigh. That way you can even the load on each side (instead of toting around one pocket bulging with your wallet and keys), and the shorts remain comfortable even while sitting on a surfboard.
4. Healey Train to Beach Short 8”
These training shorts work as hard as you do. The stretchy fabric repels water and resists scrapes, and generous mesh panels at the back of each leg keep you cool. The zippered rear pockets and twin side pockets provide plenty of space for essentials, and small snap closures on the side pockets keep things from escaping as you move. The waistband is another highlight: It’s stretchy in the back to provide good freedom of movement, but the rigid front and tie closure keep the shorts securely in place during tough workouts.
5. Moon Drift Pant 30”
Meet your new adventure pants. Made from a stretchy fabric with hidden ventilation panels, they’ll keep you comfortable on a day hike and store all your essentials. Healey wore them on a recent fishing trip, where they kept him protected from sun, spray, and fish guts. After a quick cleanup (spraying them down with a hose), they were as good as new, he says. Despite their rugged specs, the leg pockets are subtle and the fabric has a stylish, slightly heathered appearance, so you won’t feel out of place when you head into town. “I don’t need to be having lunch looking like I’m going to Yosemite,” says Healey.
6. Moon Drift Long Sleeve Shirt
A great pick for hot weather, this long-sleeve shirt is lightweight and stretchy, so it won’t restrict you as you move. Plus, the entire back side is studded with small ventilation holes for a breezy feel, and the twin chest pockets have zippers on the side, so you can access them even when you’re wearing a backpack.
7. Moon Drift Jacket
A capable, stylish jacket is an essential in any guy’s wardrobe, and the Moon Drift Jacket makes a strong case for upgrading. It’s lined with super-soft fleece on the inside for a cozy feel, and the design embraces unpredictable weather: The cinchable hem (the drawcord is located inside the right hand pocket) blocks out wind, and ventilation holes at the back keep you from roasting in warmer temps. We also love the fabric’s eye-catching windowpane pattern; a technical jacket doesn’t usually earn so many style points.
Check out the full Moon Drift collection here.
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