Labels we Love: Lorna Jane
Lorna Jane Clarkson Weighs In On The Activewear Revolution
A business idea based on having nothing to wear to work out, became an instant global phenomenon. As an Aerobics instructor in Brisbane, Australia, Lorna Jane was frustrated with the boring and unflattering workout fashion, so she took a pair of scissors to her favorite swimsuit to discover how it was made, and so the first ever piece of Lorna Jane Activewear began to take shape. Since coining the term Activewear, Lorna has spent three decades learning, evolving, listening and leading the activewear revolution- even taking her sleek styles from the gyms to the streets. With the mission to empower you to live a life that you love through Active Living™ and the daily practice of Move, Nourish, Believe, Lorna has been hailed for her versatile, unique and innovative collections. Here, the designer talks to Modeliste magazine about the story behind this label we love and being an iconic pioneer in today’s activewear boom.
What is the story behind the creation of Lorna Jane?
I started designing Activewear because I wanted to change the way women thought about being active. My idea was to create clothing that she could workout in but also wear in her everyday life so instead of exercising for just one hour a day she could incorporate being active into the rest of her day as well. I called it Activewear because I just wanted her to put it on and be MORE active. It all started when I was working as a fitness instructor in the late 80’s — think thong bodysuits, tights and leg warmers – you know the look — I was designing my own outfits to wear to class and kept getting requests from the women to make something for them to wear too. Before I knew it, I was designing and sewing every night and all weekend so I decided to take a great big leap of faith, quit my day job and start focusing on making Activewear full time.
Lorna Jane Clarkson has developed designs since the 1980’s and continues to create inspiring styles to this date. Where does Lorna get inspiration for her designs?
As a designer you get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. You could be somewhere beautiful and understandably inspiring like the Greek Islands or just be reading a book or at your local shopping centre. You see something that sparks your interest, and it develops into an idea … sometimes ideas come to you easily and other times it’s just Hard Work!!!! It’s not something you can turn on and off and is more the way I live my life than work.
What makes Lorna Jane so unique and different from other activewear brands?
At Lorna Jane we focus on Active Living instead of a specific sport. We’re not a yoga brand or a running brand or a tennis brand -but a brand that just wants women to put on their Activewear and be active. We’re also about fashion -and we want our customers to feel just as ‘dressed’ in our pieces as they do in regular clothing. So we make sure we deliver on trend pieces that can not only take you from lunch to school pick-up but support you through your toughest workout sessions as well
How would you describe the Lorna Jane girl in 3 words?
Fashionable Feminine Active
What can we expect to see from Lorna Jane in the months? (Latest launches, new styles)
We Launch new collections every two weeks because our customers are always looking for new styles.
In 2021 we will also be expanding our size range. We currently stock a size 6-18 Australian but in response to customer feedback have decided to add some XXL (size 16 USA sizing ) pieces into the range. This month we are also launching our first ever ‘Shop The Look’ concept store in Brisbane Australia. Taking retail to the next level, it’s essentially delivering a digital shopping experience in a bricks and mortar style retail space. We have incorporated video, fully styled mannequins and our game changing ‘First Wear’ initiative that delivers the freshest cleanest Activewear possible.
Where can people shop Lorna Jane?
We have over 100 retail stores globally and over 30 in the USA for those who like a more traditional shopping experience. We also have a cutting-edge online store – lornajane.com. Where we have a team of stylists ready to chat 24/7, to assist you with any styling advice and deliver the 5 star customer service experience you deserve.
Will Lorna Jane expand into other categories of clothing in the future?
It’s not so much about expanding into other categories as it is that the term Activewear is evolving. We have seen the shift in the last couple of years as people become more acceptable to Activewear as everyday wear. With trends such as Athleisure and lounge wear really taking off. But this year with Covid birthing the working from home trend it has really accelerated this as people realise you don’t necessarily need to be wearing a power suit or be sitting at a desk in an office anymore. With this, people are starting to expect more out of their everyday clothes, so expect to see sweat wicking and stretch fabrics become a huge selling point for even the most fashion focused pieces in your wardrobe.
What are three ways Lorna Jane commits to sustainability?
We have a 20 year + relationship with our factories and work closely with them to ensure sourcing is ethical, renewable and has limited impact on our planet. 40% of our range is made from sustainable material. Whether it be recycled plastic, renewable sources or low water usage products.
We are also currently working on developing our own recycled fabrics that use less energy and water than most recycled fabrics currently on the market do.
What would Lorna Jane like to say to our Modeliste readers?
If you’re wanting to be more active … just put on your Activewear (and if possible Lorna Jane) and see what a difference it makes to the decisions you make throughout your day. Chances are when you wear Lorna Jane you WILL be more active!
Lorna Jane Clarkson – Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Follow the steps below for your chance to win a $500 Lorna Jane Activewear wardrobe!
Enter at https://www.lornajane.com.au/giveaway.html
Follow the brand @lornajaneactive
Follow Lorna @ljclarkson