Parkour Time: 10 Questions with Max Henry

We’re introducing AEO Flex/Denim, an innovative new denim technology that moves with you in three different levels of flexibility — Core, Active, and Extreme — and we wanted to really put it to the test. So, we partnered with the amazing athletes of WFPF to showcase the revolutionary versatility of these jeans and what you can do in them. We featured three parkour athletes in our latest Flex/Denim video and were so impressed by their talent that we wanted to get to know them a little more. Read on for our first interview with Max Henry.

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot intense Parkour


AEO: Who are some of your heroes, and they do not have to be athletes?
MH: I have a lot of heroes! Most of them are fictional (lol) but as far as actual human beings go…I’m a big reader, so I have a lot of respect for my favorite authors and poets (J.R.R. Tolkien, T.S. Eliot, Jim Butcher, E.E. Cummings, and C.S. Lewis to name a few). I’m also quite into music, particularly bluegrass and hip-hop, so I’d call people like Shad (Shadrach Kabango) and Noam Pikelny heroes as well. And of course my mom and dad on the day-to-day level for always being there for me and encouraging my strange jumping habits!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot NYC

 

AEO: When did you become interested in Parkour?
MH: I found out about parkour through my best friend when I was 14 and started training later that day. I haven’t stopped since then so I suppose I’ve been interested since 2007. When I was really young I did gymnastics and constantly jumped around on everything I could see so I guess you could also say I’ve been into it even longer than that. I just didn’t know it had a name!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot action beachAEO: How much time do you spend practicing in a week?
MH: It depends on lots of variables but in the summer I try and train 5-6 days a week for a few hours a day. When you’re traveling and teaching it can be hard to stay consistent with it but ultimately it’s what I’m most passionate about so I always find it pretty easy to make time for training! But in the winter I usually go into hibernation mode and focus more on strength development through olympic lifting and other forms of cross-training. So it’s very seasonal!

AEO: What was your favorite part about shooting the AEO Flex Video?
MH: I had a really great time shooting the video so it’s hard to say! But the best thing to me was probably the general sense of camaraderie between everyone on set. It’s always great to work with people who are passionate about a project but also flexible and open to collaboration. It really seemed like everyone on set was willing to listen to other opinions to try and create the best video possible. That kind of atmosphere has been really rare in my experience, and was amazing to be a part of! The scenery was also really amazing.

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 2

 

AEO: What was the most dangerous Parkour move you’ve done to date? Any injuries?
MH: Well, I definitely try to keep the danger level down in my own training since being injured takes away from the time I can practice doing what I love. I’ve done some jumps at height with serious consequences most people would see as being dangerous but since I know my own abilities I wouldn’t say they are particularly dangerous for me! The whole concept of danger is something that’s really subjective, so something that seems life-threatening to someone who’s never done parkour before might seem simple to me because of my training. But yeah, I never go out with the intent of doing jumps I perceive as being dangerous because my own health and safety is ultimately my top priority!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 5AEO: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
MH: Hmmm…well, I have a B.A. in Mathematics from Hofstra University. I also play banjo and sing baritone part-time with several professional choirs near my home on Long Island. Aaaaand I’m a huge comic and sci-fi/fantasy geek! But if you’ve ever seen me when I’m not training you probably already know that…

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot banjo Max the consumate musician

 

AEO: Greatest advice you’ve ever received in Parkour? And any advice for aspiring Parkour athletes?
MH: Fear is something that is always present in parkour when you get to a certain level and can be hard to overcome for a lot of people. But I’ve really learned from some very good friends and fellow athletes to trust my judgement and accept that you never have complete control in any situation. Being able to have faith in yourself and your will and preparation is important in parkour and life in general. Just ask Batman!

AEO: What was your favorite thing about the Flex Denim?
MH: I love how well they stretched and still maintained their fit, which seems super obvious, but is 100% true. I’ve had some other stretch jeans in the past that I’ve tried to train with and after a session or two of heavy training they always turned saggy or ripped. Not so with these bad boys!

Max Henry AEO WFPF shoot 1

AEO: Where else would you wear AEO Flex Denim to?
MH: Well, besides my pair of Flex jeans and some dress pants, my wardrobe consists mostly of sweatpants and basketball shorts so I wear them pretty much everywhere! Church, the mall, restaurants, bus/boat/plane rides…you name it!

AEO: Top 3 songs you are listening to right now?
MH: #1. Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Dive because I’m in love with Rachael Price.
#2. Tell Me True by Sarah Jarosz because she’s amazing.
#3. Seasons by Chris Cornell because it makes me strong when I squat!

Follow Max’s daily adventures here.

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The coolest new partnership: AEO Flex/Denim x WFPF

If you asked the all-knowing Internet, “Internet, what is Parkour?” you’d likely get an answer describing it as “the activity of moving rapidly through any environment–typically an urban one–while running, jumping and climbing over obstacles.”

