Vogue.com Olympic Moment: A Workout Wardrobe You Can Wear Out July 31 2012


Olympic Moment: A Workout Wardrobe You Can Wear Out

If there was a bleacher seat for every time someone mentioned sport’s influence on fashion, there’d be enough to build a second Olympic stadium. But there are few examples of the reverse—the runway influencing sportswear in a way that resonates with fashionable women.

Work Out Life, a new collection of gym and yoga wear started by former advertising exec Rebecca Quade and under the creative direction of Adidas by Stella McCartney alum Ebru Ercon, makes a fine effort of closing that gap. “Going to yoga, I would change out of what I would wear for work into workout wear in these kind of fluorescent colors and prints I didn’t really like,” says Quade. There was no reason, she figured, why her gym clothes couldn’t evoke the sophisticated color palettes and patterns used by favorite designers like Dries Van Noten, Marni, and Christopher Kane.

So she worked with Ercon to create a winning collection that, essentially, works out with life. For instance, pieces like the soft blue floral windbreaker, short, and shirt—all fully functional in the latest tech fabrics and performance fits—blend effortlessly with seasonal trends such as leather shorts or embellished tops without looking like they came straight from your gym bag. And the geometric, slightly warrior-influenced teal wool and neoprene jacket, which comes with a waterproof layer to throw on in case of rain, feels appealingly like the sort of chic, urban staple you’d expect from Proenza Schouler.

“It’s great that there are a lot of designers like Alexander Wang with quite a strong sports influence,” says Quade. “To me, it was also all about really knowing how things would move.”

Available online only at workoutlife.com.

Photographed by Leslie Kirchhoff