Style Icon: Luan Nguyen


From work to play, Luan is ready in Express jeans, sweater & shirt; Banana Republic hat; Seiko watch; Kenneth Cole shoes

From work to play, Luan is ready in Express jeans, sweater & shirt; Banana Republic hat; Seiko watch; Kenneth Cole shoes

Director of Training for Iron Tribe Fitness

Written and styled by Tracy James

Photographed by Chuck St. John

“Trendy New York meets laid-back California, with hints of Southern ‘long hair don’t care’.” That’s how 35-year-old Luan Nguyen, director of training for the uber-popular Iron Tribe Fitness, describes his personal style. However, clients of the fitness regime with a cult-like following report that the most notable elements of Luan’s personal style are his smile, encouraging spirit, and engaging nature. Cosmopolitan Magazine, on the other hand, found that Luan’s style (and, let’s face it, muscular physique) made him worthy of representing Alabama in their 2010 Bachelor Blowout, naming the most datable guys around the country.

During his stint as one of Cosmo’s most eligible bachelors, Luan was introduced to Express, a sponsor of the campaign, and given a large gift certificate to spend. He found that the slim-cut brand fit him nicely, further emphasizing what he had learned over the years, that baggy clothing just isn’t flattering. Wearing clothes that are too big is a common mistake among men, and that included Luan until he evolved. He now counts improper fit among his style pet peeves. “I mean, I don’t want my clothes too tight or looking like they came from Baby Gap, but they should fit,” he says.

Active wear has certainly changed since Luan’s younger days as a teen in Fort Walton Beach, when he would usually go shirtless during exercise to avoid drenching a heavy cotton t-shirt. Technology has stepped in to make our endeavors easier and safer, whether by fabrics that breathe, wick away sweat and keep odor at bay, or via reinforced shoes that offer significant but lightweight support for weightlifting. Lululemon (another brand with a cult-like following) is a go-to activewear brand for Luan. “They stay ahead of the trends in exercise attire,” he says, “and look good enough to wear to a casual dinner around town.”   Another favorite design-driven lifestyle brand that transcends the boundaries of traditional action sports apparel is California-based RVCA, which Luan peruses and orders online.

Luan’s days are spent timing clients during their prescribed activities as part of their WOD (Workout of the Day). So it is not surprising that Luan enjoys and collects watches. In his watch wardrobe are styles intended for workouts only, like his G-Shock by Casio, and dressier styles, like his stainless Seiko, for after gym hours. His favorite, a Nixon “Tide” watch, can do double duty.

When it comes to Luan’s casual cool style, the bottom line is that his clients aren’t wrong—what makes this man style icon-worthy is the way he carries himself and treats others, inspiring those who know him through much more than just his appearance.

Getting a chin up on the latest in workout wear, Luan wears a Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Tee with their trademarked Silverscent anti-odor technology & Seawall Track Pant II, Inov-8 shoes, and G-Shock by Casio watch.

Getting a chin up on the latest in workout wear, Luan wears a Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Tee with their trademarked Silverscent anti-odor technology & Seawall Track Pant II, Inov-8 shoes, and G-Shock by Casio watch.

Adidas adiPower weightlifting shoes offer plenty of support to help Luan get the barbell up and over. These weightlifting shoes have a specially-structured design with a secure strap in the instep and a support structure in the heel. Special technology includes a PU-coated leather upper for durability with air mesh for breathability and lightweight injected polymer in structured strength design, engineered for weightlifting.

Adidas adiPower weightlifting shoes offer plenty of support to help Luan get the barbell up and over. These weightlifting shoes have a specially-structured design with a secure strap in the instep and a support structure in the heel. Special technology includes a PU-coated leather upper for durability with air mesh for breathability and lightweight injected polymer in structured strength design, engineered for weightlifting.

In Luan's watch collection, clockwise from top: Seiko, Nixon, Michael Kors and G-Shock

In Luan’s watch collection, clockwise from top: Seiko, Nixon, Michael Kors and G-Shock

From humble beginnings: Luan keeps this framed photograph in his office, a photo taken in 1981 aboard a Navy ship, of a 3-year old Luan joined by 67 other North Vietnam escapees, many of them family members. They were rescued after having been at sea for four days.

From humble beginnings: Luan keeps this framed photograph in his office, a photo taken in 1981 aboard a Navy ship, of a 3-year old Luan joined by 67 other North Vietnam escapees, many of them family members. They were rescued after having been at sea for four days.

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