Anya Chibis Lady's Jam Crawl

Parkour Women’s Jam, Photo: Anya Chibis

If you asked a Parkour historian, you’d probably learn that this “new” sport’s roots go all the way back to the early 1900s, when French naval lieutenant Georges Hebert developed a training method that combined obstacle course challenges with what he considered to be a more “natural” way of moving.

GCA WFPF AE Parkour Pic

GCA Parkour WFPF/USAParkour gym, Photo: Matt FitzGerald

But if you asked any of us at the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF) that very same question, you’d receive a different (and definitely unanimous) response: Parkour is a way of life, a way of looking at the world and believing that there’s no obstacle we can’t overcome. Part martial art, part extreme sport, and part creative expression, Parkour’s unique physical and mental practice is truly a lifestyle–and one that continues to grow today, in almost every country around the globe.

Scottsdale Cert 2015

WFPF Instructor certification graduates at Scottsdale Parkour Freerunning

That’s where we come in. Founded in 2008, WFPF brought together some of the world’s most accomplished Parkour athletes in an effort to preserve the sport’s values while also developing it responsibly. Over the years, we’ve worked with thousands of practitioners in over 50 countries. We’ve also partnered with a limited number of brands–usually those already rooted in the Parkour community–that share our enthusiasm for leading a positive, outside-the-box lifestyle.

WFPF Athletes Ewan Burns photographer

WFPF Athletes, Photo: Ewan Burns

So, when AEO came to us with their new AEO Flex/Denim line, we were curious… and when they told us that the jeans feature an innovative denim technology that allows for all kinds of extreme movement, we were excited.

We decided to put them to the ultimate test: Let’s see what some of the world’s top Parkour athletes can really do in them… and, hey, let’s film it too.

The result? Not only did we have an awesome time making the video, but, well, let’s just say you gotta see it to believe it. These jeans are the real deal.

 

Want to learn more about WFPF and what they do? Check out WFPF.com and USAParkour.org. And watch more WFPF videos here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Shop AEO Flex/Denim now!

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#AEOSTYLE Challenge Denim Edition: Relaxed Straight

We believe in one-of-a-kind fits, not one size fits all. We put our blood, sweat and tears into designing the best fits, the latest washes and sizes designed for everybody.

We asked menswear blogger Anthony from Closet Freaks to style our Relaxed Straight Jean. It’s our most comfortable jean, now better than ever.

What inspired Anthony’s Look:
Lately I’ve been a fan of baggier jeans for the extra comfort they provide due to extra room in the legs. They kind of have a sporty-street wear feel to them, so I decided to play up the athletic theme with a varsity jacket, a 3/4 sleeve baseball t-shirt, and some running sneakers. I chose the bright orange varsity jacket as my statement piece and kept the shirt and shoes subdued in darker hues for balance. With the jeans, I chose to pinch-roll them at the bottom for a nice tight fit at the ankle. This is a fun styling trick I picked up when wearing looser fitting jeans so you can achieve that slouchy look without getting those frayed hems that come from stepping on your pants. Overall, I’d say this outfit makes a great weekend look for fall or even for the first week of school.

_MG_1345A-1 _MG_1354A-2 _MG_1394A-6 _MG_1383A-5 _MG_1467A-11 _MG_1468A-12 _MG_1401A-7 _MG_1455A-10 _MG_1500A-14 _MG_1477A-13 _MG_1512A-15 _MG_1436A-8 _MG_1447A-9

Meet Anthony:
Anthony lives and works in New York City as a structural engineer by day and a blogger by night. Much like his seemingly separate jobs, his style is a cool contrast of bold & trendy with subtle & classic.

Get Anthony’s Look:
Relaxed Boot Jean
Pocket Baseball T-Shirt
Tipped Varsity Jacket
New Balance Ballistic 501 Sneaker

Show us how you wear our Original Boot fit with #AEOSTYLE and #AEOJEANS for the chance to be featured on our blog or AE.com style gallery.

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Now Trending for Men: We Fit America

Ok, ok, we know.. this is not a new trend but it is one that needs to stay on your radar this summer or simply forever.  Head-to-toe outfits inspired by all things Americana are all the craze right now in the fashion world. The ivy league collegiate inspired style has been flooding men’s ready to wear runways all year long.  And to keep the look fresh, we’ve added new updates on key pieces to completely transform this timeless trend.

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The Tipped Polo: Not the polo’s you remember. A collision of street inspiration and electric colors reinvent the iconic staple.

Swap out your cuffed prep short’s for a pair of stylish yet comfortable joggers.  Add a patterned hat and bright sneakers to make a laid back bold statement with a touch of prep.

Shop the look:
Tipped Polo
Fleece Jogger Pant
New Balance 515 Sneaker
Triple Strand Leather Bracelet
Global Print Paneled Cap

From polo’s to button downs and varsity jackets — these are just a few of the many ways to piece together your red, white and blue inspired #AEOStyle.  Watch the video below to learn the multiple ways to reinvent the preppy look and check out our lookbook at ae.com.

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