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How MONDAY12 is Putting Their Unique Spin on Athleisure Wear

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MONDAY 12

There’s a new athleisure brand in town, and they are putting their own personal unique spin on athletic wear. MONDAY12 is changing the usual daily dress code with a collection of year-round, all-in-one pieces in premium versions of much-loved fabrics—French terry, cotton jersey, and poplin. The brand was founded by former Lululemon designer, Sunita Linde, and carries a casual playful vibe.

MONDAY12 garments are made to be worn on their own or layered with items that already exist in every woman's closet, and are inspired by Sunita’s longtime love of classic 80s and 90s photography that is found in the brand’s minimalist palette and imagery, energetically capturing the fresh attitude of the MONDAY12 dress code. 

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MONDAY 12

After years of working in fashion and athletic apparel, Sunita felt there was a void in the market for post-workout clothes that made her feel feminine, confident and free. She set out to create a collection of seasonless one-pieces using premium versions of much-loved fabrics elevating them with detailed construction and an impeccable fit. While the materials are globally sourced, all MONDAY12 pieces are designed and made in Los Angeles.

The collection, which launched June 9th, consists of 12 styles that are named after close friends of Sunita with the first 7 that launched last week. Prices range from $195 - $475. We spoke with Sunita about the development of her brand, the new collection, and more in an interview that you can check out below.

SUNITA LINDE MONDAY12
MONDAY 12

ONE37pm: Hi Sunita! This is such a beautiful collection! MONDAY12 was created in part to fill the void of not having post-workout clothes/athleisure clothes that makes you feel feminine and confident, which is something you noticed/experienced. Could you expand more on that?

Sunita: Thank you. It’s been a true labor of love for the past 19 months. MONDAY12 actually started as a project to fill my own needs. Being a woman who doesn’t necessarily love to wear sweatpants or hoodies, I struggled to find my go to layering options post-workout. I’ve had these thoughts floating in the back of my mind for a few years. I wondered for quite some time whether that void was unique to me but soon realized that there was in fact a significant opportunity to address women’s needs post-workout.

It is while going through a Barry’s BootCamp craze a couple of years ago that I decided to start sketching. No matter how I feel when I join that class, good, bad, tired, uninspired...  I always leave feeling like a million bucks!  Very loud, dance/club music blares, the lights get turned off and you are left basking in a beautiful, dark, red glow.  All you can really see clearly is your own reflection.  You can’t really focus in on others, and they can’t really focus in on you.  I find it so liberating. 

The red light makes the sweat on my body glisten, giving me muscles I didn’t know I had 10 minutes earlier... I feel strong, empowered, and beautiful, which I don’t often feel when I’m out in the world, and for that reason, I wanted to find a way to take that glow and energy out the door with me and into my day.  But when the class ends, and I leave the red room to go put on my sweats, hoody or tee, it vanishes.  MONDAY12 began as my own quest to carry that feeling throughout my day.  It has since taken on a life of its own.  

We see an opportunity to build a global brand with meaningful scale. That said, we are not in any rush.  Organic growth is important, and we are focused on building a strong foundation and creating demand. Being self-funded has allowed us (and somewhat forced us) to launch with tight inventory positions and with 100% of our production being local we can quickly learn and fulfill demand. 

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MONDAY 12

From a product standpoint, I would love to see some of the pieces I’m launching with become seasonless, timeless franchises. I am particularly thinking of our ‘All In’ pieces, which could become a category, unto itself.   With that said, we aren’t limiting ourselves to All-Ins and Dresses.  This fall we are introducing our first raw edge paneled, French terry, to the floor, skirt.  And where there’s a skirt, there will need to be a top...    

From a marketing standpoint, the healthiest growth we are focused on is our brand ambassadors, our early adopters and “word of mouth”. I believe in referrals before anything else. I know that to be true for me and the women in my life.

ONE37pm: How have your previous experiences in design prepared you for what you are doing today with MONDAY12?

Sunita: I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent my career designing both fashion and technical activewear.  I’ve also worked at companies of all sizes, from my own small capsule collection briefly in the mid 90’s, to setting up Aritzia’s private label way back when they were only 11 stores, to having worked at global category leader powerhouses such as lululemon.   The combination of all of these experiences has definitely prepared me for what I’m doing today with MONDAY12.  

I love designing women’s apparel, and I get tremendous satisfaction when creating active and layering pieces that make a positive difference in women’s lives.  The ability to design products that have a definitive, feminine aesthetic while being functional is what I find most rewarding.   That combination intrigues me, and reflecting on my experience in fashion and activewear, it’s where I believe my strength as a designer lies. 

With MONDAY12, I love the idea of being able to provide a feminine alternative to sweatpants and hoodies - one that captures the ease and comfort we all associate with sweats.  I think about it as a fresh approach to elevated comfort, combining feminine style with a sporty attitude. 

ONE37pm: This collection is inspired in part by your love of 1980s and 1990s photography. Talk a little more about that!

Sunita: Oh my gosh… who doesn’t love the 80’s and 90’s!  When I was in high school, I was obsessed with photography.  I loved all things Herb Ritts, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, and the list could go on.  The editorials back then had such an amazing energy to them.  And if you go back to the early 80’s there was Bill King - one of my all-time favorites. I’ve referenced his work on the website and it will be showing up more and more. 

His fashion images were so dynamic.  Models were literally leaping through the air, he’d throw men into the mix, a chimpanzee even, and there was always a sense of joy and playfulness. I believe he inspired a lot of the young photographers that came into prominence in the 90’s and 00’s. 

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ONE37pm: What else is in store for the summer?

Sunita: You are going to see more of the French terry’s and poplin show up in styles that continue to play with proportion and volume, with a body con stretch fleece number here and there.  You’ll also see more of the Neon Citrus color show up, along with a beautiful French stretch lace that I’ve made into a legging… part of my loving ode to the 80’s.  And, of course, the photography is going to evolve and continue to be an integral part of the brand's aesthetic.  

Be sure to shop the collection via MONDAY 12's official website.

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