Deodorant was not the thing to forget in a fitBallet class, this I learned very quickly today. Don't let the name fool you - it lulled me to a safe place, evoking images of sweat-free spaces - plush barre studios and ModelFit-style lofts. Instead, fitBallet is a wildly challenging circuit training class that takes inspiration from the classic positions and the precise form of ballet.
The hour-long workout itself focuses on full-body movements like burpees (hell), plies, squats and push ups. I knew I was in trouble when, already dripping in sweat and flush-faced (seriously, guys, I get so, so pink), my instructor Marc announced that the warm up was over and circuits to begin. While I found out later, in chatting with another student, that Marc is widely considered the toughest of fitBallet's team, I'm inclined to think that any class would be nearly as challenging. Most of the work is done on your feet or on the floor, with a particular focus on arms, abs, legs and obliques.
Frills free, the studio offers few comforts for big babies like me, accustomed to the plush spaces of overpriced fitness classes. At $32/class, I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't wished for an elevator or teleportation system to take me up to the 5th Floor, blasting AC and (sorry, y'all) cleaner floors. Fitballet is done barefoot, in slim fitting clothing that shows the body's lines. The studio, at the cusp of TriBeCa and Chinatown, offers mats or you're welcome to bring your own (I did). Whatever you do, don't forget a large bottle of water, or a towel. The men in my class literally had puddles beneath them.
To learn more or to book a class (new students pay just $20 and the studio is also on Classpass), visit fitBallet.org.
Little known fact about me is that I was a real sneaker girl back in the day. Long before I collected heels and quirky flats - in my late teens and early '20s - I collected quirky sneakers, and among my favorites were the Nike Air Rift. Debuted in 1996, the split-toe design was inspired by the barefoot runners of Kenya's Great Rift Valley and while I never wore the Air Rift to run (the horror!), I was never without at least two different colorways in my collection for casual wear. The open, Mary Jane styling and breathable mesh were a particularly great choice for summer, so I'm super excited by the perfect timing of the Air Rift's rerelease this month. Shop two colorways now - one being a (too quirky for me) print from Liberty of London's archives - and stay tuned for additional, single color styles debuting on May 15.
There's something inexplicably special about holding a book written by a friend. And while I wouldn't exactly call Aliza Licht - better known as @dkny - a "friend" (we've only met a few times), she feels like one via the magic of Twitter.
Aliza would agree. You see, like me, Aliza's native social platform, if you will, is Twitter. Her 140 character bytes, funny, honest and wise, have made her famous within the fashion Twittersphere and beyond, give those aspiring to work in the industry an eduction and those who already do, a reality check.
Her new book, Leave Your Mark, takes that to the next level. Part memoir, part manual, it's a book on mentorship shaped by Aliza's experience. With graduation season fast approaching, I can think of no better gift to give than the gift of some real talk on getting your dream job and slaying it, courtesy @dkny.
In bookstores on May 6, Leave Your Mark is available for pre-order now at Amazon for under $20.
April 20, 2015