Frustrated with the lack of activewear that translated from yoga to every day, Jodhi Meares (former owner and designer of swimwear label Tigerlily) started a concept for her own sport label that gave women access to chic exercise clothes. Reassembling her Tigerlily team, Meares has spent the last four years building her new brand The Upside, an exciting take on exercise gear that is practical, versatile and effortlessly cool. Meares' gym wear style is influenced by her experiences in cities New York, Sydney and Hawaii.
Diving into a lifestyle filled with yoga and plenty of green juice, Meares is the perfect candidate to spearhead a sport brand. When in sunny Hawaii, Meares does soft sand running on the beautiful beaches near her home. In New York, her typical day is yoga, vegan cafe hopping for lunch, and making a delicious raw food meal in the evening.
Her devotion to exercise means that Meares lives in clothes that work into her lifestyle. In Australia's Bazaar Magazine, she says "I was wearing a bit of Lululemon and Omgirl to my yoga classes at Equinox (New York), or if I was in Hawaii I'd resort to pulling on some great Louis Vuitton leggings, wearing them to yoga class them teaming them with Havianas afterwards. I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear, so I'd put these looks together."
Meares could see a gap in the market that many other active women would have already encountered. "Everything that was available was either too sportswear, mainstream or suburban," she observed.
Now that exercise is an integral part of most women's busy lives, women are updating their sports wear seasonally. Purchases on sport wear is encompassing a large portion of most women's clothing budgets. "We are doing more to nourish our souls and condition our bodies more than ever before and being here in New York at the moment I am really inspired by the amount of people who are seriously looking after their bodies," said Meares in an article for news.com.au.
Wearing sports clothes to lunch dates post Pilates or to brunch after a long walk are becoming the norm rather than a source of embarrassment. Meares' clothing is designed to be breathable and comfortable designed in super hot fabrics like leopard print in cute ballet style shapes and sexy figure-hugging catsuits. Her clothes are something you can feel comfortable in while doing ambitious yoga moves or walking around the markets for your fruit and veggies.
The Upside's campaign is fronted by the stunning Candice Swanepoel, who Meares says is a women that takes charge of her health and fitness. "Finding a girl to model activewear is much harder than finding a swimsuit model - many are too thin and don't train. Candice's body is ridiculous, but we still wanted her to look womanly. She has a booty!"