How one night of DIY created a Republic

I recently read a quote, “Creativity is Imagination and Imagination is for everyone”. This made me smile.

Muscle Republic Founder Vic Gigliotti
(Left to Right) Muscle Republic founder Vic in his first fitness comp, the first tee that he cut sleeves off, and wearing a new arrival (Creed Long Sleeve in Navy) with CEO Charlie Brown.

The Beginning of Muscle Republic

I always get asked how I started an apparel brand and why. I used to struggle with the answer as I felt it was too simple or too basic to inspire anyone but I believe now it is the simplicity which makes the story more real and engaging.

Back in 2012 I trained for my first bodybuilding comp, at the time I didn’t realise that my mind and energy were transforming more than my physical body. Training twice a day meant I was running out of gym clothes - fast, so I had to come up with a solution.

“Be thankful for your problems, they may be opportunities in disguise”

So I started cutting the sleeves off my old T-shirts. The night before, I would pack my clothes and plan my outfits for the following day’s training (a morning cardio  session, work clothes, and an afternoon weight session). When looking for new activewear, I couldn’t find anything I liked and there weren’t any brands that appealed to me, nothing that had a real story behind it.

I remember having plenty of time on my hands at night as I wasn’t going out so I would grab a pair of scisscors and cut the sleeves off my old tees. Once 2013 rolled around, I decided to start making my own and would sketch all the ideas I had inside my head into my notebook which I still have.

Vic's Original Notebook
Vic's Original Notebook from 2013

Creativity is for everyone

The creativity quote above brings me back to my childhood. I remember my mum would sit with me and my siblings in the backyard and tell us stories of how she grew up poor in Italy during the 1950’s - she would look at the clouds in the sky and imagine them into shapes of dinosaurs and mythical characters to keep herself entertained. This generation were creative, they faced problems with no distractions (television, internet etc) and relied solely on the mind to come up with solutions.

I remember as a kid and loving Sylvester Stallone (still his biggest fan), my mum had bought me this blue RAMBO first blood T-shirt. Man I loved that shirt… and I wore it everywhere. I remember it was a bit big for me but I didn’t care - the way that shirt made me feel was amazing, I thought I was RAMBO.

This is the motivation behind Muscle Republic.

More than just activewear

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion”
               -Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

I guess cutting the old sleeves off my T-shirts all those years ago brought back my passion and creativity, my ability to use my imagination again. I want everyone in the Muscle Republic community to feel the passion that goes into making our products, and I hope this inspires them to use their imagination and create the best versions of themselves.

The Process
The design process from first sketch to first wear.

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