The activewear market has been booming for the past few years and I love seeing all these new brands championing fashion-meets-function pop up and flourish. Sportswear has never looked so good and I've been updating my workout wardrobe, replacing old Nike and average gym kit with pieces fusing high performance and technical fabrics with cutting edge style and flattering cuts from exciting smaller brands. I recently met Boom Boom Athletica's inspiring founder Ann Johansson for a coffee to learn about her new luxury women's fitness apparel, which she launched late last year after being frustrated choosing between style or function and commissioning custom garments for herself.
Ann is one of those superhuman athletes with 12 marathons under her belt who also runs ultra-marathons too (she told me about running London to Brighton - I can't even imagine): if someone knows exactly what a runner needs from their clothes, it's this lady. Designed in Notting Hill and made in Europe using innovative technology and the best possible materials, working with leading European mills and specialist factories, the garments are created for athletese by an athlete, then put to the test by runners, trainers and instructors. The first collection features 12 simple garments in classic black and white - leggings, hoodies, tees, tanks and a sports bra - in a limited production run of only 500 pieces to maintain quality and exclusivity.
running in Oxfordshire
I've been trying out the Black/ Silver Shiribetsu Hoodie made from soft, breathable fabric with reflective details, designed in a longer length so you don't have to pull it down as you run, with a tall collar to shield you from wind and rain and three zipped pockets (I don't know why so many brands don't use zips: where are you supposed to put your keys?). The Black 26.2 Leggings are fabulous: light, high-wicking fabric with supportive compression technology to sculpt the body, mesh panel details for a stylish look with added ventilation, plus they're UPF50+ and sunscreen-resistant so the perfect year-round bottoms. They're designed for running, HIIT sessions and the barre, but perfect for post-workout smoothies too. Ann believes that looking good leads to a better workout and I agree: when you love your fitness gear, you want to put it to good use!