When I met Gretchen Williams, the bubbly Director and Designer of sportsluxe label Athletiq, I must admit I was horrendously hungover after a day at Randwick Racecourse and dreading the interview! A hangover is not the best accessory to bring to an interview with a fashion designer, however I was pleasantly surprised to come face to face with a a leisure wear clad, down to earth beauty. We met on the terrace at the Woolhara Hotel in Sydney, soaked up the sunshine, ate fries, cheese and tacos and discussed Gretchen’s long road to her incredible activewear line
“Basically, I studied with the intention of designing for runway, don’t we all? But by the time I finished studying, I’d lost interest in runway fashion and was a bit lost with what to do,” she admitted.
“I’ve always really been into my fitness and train hard at the gym, so my partner who is also heavily involved in the fitness industry suggested that I combine my love for design with my love for fitness. Being involved in the fitness industry myself, simply due to where I trained, I already had a lot of contacts, so it was easy for me to get feedback, do market research and get my name out there. It seemed like a no-brainer and reignited my passion for fashion design.”
There were a lot of lessons along the way, realisations on just how expensive it was to add all the extra little elements Gretchen envisioned on her designs. “It’s no wonder you don’t see activewear with too many details and different panels, it’s so expensive!”
After months of trials and testing, the range, which was made and designed in Australia, was ready to go! Gretchen’s first wholesale enquiry? None other than fashion giant Style Runner. Before she knew it, her styles were being exclusively stocked by Australia’s most popular online activewear retailer!
To follow up from the debut ‘Digital Arrangement’ collection, Athletiq’s second collection will launch in September just in time for us all to get our butts into gear for summer. If only we could all look as hot as this model when we sweat!