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Pushing the limits: athleisure brands to watch

Demand for performance fabrics amalgamated with a stylish aesthetic has led to an explosion in the popularity of athleisurewear. Beyond the big brands such as Nike, Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, we hone in on the smaller names to add to your buy next season.

HPE Clothing

London-based Human Performance Engineering (HPE) comes with high credentials: the brand is the brainchild of Nicholas Harris, a human performance specialist whose CV counts Formula 1 champions and Olympians as clients. The result is a men’s and women’s activewear brand with intelligent fabrics that help maintain body temperature and UV protection.

Wholesale prices start at £13.46 for a T-shirt and go up to £36.54 for an Elite bomber jacket.

020 3735 7000

PE Nation

Worn by a flock of celebrities including Kylie Jenner and stocked on sites such as Mytheresa, Farfetch and Net-a-Porter, Australian men’s and women’s brand PE Nation has gained an enviable reputation since its Australian launch in 2016. From leggings featuring in-built shapewear to colour-block stretch-knit sports bras, PE Nation bridges both activewear and streetwear, while referencing old-school athletics.

Wholesale price range from £30 for T-shirts to £104 for a jacket.

020 3617 0912

Lucas Hugh

Founded by New Zealand-born Anjhe Mules in 2010, luxury women’s performancewear brand Lucas Hugh fell into the media spotlight when its wares were featured in The Hunger Games – Catching Fire film. The brand blends high fashion ready-to-wear with functional technical athleticwear – think printed leggings with ventilation inserts along the inner thigh and super-speedy drying technology

Wholesale prices range from £18.50 for a bra to £120 for jackets.

Carla Calder 020 7221 4885


Founded in 2015 in London (it also has an LA office), Varley is a cool women’s activewear brand that combines the aesthetics of the US west coast and London to create a desk-to-workout wardrobe. From technical swimwear to loose-fitting sweatshirts, the innovative yet stylish brand provides outfits for whatever sport (or not) is in mind.

Wholesale prices start from £20 for a bra and go up to £48 for a swimsuit

Iffley Road

Set up by devoted runners husband-and-wife team Bill Byrne and Claire Kent, British men’s and women’s running label Iffley Road offers its customers high-quality textiles combined with smart fabrics. Bestsellers include short-sleeved T-shirts made from bespoke “drirelease” piqué fabric that speeds up drying time, and running shorts created with high-performance Italian material.

Wholesale prices start from £17 for a vest and go up to £65 for a jacket. 

020 3478 2675

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