Time trials, gold medals, and world records aren't important in Brice Partouche's version of running. In fact, his vision of the sport has a general apathy for competition. Instead of chasing a new record time, the founder of sportswear label Satisfy is chasing the elusive runner’s high.
“We’ve always tried to introduce a new layer to running culture. One that takes the limelight away from performance and focuses on self-fulfillment and exploration,” the designer tells us over email.
The first time he laced up his running shoes back in 2014, Partouche experienced the rush of endorphins and the feeling of euphoria that comes with the runner's high — and he was immediately addicted.
However, he quickly came to realize that his gear was holding him back: "the high is only possible if there is harmony between the body and the mind. Everything I had tried up to that point took away from that harmony, I had to worry about chafing, my phone, my keys — it was very distracting. So it was essential to me that my products added to that harmony."
Its collections of technology-focused running gear break the mold set by other running brands by not only focusing on the runner's enjoyment but by disguising it in streetwear-centered designs.
Partouche’s interests in punk, skateboarding, and countercultures as a whole have provided the brand with an image far detached from your typical running label. When he was 16 he founded his own skate brand, before launching April77, a purveyor of skinny jeans when they were considered niche, which he ran for the following 15 years.
"I always say that runners aren’t just runners and that’s why I bring my influences from my years of skateboarding into everything that I do with the brand. In short, Satisfy is a skateboard brand for people that love the outdoors," says Partouche.
Tie-dye prints, graphics that make you a bonafide "Running Cult Member", and carefully placed "moth holes" inspired by vintage band tees have helped the label conjure up the hype usually reserved for streetwear brands, while still keeping to its core ethos of helping more people reach that all-important runner’s high.
They hit the sweet spot between sport and lifestyle which Highsnobiety Sports is centered around and as part of the multimedia flagship, we are releasing a capsule collection with the French label. Adding the graphics from our latest initiative to a tank top, t-shirt, shorts, bandana, and cap that creates a uniform for summer runs.
Partouche tells us, "I like to think of our design approach like a sound engineer working hard behind the decks of an audio console. On one end you have design and on the other you have functionality. The idea behind Satisfy is to see how far we can push both ends of these spectrums to the maximum without losing balance."
Since launching in 2015, the brand has managed to keep this balance by developing fabrics and technologies that make running as much of a blissful experience as possible.
Two of its most famous developments are Justice, a synthetic fabric developed in-house that combines the haptics and lightweight properties of silk with quick-drying abilities and natural stretchiness, and MothTech which has moth holes body-mapped onto overwashed cotton to provide ventilation in essential upper-body regions — both of which feature in our new collaboration
"By taking what other brands consider "selling points,” like quick-dry and moisture-wicking materials, as a given, it's allowed me to explore a more romantic approach to performance. That's how I was able to develop my ideas around the technologies of peace and silence," says the designer.
Prototyped in the brand's Paris atelier, which Partouche compares to a science lab, the brand is constantly working on new technologies which he personally tests on runs along Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin to perfect all the details before sending them out to pro-athlete Michael Versteeg or its Running Cult Members.
The label’s process of continual testing, whether it be in-the-field on runs or experiments with its development team, ensures that it is creating running gear for you to get high from.
Releasing as part of Highsnobiety Sports on May 11, check out our Satisfy collection below.