Thursday, January 6, 2011

stylish, slimming sportswear

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is rocking so far for you. January, time to talk about sportswear. I went to Vancouver last year (amazing thrift shopping by the way) and discovered that the entire city was clothed in Lululemon. At first I wasn't too sure about this obsession, as a Hong Kong girl I am not used to walking around all day in yoga gear, its all heels and manicures here. I succumbed and bought some of their yoga trousers, whoop, my legs look awesome, I got oodles of compliments, plus I can wear them to yoga and work, as they look a little like the J Brand Agnes. Whilst in Lululemon land I was lucky enough to hang out with their Head of Design Shannon, and her super cool boyfriend Hamish (who is a fantastic photographer, see his site here), so I quizzed her on her role and why their sportswear rocks so much...

The gorgeous Hamish and Shannon

1 - How did you come to work for Lululemon, how long have you been there?
I’ve been with lululemon for just over five years now. When I started, the company was so much smaller than it is now. I think we had only 20 stores and had only just started opening up California. We have about 150 stores now and are a publicly traded company.

I was already based in Vancouver from doing my bachelor’s degree here and was a huge fan of lululemon already. I have always been an avid athlete and was very into yoga so I love their products and what the company stands for. One of my best friends from school had started as a designer a few months prior and told me to apply because they were growing quickly and needed more talent. So I did and started about a month later working on the mens line as a design assistant. We’re both still there and have since had all of our close industry friends hired as well! We’re one big family. Now I am overseeing womens run, outerwear and mens.

2 - What is a typical day for a the Head of Design at Lululemon?
We should almost look at a typical month because every day is so different depending on where we are in the season! Most of my time in my days are spent communicating. I am in constant conversations with all of my cross-functional team members and with my design team. Whether it is about the current line, the future season, the issues in production, what is happening on the retail floor, what is happening in the industry, it is a ever-changing puzzle that takes full focus every day.

I spend a lot of time traveling to Europe, Asia and to our store locations as well for research, development and inspiration at all levels of the business. When I look at a week ahead, my days are split between creative & research time, important meetings about current issues or future developments, fittings with the design & development team on current product, and if I can squeeze it in, “nothing” time so I can think.

3 - What do you like/dislike about your job?
I love the opportunities, the people I work with and how the product affects the world. It is extremely positive. But it is also very fast paced as all of the apparel industry is and because we are a high-growth company at the moment sometimes there is more opportunity within my role than I can handle! It’s a funny thing to say that a dislike could be too much opportunity!

4 - Is it the cut and contours of the trousers (and other pieces) which makes my legs look so slim?! Is that a deliberate design strategy?
It is absolutely 100% deliberate. One of the original intentions of lululemon product was to provide women with product that allowed them to look and feel great (while being 100% functional) during their athletic endeavors because this was an area of the market not being serviced. Every product that we design goes through excruciating debate and analysis on the body during development to ensure that every seam is enhancing the female figure. We want you to feel amazing about yourself. And it’s important that the designs are classic and timeless enough that you can wear our pieces for years.

5 - Which are your 3 favourite pieces from the current Lululemon collection? Are there any great items coming up in the 2011 collection which we should keep an eye out for?
My favorite pieces of the moment are a special input of winter running products called the “Resolution Line” that delivered on Dec 26th. We planned this specially for people returning with gift certificates ready to take on the new year with new goals and new energy. The line is full of cozy performance fabrics that feel buttery soft against your skin – comforting enough to get you out of bed on a cold morning. Check it out online!

In 2011 we have so much in store! We’ve honed in on hot yoga as a category, UV protection, cycling and commuting, as well as regular yoga and run.

My personal favorite of the moment is every version of a beautiful sweater wrap for apres-yoga. They are gorgeous! Antonia the yoga designer outdoes herself every time we delivery a new one!

6 - What do you think makes the brand stand out against other sportswear clothing brands?
We are out to elevate the world by inspiring people to take themselves on and be the best version of themselves. We provide components for people to live longer, healthier, fun lives — from our product to our goal setting tools to our support of our communities, to our ambassador programs for local athletes. We are devoted to living authentic lives. Being creative, spontaneous, having fun, following our passions, our dreams and embracing the challenges along the way. There aren’t many brands in the world with such high aspirations! I think the world needs us.

You can pop to their store in Hong Kong or purchase some items at Pure Yoga. Enjoy x

No comments:

don't miss out...secretstylist by email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner