What it's really like to work for a fitness brand

Alicia Pinckney

Alicia Pinckney

Have you ever wondered what it's like to work at a major sports and fitness brand? We caught up with Alicia Pinckney, an apparel designer for Reebok, to discuss all things travel, fitness and career. She gives us the scoop on her day-to-day work and dishes out tips for anyone who's interested in working in the fashion industry. 

City Fit Girls (CFG): What type of work do you do at Adidas?

Alicia: I am currently an apparel designer for Adidas Group SLD (Sports Licensing Division) located at the Reebok headquarters in Canton. (For clarity, the Adidas group owns Reebok, many are confused when I explain that I technically work for Adidas.) My role specifically involves designing for the leagues' athletes and coaches, streetwear and fan gear. 

CFG: How did you end up in this position? Have you always wanted to work for a fitness brand?

Alicia: I moved to Italy in January 2015 after winning a first place scholarship to receive my masters degree. I think this was a pivotal, launching point in my journey. I began researching how I could move to Europe in August and after finding possible ways, I was granted an opportunity that left me with three months to prepare to move. I graduated from my program in December and spent the next year working with various companies including BMW, Stone Island & Napapijri.

My heart was set on staying in Italy, but I received an amazing offer from Reebok International and after weighing my options, I couldn't say no. I did some soul searching and had less than a month to get my life together, move back to America and start over in a completely new city (Boston) where I didn't know anyone. 

Reebok International Headquarters

Reebok International Headquarters

What is the average day like for an apparel designer at Reebok?

The average day as a designer involves meetings with cross functional teams, market trend shopping, researching and sketching. One of the bonuses of working for a fitness company is that a part of my daily routine involves CrossFit (offered at our headquarters) and other workout studio classes that are integrated throughout our work day. These workouts include yoga, spin, kick boxing, etc.

What's your favorite workout and why?

I am currently learning all about lifting - dead lifts, power cleans, etc. I think lifting is my favorite because before being introduced to CrossFit, I would have never imagined that I'd be able to do it. We are lucky to have our own CrossFit box at the Reebok headquarters with trainers who help scale what's best for us. 

What is your favorite "go-to" piece of equipment or apparel?

My favorite go-to piece of fitness apparel would have to be any good sports bra. Literally the best invention ever - holding everything in haha.

Alicia taking a CrossFit class at Reekok headquarters

Alicia taking a CrossFit class at Reekok headquarters

Are you working on any exciting projects? If so, where do you get your inspiration? 

The market that I am designing for is very exciting. We are designing for sports teams but with an interesting approach. We can find inspiration anywhere from the runway to what's in the current fashion market instead of just sport related/fitness sources. We frequently get tickets to hockey, baseball and basketball games for "on field" inspiration, making the overall culture very fun and exciting.

Outside of work, I have exciting projects of my own which include custom paintings and building my own menswear brand, G. Leon. 

What are your tips to anyone who's entering the fitness/athleisure world? 

My number one tip would be to maintain and embrace a work/life balance. Fitness brands encourage healthy living and anyone in the field should take advantage of that. You'll always love what you do - even on stressful days when you feel like you don't have any fuel.