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Black Women Break into Athleisure Fashion with ‘Glamourina’

Glamourina, the self-proclaimed go-to athleisure brand for women of color, wants to make it easier — and cuter — to be healthy.

Owners and designers Kia Renee and Nekol Choo believes their clothes will give women, who look like them, one more reason to live healthy, active lifestyles.

“Wearing these pieces, you might be at the grocery store and think, ‘hey, I’m already dressed, I might as well run to the gym or get a little workout in, in the midst of everything else I need to get done during the day,” Renee said.

For those out of the know, athleisure is the comfort-conscious, multipurpose clothing trend best known for replacing jeans with leggings.

“You can look cute and you can do whatever you need to do — hop right into the gym, a run or go for a walk,” Choo said. “You’re freer to get some movement in your day when you’re already in our clothes.”

At their standing-room-only fashion show on Monday, Sept. 4 at Decades nightclub in Northwest, Glamourina showed off its versatility debuting their 2017 Kente Athleisure Collection.

Models were styled for the fall fashion season with boots, jackets, jeans and heels to show just how easy it could be to jump from shopping, to brunch with friends and ultimately, to the gym.

Although the duo has experience in the modeling industry and online marketing, neither of them comes from a true fashion or fitness background.

“We both like to work out, so we brainstormed this idea together and decided to do it,” Renee recalled of starting their business in April. “It just goes to show you that if you have a passion for something, just do your research.” “You may think you need a certain background or degree to do whatever your dream is, but that might not necessarily be true.”

“If you think that this is your calling and this is something you really want to do, my advice is just to go for it,” Renee said.

A sneak peak of the 2018 collection showcases heavier doses of bright colors along with new bottom options, like short, and more styles for workout bras and tops.

Along with creating clothes that encourage a healthy lifestyle, Renee and Choo hope to break Black women into a fashion realm that isn’t known for showing much diversity.

“A lot of times when you see athleisure advertised, it’s done with an upper middle class looking white woman with a Starbucks cup,” Renee said.

“You don’t often see a Black woman with her natural hair in these ads. We do yoga, we work out and we just wanted to introduce that and represent that.”

“At Glamourina, we want our models to be the majority, not the minority,” Nekol said.

To shop the current Kente Collection, visit www.Glamourina.com or their Instagram @ShopGlamourina.

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