St. Louis Native Daniel Shapiro Launches Athletic Apparel Brand Fourlaps
St. Louis native Daniel Shapiro is celebrating the launch of his new line of athletic apparel, Fourlaps, which debuted on the web this week. Shapiro, who is now based in NYC, is passionate about providing a functional collection of activewear that compliments the busy man’s lifestyle, in addition to keeping close ties with the St. Louis market. We chatted with the founder to get all of the details of the Fourlaps launch, and why its continued connection to St. Louis is vital to the brand.
Can you tell us about the concept of your brand and why it’s different than the other activewear lines out there?
Fourlaps is a unique men’s athletic apparel brand for so many reasons. I’ve been fortunate enough to be introduced to some of the most influential editors and stylists in the fashion industry who have all said that the styling, the premium fabric, design quality, and the functionality are all impressive and fresh. Those details, along with the very accessible prices [a majority of the line is under $49.50], make Fourlaps different—my goal from day one.
We pay attention to the small details from the red, white, and navy zippers on the rush short, jogger, and hoodie, to multiple pockets—side pockets, a zipper pocket, and an interior stow pocket to keep your cell phone in place—on every pant and short. Our products are built to fit an active guy’s life.
What inspired you to launch Fourlaps?
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to start an apparel company. I had plans to start a company in my mid-20s, but I received the invaluable advice from a close family friend, Stanley Tanger, who was very successful in retail and started the Tanger Factory Outlets, that I needed experience before going out on my own.
So in 2003, I started working in corporate retail. I spent more than 10 years working in merchandising for some of America’s greatest apparel brands, and in 2013, I decided the timing was right to start Fourlaps.
I saw a gap in the market when it came to athletic apparel brands for men. The right combination of functionality, form, and accessibility just wasn’t out there. I knew I wasn’t alone in that feeling and was inspired by the opportunity to create something honest, fresh and approachable. After a few years of immense research and sample upon sample upon sample creation and testing, the resulting line makes me feel like Fourlaps will fill that gap for guys.
Why did you choose to make some of the pieces locally in St. Louis?
St. Louis has been so central to my life. I grew up in St. Louis and stayed there all the way through high school (Clayton, ’94) and college (Wash U, ’98). My family still lives in St. Louis, and I come home often. I really wanted to support my hometown and the people of St. Louis because it has played such an important part in my upbringing and who I am today—from my work ethic to my style. It was actually my father who introduced me to Randy Vines from STL Style. They have been great to work with, and I am really proud of the product we’ve created together.