Imagine looking effortlessly chic while showing off your best tennis serve, or decked out in fashion-forward yet functional apparel that can take you from a yoga session to a shopping trip. It may sound like what dreams — or scenes from the movies — are made of.
But looking stylish and working up a sweat no longer have to be mutually exclusive with the launch of Net-A-Sporter, online luxury fashion retailer Net-A-Porter's new activewear sister site. Unveiled earlier this month on July 9, the collection caters to customers who want to look fashionable while playing sports such as yoga, tennis and dance.
“Women want high-performing, stylish pieces that can be worn all day long. They're looking for products to take them from Pilates class to lunch with a friend — adapting their workout wear into more of a day look,” says the retailer's President Alison Loehnis.
Yoga enthusiasts may want to check out Weargrace, which features lightweight cotton clothing that can be personalised to be worn on and off the mat. Founder Karen Joyce says her designs are inspired by the ancient teachings behind the sport.
“There is a very pure and simple side [to Yoga], a more meaningful foundation that gets lost in our hectic lifestyles,” She says. “Weargrace caters to a woman in search of meaning and depth in her life choices.”
Buddhist influences are incorporated into the designs — according to Joyce, the colour palette of black, blue and brown is inspired by temple etchings and ritual offerings, such as ash and incense, and colourful rectangles representing Tibetian Buddhist prayer flags are sewn onto each garment to remind the wearer of “peace, compassion, strength and wisdom”.
Other than being available on its online store, Weargrace's items are exclusively stocked at Net-A-Sporter.
For those who prefer more active sports such as tennis, the retailer also stocks items from London-based sportswear label Monreal London. The brand offers outfits that are practical yet flattering — its collection includes polo dresses, leggings and mini-skirts made from high-tech performance fabrics.
With hip designs that marry form with function, it is no wonder that even fashion designer Victoria Beckham counts herself a fan.
According to founder Stefanï Grosse, the collection was created for women who are both sporty and design-conscious. “Functionality is the basic requirement of a sports garment, but overall, I think women have the desire to look attractive and fashionable on and off the court,” she says. “Monreal London's tennis-wear fashion [is] comfortable and sexy, and also has a much higher degree in quality, fashion and style, which makes it suitable for many occasions.”
The avid tennis player is no stranger to fashion, having designed dresses for celebrities Hilary Swank and Julia Roberts during a past stint as a senior designer at Calvin Klein.
“My experience as a fashion designer taught me how to make women look their best, flatter them and make them feel attractive. I strongly believe that feeling great in your tennis outfit does not only increase your self-confidence but also your performance on the court,” says Grosse.
Apart from Weargrace and Monreal London, other labels among Net-A-Sporter's stable of brands available include Bodyism, which specialises in gym and cross-fit attire, and Ballet Beautiful, which produces dancewear.
The collection is set to expand to a planned 37 labels across 11 sports disciplines, with new lines catering to equestrian, ski and outdoor activities to be launched throughout the year.
Now you can leave your frumpy workout attire at home and hit the gym in stylish togs.