It all started back in 1989 when then-fitness instructor Lorna Jane Clarkson, frustrated by the lack of fashionable and functional exercise clothing, cut her first leotard pattern in a small studio in Australia. She started wearing her designs while teaching classes, quickly gained a huge fan following, and soon, Lorna Jane was officially born. Two decades later, the inspirational activewear brand has grown into a global empire, launching up to 100 new designs every month, and is currently making waves in the United States.
Inspiration is something Clarkson serves up on a daily basis with her brand’s philosophy, “Move. Nourish. Believe.” Renowned for her active living mantra, she has empowered a sisterhood of women who make health, wellness, fitness, and positivity a way of life. That’s why we were thrilled when the fashion visionary sat down with us to talk about what separates Lorna Jane from the rest, and why active living is so important.
Shape: What makes the Lorna Jane brand different?
Lorna Jane Clarkson [LJ]: Lorna Jane represents a way of life and it’s also my personal philosophy, which is active living. Everything we do is about active living. The most important thing you can do is believe in each day with a positive mindset. When people wear my line, they are saying that they believe in that philosophy. It’s a living, breathing example of someone who has achieved a level of success in life. It’s getting more out of life by giving more of yourself every day. I want to show women all over the world just how powerful this mindset can be.
Shape: What are some of your favorite pieces in your current collection?
LJ: If you were a first time buyer at our store, I would get you into our Amy Tights. They have really figure flattering panel lines and a pocket so you can wear them working out, traveling, with sneakers, or with heels. A great pair of tights is really essential to the Lorna Jane wardrobe. Our Pammy Bra is another one. It’s a great sports bra that you can wear as outerwear and it has straps that are adjustable. It also has removable padding and is made from a supportive, flattering fabric. It makes your bust look amazing!
Shape: What is the key to good-fitting activewear?
LJ: Fabric is so important. We have our own moisture wicking, shrink and fade resistant trademark. You feel one size smaller in our line and it makes you feel like moving. It’s how we construct each piece and it can change your life. The Lorna Jane brand extends beyond your workout, which active women are looking for. You can wear it out to dinner or even to a club.
Shape: Where do you find inspiration?
LJ: Everywhere, really: the outdoors, through healthy living, nature, and seeing bright colors. It’s about getting out and trying new things. I have mood boards all over my home, and I’ve been collecting inspirational sayings, images, and mantras my whole life. It’s important to live a creative life to make creativity happen.
Shape: What is one of your favorite inspirational sayings?
LJ: There are many but I love our Lorna Jane mantra, ‘Never, Never, Never Give Up.’ [Tweet this!]
Shape: You’ve followed your dreams and achieved so much success. What is your advice to other women?
LJ: I am so lucky to have found my passion in life and wake up every morning with enthusiasm to inspire other women towards active living. Finding the time to exercise is so important to get rid of any negative energy, as is fueling yourself with great food. People underestimate the power that food has. I think you also have to surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good. That’s imperative. Meditating is essential in life as well.
Shape: How do you stay healthy?
LJ: I try to mix it up. I strength train twice a week and I do yoga or stretching every single day. I try to incorporate two to three structured classes a week. I love the class situation because the instructor challenges you and you can grow. I like to get outside and walk my dog twice a day. I’m recently new to Barre classes but really love them. I’m also a fan of the 15-minute workout. I have a treadmill and a cross trainer at home so I’ll do one minute relaxed and one minute as fast as I can, alternating back and forth.