Carbon38, Vie Active, and Koral
Designer leggings to take you from the gym to a night out are more than a trend.
Transitional athletic wear aka athleisure, is recognized as the latest trend in designer apparel. But wearing activewear outside of the gym isn’t just a trend. Athleisure is a cultural shift explains Carbon38 Co-Founder Katie Warner Johnson. “A few generations ago, we were investing in handbags and shoes—items that enhanced our appearance and status,” she says. So, what are we spending our money on now? The former professional ballerina, and Harvard grad says our spending has shifted to health. Johnson co-founded online sportswear shop Carbon38, along with Caroline Gogolak. (Remember our Q&A?) Their beautifully curated e-commerce site includes some of our favorite lines to the likes of Koral and Vie Active, whose founder also agrees that Athleisure is more than a trend.
I figured that if you could make it as easy as possible for a woman to live an active life, she’s going to be that much more likely to be active.
Like Johnson, Noa Ries was a trainer before founding Vie Active in 2011. She had an epiphany when her first daughter was 10-months-old. “It was 4 p.m. when I realized I was still in my workout clothes.” Ries—who didn’t’ even have time for a shower—said she felt gross and unstylish. That was the moment when she realized that there had to be a way to be both fashionable and active at the same time. The Australian-native said, “I set about creating a brand which truly fused the best performance fabrics with stylish silhouettes and fun prints to really enable and empower women to live an active life.” Vie Active, French for Active Life helps remove the question, ‘what do I wear?’ “I figured that if you could make it as easy as possible for a woman to live an active life, she’s going to be that much more likely to be active,” she said.
As a mom of two, and the owner of a startup business, Ries explains that she doesn’t have time for an outfit change. “I often go straight from workout to work.” How does she transition the look? By changing her shoes. “During the day I am most often in sneakers—I currently have some gold and silver ones on high rotation. If I have a business meeting, I will dress it up a bit with a cool shirt and sweater. For the evening, I’ll switch out the sneakers for cool heels and a biker jacket, some more mascara and eyeliner.”
Transitioning out of the gym, is all about the right footwear and a solid layering piece.
We asked Johnson the same question, and she agreed. “Transitioning out of the gym, is all about the right footwear and a solid layering piece.” Her go-to piece is the Thallium Parka. “It makes quite the statement over any basic leggings—I’ve even worn it zipped up as a dress! Add anything from a wedge sneaker to a solid stiletto and you are ready for a night out,” she said.
We took the advice of Johnson and Ries, and transitioned some of our favorite designer sportswear brands Koral, Vie Active, and Live the Process from gym to day to night. Consider us 100 percent on board with Athleisure.
Eliza has over five years experience as a writer and editor with California and New York publications. She first discovered her passion for beauty after moving to New York to cover fashion. Since then she’s eagerly tried and reported on the latest products and beauty trends. When she’s not writing about beauty or fashion, Eliza is writing on love and relationships for Glamour.