Lorna Jane Clarkson is one of the most inspiring women you will ever come across, as the creator of successful brand Lorna Jane she lives a healthy lifestyle that we can all aspire to.
Who is the woman behind one of our favourite brands? We borrowed the lovely Lorna Jane Clarkson to find out more…
How did the Lorna Jane brand begin?
I was working as an aerobics instructor and started making outfits for myself after I became really frustrated with the lack of fashionable fitness gear available, and wanted to apply my love for design. The demand from the women in my classes for my custom-made leotards grew rapidly, and I decided to take a leap of faith and quit my day job as a dental therapist to pursue designing full-time.
The Lorna Jane brand was first sold in the top floor of a fitness centre, and has grown over 21 years to more than 115 stores nationwide with plans for U.S. expansion in early 2012.
Have you always been into fitness and healthy living?
I’ve always been passionate about leading an active and healthy life. I really believe it is so important to value your body, which is why I live by the philosophy of Move, Nourish, Believe. I move my body every day, even if it’s just taking my dog, Roger, for a walk. I nourish from the inside out with tasty and healthy recipes, and I truly believe anything is possible if you work hard enough.
Do you personally wear Lorna Jane all the time?
Lorna Jane is not only my workout uniform but my wardrobe for all aspects of my life, whether I’m running errands, enjoying a catch-up with friends or going shopping. With just a simple pair of heels and a few accessories, my activewear look is instantly transformed. This also helps me to stay motivated and find the time to exercise, as it means I don’t need to change my outfit multiple times a day to suit my active life.
Where do the inspirational slogans come from?
I’m always finding inspiration in different places and experiences, so I carry around a notebook for when I get those light bulb moments. I find I always have my best ideas at three in the morning though, so you can bet I’m jotting those down too.
Do you still design the collections yourself?
I am lucky to work with a skilled team of designers, of whom I oversee all of the collections and give my direction of the look, feel and fit of every single garment.
Was it difficult creating fashionable pieces that are still functional for fitness?
I have always only created pieces that I would like to wear myself, and I’ve incorporated my own style with inspiration from international runways to stay ahead of the fashion trends. By just taking hints of the catwalk, we’re able to adapt high-fashion to enhance functional activewear, so women don’t have to sacrifice their personal style even when they’re hitting the gym.
What is it like knowing that you have changed women’s lives and the way they see themselves?
It’s extremely gratifying to know that our brand has inspired and motivated women to not only lead an active life but find happiness in themselves. Lorna Jane is much more than simply activewear; it’s a way of life. Our customers are my number one source of motivation, and every piece is designed with them in mind, to propel them in their workout and through their everyday achievements.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book, “Move. Nourish. Believe”….
My book takes readers on a journey from the birth of Lorna Jane to where our brand stands today, and how my Move, Nourish, Believe philosophy has guided me through the obstacles and achievements faced along the way.
What advice do you have for women who are sitting at home and thinking it’s too hard to get up and get active?
Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore, and should be enjoyed by incorporating it into your everyday life. Set yourself up for success by laying out your favourite activewear outfit the night before so you won’t be tempted to hit the snooze button again but jump out of bed and get moving. Use a morning walk to catch up with a friend so you’ll hear all about her latest news and also be accountable to each other. Get into the habit of taking the stairs instead of the lift, every time. By just making slight changes to your day by incorporating even just 15 minutes of exercise a day, you’re on the road to leading your best active life.
What is your number one fitness tip?
Fashion is fuel; use stylish and supportive activewear to get you excited about exercising. Get ready for your workout in comfortable and flattering clothes that invigorate you to live an active life!
What makes the Lorna Jane brand different?
At Lorna Jane, it’s so much more than just cloth. We provide women with a platform to realise and reach their full potential, and lead their best life!
What’s next for Lorna Jane Clarkson?
I can’t wait to open our first store in the U.S. in early 2012 with our phenomenal team. It’s a really exciting venture for the brand, and an opportunity for us to be challenged once again just like when we first started out over 21 years ago. I also look forward to continue to be inspired by our customers, our staff and my experiences to keep producing fashionable activewear that motivates women to live a happy and healthy life.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means being confident in my own skin, enjoying time for myself whether it’s just reading a good book, and cherishing those closest to me.