Lorna Jane had us at: Move. Nourish Believe.
It’s not just the story behind the Australian brand’s activewear, it’s in everything that Lorna Jane stands for. We’re so excited to showcase this amazing brand in the Aerie Spring Street pop-up shop and at Aerie.com, and even more excited to get to know Lorna Jane herself! Read on for our interview.
What inspired you to launch Lorna Jane?
LJ: Believe it or not, it wasn’t actually a conscious decision to build my business or a brand – I was just working as a fitness instructor and I couldn’t find any activewear that inspired me to work out – so I started to make my own. When I started wearing my designs to the gym, all the women in my classes wanted them too so I started taking orders, and it just grew from there. I’d always had a knack for sewing and used to crochet bikinis for all of my friends in high school, but it wasn’t until patterns and fabric had completely taken over most of my house that I realized just how big this could be. So I quit my full time job, and decided to take designing activewear more seriously – and I’ve never looked back!
You coined the term “activewear” in 1989 – what is your go-to fitness outfit?
LJ: I know, can you believe it! And now it’s an entire category. I had to come up with a name that allowed women to wear their fitness clothing beyond their workouts because at the time it was all running gear, or yoga pants, or gym shorts etc. I just wanted my customers to wear Lorna Jane products all day so that they could BE MORE ACTIVE – and so Activewear was born.
I have to admit, I wear activewear, everywhere, and from the office, right through to TV appearances, you name it, I’ve done it #inmyactivewear! My go-to outfit would have to be a pair of my favorite black tights, a slouchy gym tank or T-shirt, a maximum support sports bra and a chambray shirt tied around my waist. It lets me go from work to my workout – and the only thing I have to change is my shoes!
Your Active Living philosophy has evolved into a global movement. What is the first step for #AerieREAL girls to begin incorporating this philosophy into a daily practice?
LJ: The great thing about Active Living is that it makes being fit and healthy easy by breaking it down into the daily practice of MOVE NOURISH and BELIEVE. It’s as simple as committing to move your body, nourish your body and have a positive mindset every day. And the best thing is that you only have make small changes each day but overtime you will be changing how you think and how you want to live your life. So today for example, my move is to hold a yoga pose for an extra 20 seconds, my nourish is to drink more water and my believe is to smile at everyone I see. Trust me, once you start setting yourself MNB intentions every morning, it will just become habit, it won’t take any effort at all and you will be a fitter and heathier version of yourself.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
LJ: To believe in yourself and back your ideas 100%. Because it will take everything you’ve got to make your dreams a reality and if you don’t believe wholeheartedly in what you do, then nobody else will! People thought I was crazy 27 years ago when I told them I was going to design activewear and people would wear it everywhere – but never once did I doubt my vision or feel like giving up when the going got tough. Because that’s what it takes!
What is your favorite piece from the Lorna Jane collection?
LJ: Now that’s a hard one! But if I have to choose I would say that my favorite pieces are always the ones with inspirational sayings on them. I really do believe in the power of positivity and when I’m wearing activewear with words like No Excuses, Never Give Up or Workout Warrior on them it really does motivate and inspire me through my workouts and also in life.
What makes you #AerieREAL?
LJ: I started designing activewear because I wanted to inspire women to work out, but over the years it has become so much more than that! I still want all women to be fit and healthy but I also want to inspire them to love and believe in themselves and to create amazing lives for themselves. As women, we have the tendency to compare ourselves to others and get fixated on what we don’t like about ourselves instead of celebrating what we love! This needs to change and I’m determined to help women build a healthy relationship with themselves so they can go through their life with self-love, self-belief and confidence!
For more inspiration from Lorna, follow her on Instagram @ljclarkson.
Need some summer workout inspo? Check out our 10-minute beach workout!