Glynis Traill-Nash, THE AUSTRALIAN
Sometimes, timing is everything. Two years ago, sisters Julie and Sali Stevanja, the former then in London and the latter in Sydney, couldn’t find one single place to buy cool workout wear but could see that this category was finally starting to lift its design game. Both quit their jobs, Julie headed back to Sydney, and within four months they had launched Stylerunner.com, a one-stop online store for the best in fashion-forward sweats.
“Three things happened at the same time,’’ Julie says. “One, innovation and the progress in fabric manufacturing that make it possible to have cool activewear, which opened up an entire new industry; two, the demographic changes, people were making healthier choices; three, customer tastes were changing. They wanted to look stylish at the gym rather than just wearing daggy T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms.”
This perfect storm has seen the brand in not quite 18 months grow exponentially, with Julie estimating that this year they are set to turn over two to three times more than last year. “Our customer wants to make a statement, and we are selling things which are unique, bold, colourful and trend setting. It goes far beyond our basic, perfect black tights.”
Of the 30-odd brands listed on the site, the two most popular are Adidas by Stella McCartney and Australian label The Upside by Jodhi Meares. The bestselling items across all brands are printed tights.
This fashion-forward approach led the pair to fashion photographer Georges Antoni, who shot their new campaign (pictured above).
“We’re creating something new and unique, that’s the whole point of the campaign,” says Julie. “We are offering something very different to a sports store concept, so we thought, let’s do something far more chic for women shopping for sportswear than has ever been done before.”