Fight veteran Ivan Salaverry has been missing from the MMA spotlight since he hung up his gloves just over a year ago and announced his retirement from the UFC. Since then, he’s been keeping busy teaching the next generation of fighters and joining former students, Dan Dejos and Karlo Reyes, in the development of lifestyle clothing brand called VXRSI (pronounced Versailles).
“There are a lot of cool MMA clothes I like. I have respect for other brands since that’s their thing,” Salaverry said. “But I’m so over an Affliction t-shirt. I can’t see it anymore. It’s cute, but there should be room for something light and clean.”
The line won’t be ready until early 2010, but VXRSI art director Dejos said that the brand will give the MMA audience a choice in clothes different from what’s available. “We’ve been developing the brand for half a year, and we’re taking our time to make sure we do it right,” Dejos said.
Dejos designs graphics for the line, creating visuals that capture the action of the sport evoke the grace of martial arts. “I want our clothes to represent the sport at the club, gym or anywhere people go without being misrepresented as ‘that guy’,” Dejos said.
Reyes provides his guidance based on his experience from his own apparel company, Jeepney Clothing. “VRSXI shirts are made from soft, cold cotton. They’re not the tight fitting shirts with skulls, and we don’t want to blast our logo all over the chest in an aggressive way,” Reyes added. V-neck shirts for guys will be available, too, for those who want to hit the club right after a bout. The sports collection will consist of board shorts, tights and rash gaurds.
Salaverry was actually the last to partner with the brand after overhearing Reyes discuss helping launch a clothing brand during training. “My role is just to hang around and act cool. Dan and Karlo are the true leaders of the brand, and I provide the celebrity of my fight status and connections to the industry,” Salaverry said.
VXRSI’s designs stand out among its competitors, and Salaverry knows that the road less traveled is often the path of most resistance. But the former fighter is having fun with his new venture.
“I’ll look over some pastels and neutral colors and even some look books if you need me to,” Salaverry said.