Monreal London was born out of personal necessity. When avid tennis player and designer Stefanï Grosse wasn't able to find high-performance workout gear that would also be stylish enough to zip around in when the match was over, she founded Monreal London, a luxury brand that straddles the line between sports and fashion.
Never sacrificing style for peak performance, Monreal fuses fashion and function, in an innovative, modern and sexy twist on traditional activewear.
The first capsule collection of fashionable tennis dresses was a sell-out success at Harrods in the summer of 2013. The brand is now stocked at some of the world's most prestigious retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as high-end sports specialist stores such as The Shop at The Queens Club in London.
Victoria Beckham was one of the first customers to purchase our Signature Dress. Other celebrity fans include Pippa Middleton, pro-golfer Anna Rawson and fitness blogger Faya Fot.
With its roots in tennis, the Monreal London website offers The London SW19 Whites Collection, created specifically to comply with the dress codes enforced by traditional clubs. The featured collections ‘Melrose’ and ‘Saint-Germain' include ready-to-wear and accessories that are suitable for tennis as well as fitness and lifestyle.
Monreal collections are exclusively made in Europe, using Italian luxury performance fabrics and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to create pieces that streamline and support the body, while providing durability and comfort. All garments feature the Monreal zig-zag logo which is a modern and abstract interpretation of the letter ""M"".
Other signature details include the graphic layering of sports mesh, in-built sports bras with lightweight removable cups, the use of ultra-lightweight metallized coil zipper details and the patent-pending concealed tennis ball pockets on the Booty Boost Shorts and Leggings, which are constructed by a panel of fabric that stretches across the entire backside, giving the wearer additional lift and support.
This is a brand designed for women who care as much about style as they do about scoring. Fitness is a key part in their fast-paced lifestyles and they don't want to be short-changed on either fashion or performance when it comes to exercise. They want luxurious, versatile athletic wear that crosses over into their everyday lives, looking cool during and after sport.
Monreal London was founded in 2012 by German-born designer Stefanï Grosse, whose parents worked in the fields of fashion and sports, which had a significant impact on her career path.
When Grosse was five, she picked up her first tennis racket and while her passion for the sport remained, her path led her away from the professional tennis circuit towards fashion design.
After graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York, she designed for brands including Donna Karan and Calvin Klein, before becoming a player in her own right by establishing Monreal.
As Grosse continued to play tennis competitively she noticed a disconnect between function and fashion in the activewear sector. Many sportswear brands solely focused on menswear apparel and its technicality, neglecting style and feminine options to a certain extent. As a result, an idea was born and Grosse became the pioneer of fusing stylish aesthetics with cutting-edge innovation, catering specifically to luxury performance sportswear.
With 16 years of fashion design experience under her belt, and a tennis player's innate understanding of peak performance garment requirements, Monreal London stylishly bridges the gap between activewear and high-fashion.
Authentic sportswear shapes and details are transformed into clean, modern and sexy clothes with fresh and futuristic touches. She approaches every Monreal London collection the same way she would a fashion collection. The only difference: performance comes first.
The current sports luxe trend was born on the catwalks, when luxury fashion houses and designers started using elements of sportswear in their collections that were subsequently adopted by style-minded women as part of their workout wardrobes.
Prior to the sports-meets-fashion phenomenon, active wear was categorised by either luxury brands that offered high fashion with sub-optimal performance, or global sports brands that delivered technical athletic clothing without style as a priority.
This current direction has evolved past that of just an aesthetic-based trend. The luxury sports market is now about multi-purpose clothes that perform and fit in with the demands of a fast-paced life. Performance-enhancing fabric innovations and technological advances in manufacture have further boosted the rise of sportswear on the sidewalk.
Now activewear brands are becoming the driving force behind the trend, as women increasingly want sportswear that pushes the boundaries between fitness, function and fashion - the kind of clothes that work hard and look cool après sport too.
This is a trend that is here for the long run. It's not just about practicality and need, it's about desire.
Monreal London uses high-performance stretch fabrics that are as luxurious as they are technical. We use hydrophilic technology throughout the collection to absorb moisture from the skin and quickly transport it to the fabric surface, allowing constant evaporation and producing a cooling and drying effect on the skin.
Our Polyamide Elastane fabrics are breathable, easy-care, anti-crease, quick-drying, with a high SPF 50+ UV protection that keeps you protected against the sun.
The dynamic two-way stretch means that our clothes will always hold their shape, while some legging styles make use of innovative mild compression jersey that supports the body and stimulates blood flow, helping to reduce lactic acid formation during exercise and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
Our garments are manufactured using technologically advanced methods, including a no-sew bonding technique for a comfortable seamless appearance that reduces chaffing and creates a sporty contrasting side-stripe; laser-cut hems for a clean aesthetic and anti-fray edges; cutting-edge foil heat transfer and sublimation printing techniques for high quality, vibrant, durable finishes that do not fade or come away with washing or sun exposure.
Since its launch, Monreal London has prided itself on teaming with a number of high profile people, businesses and events on initiatives that have further cemented the brand's position at the forefront of the sports luxe trend.
Marion Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon champion who retired from singles just 40 days after her Centre Court win, chose to wear Monreal London to play in the Tennis Legends doubles match with Martina Navratilova at the 2015 Australian Open.
For the 'Saint-Germain' Collection, which was inspired by the classic sports pin-ups from the Fifties, Monreal London founder and creative director Stefanï Grosse collaborated with London-based French artist Malika Favre on a series of exclusive pin-up prints that came to life on white surfaces of tops, dresses and bags.
In 2014, the renowned Hotel Costes in Paris approached Grosse to propose that Monreal London dress the hotel's female spa staff. From December, they adopted the Action Polo Dress and the Finish Line Dress as their uniforms. Hotel Costes is as uniquely fashionable today as when it was first opened in 1994, attracting the crème of the Parisian style set and a glamorous international clientele. It's famous for its decadent look, fragrance and cosmetics lines, opulent displays of fresh roses and for its musical compilations.
Monreal London was an official sponsor of The 2014 Necker Cup, an exclusive six-day charity tennis event hosted by Sir Richard Branson on the beautiful Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. Organised by Premier Tennis, the event offers a unique opportunity for amateur, professional players and celebrities to compete to play in the Necker Cup finals. So far, over $2 million has been raised for charities including Virgin Unite and the National Tennis Federation.
In January 2015, Monreal London was invited by Her Highness Sheikha Shaikha bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan to support the Sheikh Mohammed bin Saeed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Tennis Tournament, which was held at the Palace of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
Alongside GRAFF Jewellery and Fortnum and Mason, the brand hosted a pop-up boutique at the annual tournament, which is targeted at Emirati women. The aim of the tournament is to empower an emerging generation of sportswomen by giving them an opportunity to develop, enjoy and excel at sports, with specific emphasis on tennis. The event is a by-invitation, female-only event that sees hundreds of Her Highness' friends, family and VVIP guests attend and watch nightly matches, some of which are played by Her Highness, who wore Monreal London for her opening match.