Style & Shopping

Made in NoCo: Akinz

Fort Collins fitness fashion to help you find your wings.

The Akinz lifestyle brand was born in Suzanne Akin’s tiny Houston, Texas, studio apartment, her first sales sold from the trunk of her purple Mini Cooper at wakeboarding events and bars.

The 35-year-old founder and designer had been a retail manager, restaurant manager, a ski school ticket office manager. But Akin remembers the moment her brand launched. She was on the water wakeboarding four days a week and her laptop screensaver was of professional wakeboarder Dallas Friday soaring through the air. Akin added  a photo of herself  and a note that said, “Someday I’ll fly.”

“Wakeboarding is what inspired me to start a casual lifestyle brand,” Akin says. “The company’s ‘Find Your Wings’ motto is about motivating yourself to reach for the extraordinary and find your own dream and motivation.”

Akin traded wakeboarding for snowboarding when she relocated to Steamboat after Houston’s housing market crashed. That’s when her beanie biz and winter casual wear really took off. The Akinz brand grew from tanks and tees to a full line of hoodies, beanies, trucker hats, leggings, dresses, accessories and more.

Seeking a retail space-workshop hybrid, she moved to Fort Collins and opened her 1,000-square-foot Akinz flagship store in 2012. “Fort Collins reminded me of Austin from way back, before it got so big. I thought it would make sense as a place to call my new home and give my business roots,” she says.

Visitors can stop by the Old Town store and see the full Akinz collection, watch tees being printed and employees knitting and crocheting hats. Custom order a beanie with the Colorado flag, funky stripes, catchy neon or relaxed wool—it’s their signature piece.

The athletic wear line is expanding with Akinz lifestyle leggings, which are constructed from special sun-blocking technology and a moisture-wicking, four-way stretch fabric fabulous for jogging, outdoor yoga and biking.

Akinz outerwear is sold in bike, ski/board and rafting shops throughout the state.

The Essentials

The concept: Adventurous, handcrafted apparel and accessories made to move with you indoors and out

Big seller: Akinz Galaxy Leggings ($52) (above); they’re second-skin glorious

Watch for: Expanded legging selection and prints, biking and lifestyle socks

Follow: @akinzboardwear on Instagram

Go there: 15 Old Town Square, #132, 970-682-1750, akinz.com

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