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JONES meets Pip Edwards of P.E Nation

Pip Edwards Pip Edwards. Image courtesy of P.E. Nation.

“Athleisure isn’t a trend; it’s a global lifestyle shift, and it’s here to stay for good.”

-          Pip Edwards

We love it when fashion means feeling seriously good. That’s why we’re seriously into P.E Nation. Founded in 2016 by Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, this home grown active-meets-streetwear brand is designed for an urban lifestyle lived at a rapid pace.

A synthesis of sport and street, the brand’s unique aesthetic champions retro inspired designs – colour blocking anyone? – anchored by a tomboy spirit.

Here, we speak to P.E Nation cofounder Pip Edwards about fashion, function, fitness, and the unforgettable style of Rocky Balboa.

Close up portrait on P.E Nation crop top from July campaign images Image courtesy of P.E Nation

What inspired you to launch P.E Nation?

After working for some incredible and iconic Australian brands throughout my career, I think branching out and doing my own thing was always inevitable. It was just a matter of time. Claire and I created a brand that actually fulfilled a gap in our own wardrobes and one that suited our own aesthetic. As busy, working mums we are constantly juggling our days – from school drop offs, to work meetings, to training sessions and more, we needed something comfortable and fashionable that would get us through the majority of our day with ease. Over a long lunch, we realised P.E was a no brainer. The name set it all into motion – P.E being physical education and also my own initials. After that, everything fell into place, and it all progressed really quickly and organically.

Who is the P.E Nation woman?

The P.E Nation woman is a reflection of us. She’s super busy, super motivated and super active. Health and fitness are important to her and being active invigorates her and makes her feel great. She wants to be comfortable during her day, and allow for functionality, but she still wants to wear something fun and cool with a street edge to it. She is definitely confident and she likes to have fun but she is dedicated and hardworking.

The P.E aesthetic reflects an androgynous spirit. How important is tomboy style to your designs?

It’s the core to everything we do. Both Claire and I are tomboys. We love oversized shapes and silhouettes and menswear is a huge inspiration to our womenswear. P.E Nation is bold and confident, it’s definitely not subtle so having the tomboy street twist to our styling and designs just brings our vibe to the forefront even more, and gives it that unique punch. P.E is very much a direct reflection of Claire and me, so the tomboy nature comes from what we personally love and has become signature to the brand.

P.E Nation is inspired by retro designs. Any favourite active wear moments from cult classic films/TV?

ROCKY for sure. His vintage adidas tracksuits are legit.

Active wear continues to dominate the zeitgeist. What do you think it is about the look that appeals to women?

I think it’s less about being ‘active wear’ and more about being everyday comfort wear. You can mix active pieces into your daily wardrobe just by switching out your shoes. Gym gear doesn’t just mean ‘to be worn to the gym’ anymore and I think women love this. The rise of street wear has given sportswear a whole new importance. You can be stylish and the comfiest you’ve ever been and still be on trend. Athleisure actually isn’t a trend; it’s a global lifestyle shift, and it’s here to stay for good.

Tell us truthfully, how can we pull off effortless style in Lycra?

By wearing P.E Nation of course! [Laughs] Our leggings have been designed to make you look good and hold you in. Many of our styles feature shape wear to keep you supported which means you feel good too. I love wearing our leggings with an oversized jumper and a jacket around my waist. Or for days in the office I wear it back with denim or a bomber and suddenly you’re ready to take on the street. Adding a sweat and spray jacket means you can still maintain that street sports aesthetic.

Three P.E Nation pieces every woman needs in her wardrobe?

The Drop Shot Barre Crop – best crop in the business – On Deck Leggings, and Heads Up Sweat.  

The one piece of advice you’d give to someone wanting to start their own business?

Put everything you have into it. Live it, breathe it; love it. It will consume you so your heart must be in it to push through all the obstacles that may present themselves. Trust your gut and know your business and its vision better than anyone and anything. At the end of the day, it’s a very rewarding achievement to see your dream become a reality that then becomes your life!!!!! I love it.

What can we expect to see from P.E Nation in the season ahead?

We have delved into a new colour palette, emphasising the colour green. And we are loving it!!!

Keep reading to shop P.E Nation...