We meet ADAY co-founders Meg He and Nina Faulhaber (pictured above; left to right) to discuss the latest trend for activewear and jumping from banking to fashion.
You met at Goldman Sachs, worked with tech start-ups and launched ADAY in June 2015 – and you’re both only 29. That’s impressive…
Nina: We saw entrepreneurs inventing all types of new things, but we felt there wasn’t anything new in the clothing industry. There was beautiful high fashion and a lot of activewear, but it was very aggressive [she laughs]. No one was taking the best of these worlds to do something that was high quality, versatile and seasonless. We felt it was down to us.
So, where does ADAY sit in the crowded performance market?
Nina: I wouldn’t say we’re an athleisure brand. What we’re trying to achieve is the complete opposite of that. When we first started there were already athleisure brands out there. We loved wearing our Nike and bold Lululemon leggings on weekends to do brunch and yoga. But most of our lives were centred around working and travelling on weekdays, doing all of the things we felt athleisure couldn’t adapt to. We love our normal pants, T-shirts, and sweatshirts. ADAY is nothing like athleisure; it’s designed to feel like your normal wardrobe, only with different qualities.
ADAY is nothing like athleisure;
it’s designed to feel like your normal wardrobe,
only with different qualities.
And the interest in fashion?
Meg: In secondary school, I made a corset that was boned in 32 places. I then started reselling fashion online, specifically focusing on vintage designer clothing and cocktail dresses. It’s always been in the background, but I was never sure I would do it full-time.
Nina: I was a gymnast when I was young, so I always walked around in performance clothing.
You say the collection is made up of ‘intelligent fabrics’. What does that mean?
Nina: First of all there’s the fabric’s fibre intelligence. A lot of the fabrics we wear on a daily basis are not breathable, nor do they have properties that allow us to sweat. The second thing is that they’re high tech, which means not only do they last longer but they can also do more for you.
we should do the things we want to do well,
rather than try and do everything.
You design for the woman who does everything, from yoga on her lunch break to cocktails in the evening and fleeting between countries. That said, do you think there is pressure on women to have it all?
Meg: There is a lot of peer and social pressure, but the women that we admire are secure in who they are and aim to have what they want rather than what other people want.
Nina: I don’t think having it all is the way we should look at things. As women, we should do the things we want to do well, rather than try and do everything. Sure, there is pressure to have it all together, but it is okay if you don’t sometimes.
But there is a correlation with ADAY pieces and a busy lifestyle…
Nina: The busy day aspect is just a small part of our brand. Now we’re focusing on the impact clothing should have on lifespan. We hope to inspire people to consume better and think more about the things they invest in.
We hope to
inspire people to consume better and think more
about the things they invest in.
Why did you choose to work with Jigsaw?
Nina: We started ADAY in London and even though we are currently based in the US, the UK is close to our hearts. When Jigsaw approached us we were excited that a heritage brand gave us the opportunity to come back and speak to customers here. I think the UK has always been an inspiration to others around the world – they invest in beautiful staple pieces.
Meg: For me, Jigsaw is a brand I’ve long looked up to — a favourite of both my mother and mine when I was a child!
Nina, in the past, you’ve described yourself as the Boot Camp Boss. Do you still go by that?
I’m definitely more Zen Master than Boot Camp Boss now. Earlier, I accidently transferred a large sum of money to the wrong account. A year ago I would have panicked but I didn’t this time. I’ve become less flustered than when I first started.
Interview by Nakhalar Sterling