ICNY is an innovative sportswear brand based out of Brooklyn, New York and specializing in reflective apparel & accessories. Everything from design to production happens at Michael Cherman’s studio in Brooklyn.
1. What is ICNY/please introduce yourself
My name is Michael Cherman, I am 24 years old and the creative director of ICNY. ICNY is a brand rooted in safety meets style – our forte is reflective-wear.
2. Why launching ICNY?
I was struck by many cars in my time of cycling in the city, and many times these crashes could have been avoided by simple usage of visibility on garments. I began making reflective gear for myself and soon after began to realize I should make it for the world. At the time there was not really a brand out there adding signature style to reflective wear. It happened absolutely naturally and out of necessity in my life.
3. What differs ICNY from other brands carrying functional reflective gear?
You will see a lot of brands jumping on the bandwagon of reflective gear
You will see a lot of brands jumping on the bandwagon of reflective gear and trying to put their spin on it, especially today. We really strive to bring purpose to otherwise normalized garments that you would wear everyday. My goal with starting ICNY was to make clothes you could wear on your commute to and from work and not feel like you had to switch up your wardrobe during the day. To make a product you can wear all day long that just naturally functions in the urban environment while still keeping you stylish is a principal we constantly are working to uphold.
4. Is there a typical ICNY audience? If so, who are they?
There are many different types of audiences for our brand. There are many people who just see the reflective as a good way to match to their reflective sneakers, etc. My favorite audiences are the true runners and cyclists – the core audience that truly understands and gravitates towards our products. This goes from the beginner cyclist, to the enthusiast runner, all the way up to the elite ranks of athletes. We work to make a product that can be acceptable to a wide range of athletes and active people.
5. Do you run (or cycle) and if so what does running (or cycling) mean to you personally?
I love to run and cycle. Cycling is truly the one I gravitate towards the most. It’s the sport that means the most to me in my life. I bought my first bike when I first moved to New York City, and from there the addiction began. There is nothing like jumping on a bike and being able to go wherever you want. No waiting for the subway, no expensive cab rides – just pure wind in your face and a direct route to where you want to go.
The bike unlocked the city for me and showed me how to appreciate this city for the little things. When you’re riding a bike – you really get to take it all in. Riding over the bridges, breezing past all the people and buildings lets you get to see so much more than when you’re stuck in a subway car underground. I recommend anyone who moves to New York to get a bike and GO OUTSIDE.
6. What makes a run a good run?
What makes a run a good run is when your feet are working in unison with your body as it listens to your brain and heart to be able to create your own unique rhythm right then and there. The ability to be in tune with your own tempo.
7. What’s your favorite time of the year to going running in and why?
All year round I think early mornings and/or late nights are the best times to go running. Sometimes you get lucky and you’re the only one out there running or riding and you feel like the city is yours.
8. Any plans on releasing women’s apparel as well?
We are working on developments as we speak. It’s a market we only want to enter when we are absolutely ready. Womens apparel is very fit specific and quality oriented. You can’t cheap out on a sports bra and get away with it. Women expect quality and execution and once I believe we have achieved that you will see women’s apparel from us but for now our focus is to master our Mens line and get it to the level where we believe it can be.
9. Where will we see ICNY in five years from now?
ICNY is going to be a well-oiled machine
Bigger, Stronger, Faster. I believe in a few short years, ICNY is going to be a well-oiled machine. We just made our first hire in Angelo Calilap, an avid runner and competitive cyclist. He’s a huge asset to the team. It’s adding team members like Angelo who truly care about the product and the purpose that mean the most to the company. As we grow and add more members to our team , I can only hope we continue to add passionate members to our family and continue to grow and prosper. As we develop, we are always looking to innovate and bring new things to the market. We have a few things up our sleeve.
10. Any memorable running anecdotes you’d like to share?
Every opportunity you allow yourself to go out on a run or ride is an opportunity to create a memorable anecdote.
11. If ICNY had an anthem song, what song/track would that be?
I swear there is no song like “Who Gon’ Stop Me” by Jay-Z & Kanye West when you’re riding/running up the bride and pushing yourself as hard as you can. The energy and tempo of the song is something you can get lost in when you’re getting a good workout in.