Callens, a collection of luxe technical separates for the gym-bound, debuted this morning at the brand’s new Via Sant’Andrea showroom. The woman behind the brand is Claire-Anne Stroll, the beautiful and superathletic wife of fashion magnate Lawrence Stroll (no, he is not involved; this is solely her project). She describes it as “Lululemon meets Loro Piana.” The designer is Paul Helbers, who used to work with Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton mens, and before that with Martin Margiela at Maison Martin Margiela and Hermès. He knows smart design; she knows fitness. And here is what you need to know: The skinny track pants are cut brilliantly and of a thick enough sport jersey to make you look like you work out a hell of a lot more than you actually do.
That is the point of luxury sportswear, is it not? To make us feel as accomplished in our bodies as we are pushing ourselves to be, to reward results but anticipate them ever so slightly? Stroll and Helbers seem to understand that in spades: They take the best Italian cashmeres, silks, and leathers and then weave in or coat with all those technical fibers and treatments that keep moisture and jiggle at bay. And they favor narrow proportions, or those that make you look narrow: a long line anorak with a small shoulder and a hint of a waist; a zip-front jacket with a seamed, sculpted back; leather micro-shorts with a neat contrasting waistband. Stroll came up with the idea for Callens three years ago when she was training for a golf tournament in Jerusalem. Playing golf competitively gave her a new appreciation of mindfulness, even more so than from yoga (“when you lose focus in golf, you lose everything”), and also a pressing need for new and different activewear. From an Israeli golf course to God’s ears!
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