Mako 5: Triathlon Clothing for the Couture-Friendly

Andy Garcia in "The Untouchables."

It all started with a hat.

I was about 14 when I saw “The Untouchables” with Sean Connery. It was the first time that I had honed into a single item of clothing, which I thought was the coolest thing in the world: Andy Garcia’s fedora. I went out and bought one and even though I was too old, I went trick or treating dressed as a 20s gangster.  

Jackie Kennedy at a bullfight.

It was when I started dressing up to go to bullfights that I began to be interested in fashion.

I started watching runway shows and watching the trends of the season. I started noticing how the textile draped, the effect certain shapes had, colors, cuts, what looked really bad.

Me in my first 70.3 Ironman.

At 34, I did my first triathlon. I was heavier then and sort of unshapely. I remember trying to pull down on my top so that it’d fit right. I remember thinking, “It’s the best looking outfit out there, at least!”

At 38, I get fired from two different jobs where I was copy editing, something I had been doing for 7 years. It was then I realized that up until then, I was only doing jobs that would put food on the table.

That’s not right.

So I recapitulated and decided that when I turn 40, I will be attending school back in California so that I can design my own triathlon clothing.  

The name of my brand is Mako 5.

I’m also a certified scuba diver and two of the most profound moments while diving were when I went diving with bull sharks and with sail fish. I envied the smooth movements of both animals in the water because I’m such a slow swimmer.

Makos are the fastest sharks in the world with the highest recorded speed at 46 mph. They are also sleek and everything a triathlete wants to be: fast and badass. “5” is my lucky number as well as the number of disciplines I believe are involved when doing a triathlon: swimming, biking, running, nutrition and rest.

I want my clothing to reflect that. I want the triathlete to be excited that they get to wear my clothes on race day and maybe show up everyone else. We train so hard and to get to race day and clothes that don’t necessarily look good especially when you are pretty much butt-naked is sad. I want to bring fashion into my sport.

The image I love and most identify with is from the sail fish swim I did. The feel I get from this photo is how I want people to feel when they cross the finish line in my clothes. 

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