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Kai Kara-France x Engage Athlete Fight Wear & Apparel Capsule

by Christopher Reive September 23, 2020 2 min read

Kai Kara-France x Engage Athlete Fight Wear & Apparel Capsule

Kai Kara-France has a plan for life outside of fighting.

Granted the UFC flyweight contender's career in the cage isn't slowing down any time soon, but it always pays to plan ahead.

A connoisseur of style, Kara-France wants to dabble in clothing design, and he's been given the chance to do so with Australian fightwear brand Engage.

Kara-France has teamed up with Engage to design a collaborative capsule to coincide with his bout against Brandon Royval at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month.

"The approach that we've taken with this is my brand is KKF and we're collaborating with Engage. So it's a capsule that is my own product and branding, and it just makes it closer to home," Kara-France says.

That's what I want to get into on the side of fighting, start up my own brand, which this is allowing me to do and get my foot in the door. It's the start of something beautiful."

Given the choice of three items to design, Kara-France looked to a market outside of fighting and developed a lifestyle range which includes a tank top, compression leggings and MMA hybrid shorts.

"The shorts that I designed are Michael Jordan-inspired kit. We took the 80s and 90s fashion that I love and would wear normally, and infused it into fightwear. It's something close to me, being a 90s baby, it was a given it had to pay homage to that and it's come out exactly how we wanted it to.

"It's all pretty easy wear, it's not too loud so you can wear it in everyday life or at the gym or just casually. It's what we wanted. Go cop it; if you like it, tag me and I'll share it on my pages."

"This ticks all the boxes and it looks cool as well. I wouldn't wear it if it didn't look cool."

Kara-France's capsule is one of three to be released in the lead in to UFC 253, with City Kickboxing teammates and fellow Engage sponsored athletes Israel Adesanya and Brad Riddell also designing drops of their own.

Athlete-designed capsules are something Engage owner Ash Belcastro hopes to do more of in the future, giving the athletes more creative control to express themselves in the form of fightwear or leisurewear.

In this group, the fighters could choose three items between shin guards, boxing gloves, t-shirts, MMA hybrid shorts or tank tops to put their design on, with each choosing a trio that allowed them to best represent themselves.

While not having direct or blatant pointers to the athletes on the actual product, each one will come with a collector's card styled hand tag - with information on the athlete who designed the product.

"People might buy it not knowing who the athlete is, but then see the hang tag and it's bio of the athlete and what the capsule's about, it can grow his platform," Belcastro says.

"It just opens the doors and sets the standard in the industry. No one else is doing it, we're looking after our team and it's a way for them to express themselves through Engage and being creative. Martial Arts are a form of art, after all."


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