Lorna Jane Clarkson's story is an incredible one. It was 1990 and Lorna was teaching aerobics part-time. Feeling frustrated by the activewear options available in store, she began creating her own outfits using a pulled-apart swimming costume as a design pattern. Soon aerobics students were asking Lorna to create them activewear too, and it was at that point Lorna knew she was onto something.
Today, Lorna Jane has 150 stores globally and produces 100 new styles of activewear each month. Lorna has revolutionised the activewear market, and women the world over are thanking Lorna for helping them look fantastic, whilst working up a sweat.
Lorna lives by the philosophy of Move: Nourish: Believe—we wanted to find out just what this means to Lorna and to garner her top health and beauty tips.
TUL: Did you ever imagine, back when you were creating your own gym clothes from an old swimsuit pattern, that you would one day head up a global empire?
Lorna Jane Clarkson: When I started designing activewear over 23 years ago, I never in a million years would've imagined being where I am today. Back then, my dream was simple and that was to create activewear that women loved to wear, motivated them to get fit, and most importantly, made them feel alive!
I was teaching aerobics part-time and I was so bored with the activewear that was on offer, that I decided to make my own . . . I drew my very first pattern by pulling apart one of my favourite swimsuits on my kitchen table and laying it on a sheet of newspaper. I would wear my custom-made leotards to class, and the women I taught started requesting their own unique and fashionable activewear. It wasn't long until I realised I was onto something really special, and I decided to start making activewear full-time.
We opened our very first Lorna Jane store in Brisbane back in 1993 . . . one store grew to five, which led to 20 and before we knew it we were the nation's leading women's activewear label. We now have 150 stores globally, including 20 stores in California. Sometimes I almost have to stop and pinch myself to make sure it's real . . . I am extremely grateful for all we have achieved and I can't wait to see what happens next!
TUL: Can you tell us a little bit about your brand's philosophy: Move Nourish Believe?
Lorna: Move Nourish Believe is the daily practice to achieving a truly fulfilling, enriching and rewarding active life. I promise to move my body every day, with a strength training session with my personal trainer, a yoga class or a brisk walk with my puppy, Roger. I nourish my body from the inside out with wholesome foods and healthy recipes, and I truly believe anything is possible with a little hard work. By embracing my Move Nourish Believe philosophy, you are uncovering a world of genuine happiness with the power to be your authentic self and achieve anything your heart desires!
TUL: What are your tips for looking seriously good at the gym?
Lorna: I believe looking good starts with feeling good! Customers tell me every day how amazing they feel by investing in their health and happiness with a new outfit to wear to the gym. It is incredible how great activewear really can enhance your confidence and make you feel empowered to run that little bit further, lift a little bit heavier or finish that final rep! Once you've conquered feeling seriously good on the inside, looking seriously good on the outside just comes naturally!
TUL: Do different body types suit different gym-wear cuts?
Lorna: We design activewear to suit all different body shapes, and there are particular styles that are more suited to some than others . . . But the main thing is to feel confident in what you wear, no matter your shape or size! Remember you will be running, jumping, squatting, and you name it, in your outfit, so make sure you feel comfortable and supported to move. If you are conscious of some areas, opt for tanks with flattering gather details or tights with slimming panel lines (our iconic Amy Full Length Tights are a must!). We release up to 100 new styles every month so there is definitely activewear to suit every active woman!
TUL: Once upon a time you were an aerobics instructor, which gave you the opportunity to display your designs, what types of exercise do you favour today?
Lorna: I crave variety when it comes to exercise so I always try to add in some fun activities to shake up my normal routine. I love getting my heart rate up and exploring nature on mountain hikes, enjoying the breeze with a brisk walk along the beach, and trying different styles of yoga such as hot yoga. The key is to choose activities that you genuinely enjoy—I usually forget I'm exercising, I'm having that much fun!
TUL: Can you outline your general fitness regime?
Lorna: As I mentioned earlier, my routine generally consists of two strength training sessions a week with my personal trainer, yoga classes daily either at a studio or in my home gym, and walks most mornings and evenings with my puppy, Roger.
TUL: Do you have any dietary tips that help keep you in shape?
Lorna: My number one tip is to eat fresh and wholesome foods that provide your body with the nutrients and fuel it needs for you to think and perform at your very best! Experiment with new recipes, always be prepared with snacks and a packed lunch while at work, and don't forget to drink at least eight glasses of water a day—I usually have two to three litres of water daily! Juices and smoothies are delicious snacks, and so quick and easy to make. I always have one as a mid-morning or afternoon snack, and also have nuts, protein powder and some fruit packed to eat during the day.
TUL: What does your beauty regime involve and do you have any favourite products?
Lorna: I'm a pretty low maintenance girl but in saying that, I'm dedicated to caring for my skin every day. My beauty regime involves cleansing my face and décolletage with a light exfoliating cleanser after my shower every morning, followed by applying an anti-ageing serum, an organic eye cream and a great moisturiser. I don't wear make-up most days, so I will put on a tinted moisturiser instead to even out my skin tone.
I always have a bottle of rosewater spray on hand at work to top up my skin's hydration when I'm in air conditioning for a long time. I also use vitamin E oil on my lips and rose hip oil to moisturise my face, neck, décolletage and under my eyes at night. Some of my favourite products would have to be Jurlique Rosewater Spray, Trilogy Rosehip Oil, ASAP Sheer Tint Moisturiser and ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub.
TUL: Which Lorna Jane pieces are you wearing right now?
Lorna: My favourite outfit at the moment would have to be the Splice Sports Bra, Stay Happy Tank and Ascent 7/8 Tight!