Why my final major project is activewear

More personally than the rise of athleisure and a gap in the market, it’s because of what I had been through quite recently.

The soundtrack of 2019 so far has been Maggie Rogers’ Back In My Body. I love the lyrics and I love how she said how the folks genre often celebrate the wandering, the going away, and the long roads, while for this song, she does the opposite in cherishing her path, back to her body, her control, the things she loved.

I took her lyrics, being back in my body, quite literally. Being surrounded by so much events, and museums, and libraries and school projects had my attention and energy going so much into my head. I had loved it, dwelling in my head. However, it felt like it was quite imbalanced, how much I intentionally used my head versus my body. My body moved, yes, my body is fed, yes, but none of those moments I spent in my body were intentional. I thought, that needed to change. So, I promised myself I would try something new, I would join a contemporary dance course and I would join an 8 week challenge by my gym. YOLO, if they both sucked, then I don’t have to do it again, that’s what I thought.

I went through with both. They both required my time and energy, but they made me so happy. I could say both changed my life.

I did not know I could trust my body, or that my body is something other than slightly awkward and stiff at times. It was amazing. I pushed and pushed and I realised I didn’t hunch anymore. I am less anxious and have something to channel my restless energy to. With the dance, it confirms that I can be graceful.

I became one of those people who exercise three to four times a week, and I STILL DO NOT CONSIDER MYSELF FIT OR SPORTY, somehow the act of exercising became the act of balancing, of spending quality time with my body like i do with my mind when I read. It became taking care of my body, instead of trying to wield it into something else (get abs! lose weight!)

With that routine and involvement and curiosity, came also the knowledge, of the people in wellness and health industry in Singapore, from the fellow gym goers to the studios, to the events . Then, when I had stock up more activewear brands, naturally, I researched and knew more about the activewear brands available in Singapore.

This is why my final major project is in activewear category, which, I do not think is very predictable or something people would associate as “very me”.

On a personal level, I’m following Maggie Rogers’ step of honoring the journey back to my body, by giving out into the world the tool to take care of their body, get active and be intentional with their body as well as their mind.

On a more practical level, I became involved and seek information about active lifestyle / activewear willingly so it made sense to tap into the community I came to know (my trainer became my campaign model), and my previous observation made my research easier (easier to identify competitors and positioning in Singapore)

Would I say I am very passionate about activewear? Not really, but to be honest, I have never been passionate about categories in general. One that I dislike is accessories (I don’t wear accessories), but I do not have a strong preference on working for luxury or mass market or tweenswear, menswear or athleisure. My preference lies more on the personalities of the brands, those I analyse, or I make as my previous projects. This let me explored a lot of optioned, but this time, a personal experience pushed me to this direction, and it sat right with me. Not saying that I did not face any challenges (oh lots, my head hurt thinking about them sometimes), but there is never a time I thought this was not worth it, because I had a personal investment in it. I would say, more than I did with my future fashion innovator module project.

I have about ten days left and I hope I do my former and future self justice with the project.

Hanna Bella