All Fenced In: Building With Race Imboden
Written by: Geo Hagan Images courtesy of: Franck Foucha, Loran Dherines & Andreas Laszlo Konrath

You have to applaud the man; Race Imboden is living a helluva life. At the young age of 22, he’s currently the number two ranked fencer in the world. He has been victorious at the Pan American games three times, and just this year, he won the Paris Fencing World Cup. In addition to all his athletic achievements, he is also a highly scouted menswear model. He has appeared in campaigns for Topman and Rag and Bone and walked shows for Louis Vuitton and Y-3. Using the word overachiever to describe him would be an understatement. Read more about the exhilarating life of Race below ….

“Fencing is always in the driver’s seat in my life …”

When did you first get into Fencing and what drew you to the sport?

I began to fence at the age of 9.  I was in a park playing with a toy light saber and someone told my parents I should try fencing.  I loved the idea of a combat sport that had swords involved. What kid wouldn’t! I guess you could say I just caught the Fencing bug.

When did you know that you weren’t just an average fencer and you could take it all the way to the top?  

It really was trial by fire. For fencers we have age groups, youth-10, youth-14, Cadet (Under 16), Junior (under 19) and Senior, which is the World Cup Circuit. I just kept testing myself against higher and higher levels of competition.  When I felt like I could dominate the level I was at, I got to take a shot at the next level of competitors.

What is your training regimen like for staying in peak performance condition?

My training regiment is 6 days a week non stop training.  I work with my personal trainer Alison Peters, as well as Paulie and Becca Steinman who specialize in Olympic lifting. When I’m not on the Fencing Strip, I’m in the gym. I crosstrain as well with Biking and swimming. Sometimes I feel like there is not enough time in the day.

What have been some of your most memorable achievement fencing movements to date?

Winning the Paris World cup this year has to be one of my best Fencing moments. Paris is in my opinion is the most prestigious World Cup on the circuit. I grew up watching that event and have seen some of my favorite fencers win it in the past. To be placed in their company as a winner is a dream come true.

Do you have a strict diet you adhere to as well?

I have a fantastic nutritionist Jennifer Gibson, who has helped me greatly with my nutrition. She helps me pick the right kind of food to make sure I am running on all cylinders 24-7.  While I eat enough to feed a few families, my diets most important job is to make sure I don’t lose weight. So much work means so much fuel.

Tell us how you got into menswear modeling?      

I was scouted on TV at the 2012 London Olympic Games, in my Ralph Lauren opening ceremony suit. I got a call a little after my competition asking if I had any interest in modeling. A few weeks later I was walking runways.

What are some of your most high profile fashion modeling gigs you’ve done so far?

I have worked with Louis Vuitton, Adidas Y-3, Rag and Bone (above), Marc Jacobs and many more. I have done campaigns for Topman, Rag and Bone, and a few Korean Brands. Yet, I think most of my friends and family have sent me snaps of my work with J Crew.

Are you personally into men’s fashion? If so, what are some of your favorite brands?

Yeah, I like to wear clothes if that counts as being into Men’s Fashion. I love all of Ralph Lauren’s clothes from their suits to their RRL line. I guess that’s the all American boy coming out in me.

I read you are also heavy into Hip Hop – that makes two of us – who are you listening to right now?

Yeah, it’s hard not to be in NYC.

Blessings- Big Sean, All Day – Kanye, and I Know There’s Gonna Be – Jamie xx 

Who are some of your all time Hip Hop greats? Is there a particular artist you like to listen to before fights to get pumped up?

Notorious is my obvious all time great. My playlist before competitions is always changing.  Whatever gets me pumped in the moment – surprisingly that’s not always hip-hop.

Any big projects coming up for you in 2015 that you can share with us?

Fencing is always in the driver’s seat in my life so we will see where that takes me, as we get ready for the 2015 World Championships. We have a training camp in San Jose coming up next month. I also just shot a Levi’s Campaign so keep an eye out for that!

Lastly what is one item of clothing (apparel or accessory) that we’ll never see you wearing?

An ear gauge, those things just really freak me out. Haha. I have always hated them.

To keep up with Race, follow him on Twitter here

Clothing Credits for Rag and Bone shot: Olive Cupro Twill Fuse Jacket, Black wool Tyler Crew neck sweater, Black Double jersey long sleeve Rigby tee, Black stripe poplin Hancock shirt, Black cotton silk striped suiting Everett pant, Black Suede Oxford shoe 

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