P.E Nation is a new active wear label that's all encompassing sexy, sporty, retro vibes that every workout (and weekend coffee date needs). It's amazingness has also just landed in our store!
It was founded by well known fashion industry babes Pip Edwards, who has previously worked in PR and design for Ksubi and Sass & Bide, although is now Design Director at General Pants Co. and Claire Tregoning who has not only studied fashion and textile design but who has previously worked as a Senior Designer at Sass & Bide too – which is where the two girls met.
Forging a strong working relationship in their previous roles, little did they know that they would one day branch out into the design and fashion world as a duo. Yet today, that’s where they are! We sat down with the girls this week to find out more about their careers, the beginnings of P.E Nation and of course their favourite foodie hangouts/ways to work out. Which is exactly what P.E Nation was made for!
Who gave you your start in the fashion industry? What is it about the fashion industry that’s made you stay?
PE: My first experience in the fashion industry was actually working in retail at General Pants Co. at Pitt Street Mall. After a year there I then worked at MARCS. I helped open their flagship Double Bay store and also worked two days a week at their head office as a muse and fit model for their diffusion line Baby Doll. Both these experiences were integral in building my understanding of the fashion landscape - from customer level through to head office operations. I was also working both these retail jobs whilst studying Commerce/Law at Sydney Uni. I love everything about fashion - always have and always will. I love the idea of impacting peoples day to day, impacting what they do socially and impacting how they feel emotionally. I also love the idea of leaving a tangible legacy behind - to make something and leave your mark is a pretty amazing feeling.
CT: The owner of Juice Clothing came to my university fashion show and contacted me afterwards to see if I wanted a job. I was blown away and took it immediately. I love, love, love designing and creating, it makes me so happy doing what I do. It’s a seriously tough industry but also very rewarding. The happiness outweighs the tough.
Did you both always have a dream to launch your own collection? How and when did that idea evolve?
PE + CT: We’ve both worked together for a number of years. We previously worked together at Sass & Bide, but it was really a year ago (in January) that everything aligned and it all made sense to work together again, but this time on our own thing! (A boozy lunch is always a great way to kick start amazing projects! hahahaha.)
As consumers we probably have no idea how long it takes to create a new brand, can you tell us how long P.E Nation has been in the making?
PE + CT: From concept to sampling to selling and then to delivery into store, the full cycle takes about one year. Season one of P.E Nation has just delivered and we have already sold in season two, three and are about to work on our samples for season four - hopefully that puts it into perspective!
Can you talk us through a typical ‘day in the office’?
PE + CT: There is never a typical workday. From shoots, to showings, to castings, to financial meetings, design meetings - each day is full on jam packed and different.
PE: Between my responsibilities at General Pants and P.E Nation I’m currently scheduled to each minute of the day!
Do you each have a favourite piece from the new collection?
PE: I have a number of favourites - The Big Easy Jacket, the Tough Juice Jumper, the 43 and 0 Legging, the Rocky Mesh, the Sugar Ray Checkerboard Crop and the A Train Jacket - these are all on high rotation.
CT: The Tough Juice Jumper! The Big Easy Jacket, The Reason Legging.
Obviously health and fitness are important to you both, what’s your favourite way to workout? Without much time how do you make sure you fit it in?
PE: I love to soft sand run at Bondi Beach (weather permitting) and I love to go to F45. Circuit training with friends where you don’t have to think would have to be the easiest and most fun way to work out and break a sweat! I try to fit this in twice a week, but it’s hard when you’re juggling things 24/7.
CT: Pilates, is my saviour and interval training.
What’s your go-to lunch? Do you have a fave. healthy takeaway haunt in Sydney?
PE: I absolutely love Bourke St Bakery - best coffee and salads in town.
CT: The Nourish Bowl at Venus Wholefoods in Surry Hills.
What do you love to indulge on?
PE: Shoes. Liquorice. Bloody Marys.
CT: Chocolate. Margaritas.
Is there one piece of clothing you own too many of?
Are you able to dish us some advice on how to wear ‘active wear’ outside of the gym correctly?
PE + CT: It really comes down to the trainer. To wear gym gear in a more urban sport street way, your trainer needs to be a street trainer - like a Reebok classic for example – it’s the perfect trainer that has street cred. Also mixing back your gym gear with a bit of denim works and you are done.
If you could go back ten years in time what advice would you give yourself?
PE: I would do everything over again. Be a sponge, take on as much as I could, do everything, meet everyone, learn from all walks of life, do do do, more, more, more!
If you weren’t working in the fashion industry where would you be?
PE: Realistically I would probably still be working in finance with a big corporate - which is what I was doing before I moved into fashion. However, if I wasn’t working in fashion, my other passion is music.
CT: I have absolutely no idea. This is and always has been my life…. maybe I would bake bread.
Any advice for design graduates wanting to follow in your footsteps?
PE + CT: Stay strong and soldier on.
Finish these sentences…
Coffee or tea…. Coffee
Morning or night…. Night
Running or yoga… Running
On your coffee table right now… Poolside by Slim Aarons
Fave. holiday destination: Bali
Your top three workout tunes… Instant Crush Daft Punk, Flutes Hot Chip, Face to Face Daft Punk .
Coffee or tea…. Coffee
Morning or night…. Morning
Running or yoga… Yoga
On your coffee table right now… Donna Hays Fresh Cookbook
Fave. holiday destination: Byron Bay
Images: P.E Nation; Words: Yadira Galarza Cauchi
Tell us, what piece from the new P.E collection are you most excited to own?