Charity is really cool. It's even cooler when you do it with cool people.

This past weekend (June 3-4), Concrete Jungle Strength and Conditioning (Upper East Side, NYC) hosted a 24-hour row-a-thon, A.K.A. #Row24, for the Manhattan Children's Center to raise money for autism. Thirteen Fit Apparel (hey, that's us!) feel so honored to have collaborated on the event.

There are a few reasons this event hit home for me:
1. As previously mentioned, charity is cool. With so much negativity in the world, it's nice to be a part of the good!
2. My cousin is a behavioral analyst (and a damn good one at that) who works with and teaches autistic children. She's one of my best friends so I'd say I'm passionate by association.
3. It was being hosted by my home gym with our fitness community.
4. Fitness (obsessed) + Design (it's what I do) + Charity (cool) = no brainer.

Before I dive into design stuff, shout out to all who were involved with organizing the event! It was awesome being a part of the Row24 team along with Concrete Jungle members/staff Ian, Stu and Brad along with MCC's Ellaine and Amanda!

Together, we rowed of 500,000 meters and raised OVER $30,000 for the MCC! Because no one can speak to the cause better than the MCC, here's a little blurb from their website:

This program’s transdisciplinary model incorporates ABA, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, as well as sensory integration, natural environment training and family support. Manhattan Childrens Center provides a comprehensive educational approach for children with autism spectrum disorder utilizing scientific research-based interventions that are effective based on years of experience.

Ok-let's talk design THEN we can get to the photos!

The concept was to design something reminiscent of an old-school college rowing crew tee but with a modern twist. The design is pretty straightforward: we've got the NYC skyline with a sun peeking through that can be viewed as both the sunrise and sunset... this carries right into the next portion which is the large 24 in the background. WE ROWED FOR 24 STRAIGHT HOURS!! Sunrise. Sunset. 24 hours. Yea?
Then we had to introduce the rowing portion. Though we weren't out on the water, I wanted to use the oars to keep with the rowing crew idea (and it's just aesthetically a nicer and more minimal design element rather than illustrating a Concept2 indoor rower). I used the term "crew" to group the community together as a team, a rowing team... the crew!
LASTLY, I added a crown to the "ROW24" - the crown from the Concrete Jungle logo to tie it all together!

Here's the front:
For my fashion folks, remember back in like, 2008 when Jacobs by Marc Jacobs tote bags were SUPER in style? The bags went on and on like:

Image result for jacobs by marc jacobs canvas tote

They've got a sense of humor and are really aggressive... I like that. We had so many things to say on the back so might as well go all out! So, here's our version:

Last thing before we get to the event photos! COLOR. Blue is the color for autism awareness.... so blue is what we did.

PHOTOS COURTOUSY of  JEWEL SALES PHOTOGRAPHY. Check her out - she's a gem (see what I did there?)

(pssst.... we designed this one, too!)
(click below donors to check out their websites!)

 R Bar Energy | Wilde Brands | Fiji Water | Essentia Water | Dig Inn | Kobeyaki | Parlor Steak and Fish | Europan Cafe | Google | Anheuser Busch | Chef's Cut Jerky | Deliciously Fit | Rathbones | Arctic Zero

Paige Festa
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When we decided to launch the blog for Thirteen, the initial objective was to improve the SEO (search engine optimization) and generate more visits to the website. But what the heck were we going to write about?! We simply just wanted more words on the website in hopes to attract more friends.

Our custom projects are HUGE to the company but we haven’t had much of a platform to really display the work we do. There is a “CUSTOM” page on the website but to be honest, it’s pretty bland and certainly does NOT give you a feel for all the design fun we have behind our designs/tees. This has been plaguing me for a while because I want to show off all of our projects and collabs!

Then the lightbulb went off. What a better way to talk about our creative work than to do a running blog of past, present and future projects?! HELLO, THIRTEEN UNDERGROUND.

So because now this idea has grown into something that weighs a little heavier than just a blog, we wanted to make it a big to-do! Branding, logo, launch, apparel, the whole sha-bang.

First thing’s first: branding and a new logo… something that represents the blog as an independent platform but still connected to Thirteen brand.

Underground: buzz words like graffiti, subway, street art, gritty, dark were coming to mind. I wanted a vibe that was little more rebellious and dirty than the clean, minimalism of Thirteen Fit Apparel’s designs.

If you follow us on social media (Instagram facebook), you’ve probably seen all the new inspiration we’ve been posting. THAT’S what I want Thirteen Underground to embody. 


For me, creating mood boards is how I get my mind organized to design for whatever project it is that I'm working on. It's easy to skip this part of the design process because of deadlines but I've learned over the last few months that this portion is absolutely crucial for me in order to come up with a successful design. Why? When I sit down to work on a project, I need direction ESPECIALLY when I don't have a client who has a clear vision of what they'd like. Design is so much about feeeeeelings and the mood board is where you put those feelings into an organized visual. 


As previously mentioned, in launching the blog I wanted it to have its own identity, independent from our apparel BUT it still needed to sit with the brand because they are under the same umbrella. To me, this means carrying over certain design elements that the brand already has but then adding to that. Above, you see I pulled the fonts from our logo and Strong Like Rhino design. These two fonts are heavily used throughout our branding but for 13U, I wanted to manipulate them while keeping their integrity and connection to the apparel line.


And here's just the tail end of the development phase (I went through MANY combos before narrowing it down to these few). The challenge was to find a balance between the clean lines and minimalism I like to keep consistent with the apparel but then introduce the "gritty" part. 


Up Next: 13U APPAREL DESIGN DEVELOPMENT! Legit FIRED UP to share this part with you... concepts + design + apparel *heart eye emoji*

'til then,

Paige Festa
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It all started when I texted my sister, “Hey, I need a blog name.” At that moment, I was heading down the stairs to the e60th Flywheel Stadium Cycling studio to teach my 5:30pm class. Because the studio is basement level, I lost service for the time I was down there. When I came back above ground to head home, I received a bunch of rapid-fire texts from Meghan (my sister, previously mentioned), one being a sarcastic comment on how I wasn’t responding promptly enough…

so in response I said, “sorry, I was underground.”
and Meghan said, “Thirteen Underground.”
then I was like, “Oh my gawd, I’m obsessed.”

Concept: Thirteen Underground is here to keep you up to date on what’s happening here at Studio Thirteen (ironically on the 5th floor of the building). Underground is really just behind-the-scenes, in a different direction. And doesn’t it just sound cool? Underground. New York City. Taking the subway. Graffiti. It’s gritty, New York-y, and it’s a little bit sexy.

The idea is to share with whoever will listen (or in this case, read) what this company is all about, from concepts to final products. Here, I want to tell you about collaborations, events, custom projects and inspiration—the stuff that I can’t really jam into an Instagram post or website page.

Being a designer and fitness professional, sometimes I get confused (for lack of a better word) on which to love more; what’s great is that Thirteen Fit Apparel allows me to feed both passions without fear of neglecting one or the other; THIS is where I get to tell you about ALL OF IT.

Up next: a breakdown of the inspiration, concept, mood and development of THIRTEEN UNDERGROUND and it’s branding [insert party emoji].

‘til then,

Paige Festa
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Paige Festa
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