Monreal London // the story behind the brand

Monreal London was born out of personal necessity. When avid sports player and designer Stefanï Grosse wasn’t able to find performance workout gear that would also be stylish enough to zip around in when the match was over, she founded Monreal London with the mission to blur the boundaries of high-end activewear, empowering women with confidence 24/7. 

The brand is stocked at some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, including Selfridges, Le Bon Marché, Neiman Marcus and Lane Crawford, as well as high-end sports specialist stores such as Bandier in the USA.

Victoria Beckham was one of the first Monreal customers when the brand launched in Harrods in 2013. Other celebrity fans include HRH Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton, super-models Elle MacPherson and Karolina Kurkova as well as fitness blogger Faya Saunders.

Stefanï Grosse // about the founder

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 labels including Donna Karan and Calvin Klein, before becoming a player in her own right by establishing Monreal.

With 16 years of fashion design experience under her belt, Grosse continued to play tennis competitively she noticed a disconnect between function and fashion in the activewear sector. As a result, an idea was born and she became one of the pioneer of combining designer aesthetics with cutting-edge innovation, catering specifically to luxury performance and lifestyle.

Stefanï approaches every Monreal collection the same way she would a fashion collection. The only difference: performance comes first.

Sports Luxe // the new movement

Prior to the fashion-meets-sport phenomenon, activewear 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.

There is an overarching lean in the sports-luxe trend towards pieces that have a high frequency of wear and can be worn on varying occasions. This winning mix of durability, functionality and fashionability will continue to command premium prices.

Activewear labels have become the driving force behind this new lifestyle 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.

No sweat // performance technology

Monreal collections are exclusively made in Europe, using the world’s highest quality performance fabrics combined with cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to create pieces that streamline and support the body, while providing durability and comfort. 

The dynamic four-way stretch materials enable the garments to hold their shape, while some legging styles make use of innovative mild compression jersey that supports the body and stimulates blood flow.

Monreal garments are breathable, easy-care, anti-crease, quick-drying, with a high SPF 50+ UV filter and hydrophilic technology which is applied throughout the collection to absorb moisture from the skin and quickly transport it to the fabric surface.

The brand uses technologically advanced manufacturing methods, including a no-sew bonding technique for a comfortable seamless appearance that reduces chaffing; 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 exposure to the sun.

Collaborations & sponsorships

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.

Monreal has been dressing the female spa and gym staff of the renowned Hotel Costes in Paris since 2014. 

In June 2016, Monreal was an official sponsor of the Tennis Classic at Hurlingham Club  in London, (hailed as the warm-up to Wimbledon) as well as of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Necker Cup, an exclusive six-day tennis event hosted by Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. 

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 surfaces of tops, dresses and bags.

Exclusive partnership // THIRTY NINE Monte Carlo

Since August 2017, Monreal has been the official outfitter of the exclusive private sports club THIRTY NINE in Monte Carlo, dressing the female personal trainers, yoga instructors and front desk staff. 

THIRTY NINE combines state-of-the-art facilities with a luxurious environment to inspire its members to realise their fitness potential and introduce them to a new lifestyle. The Monegasque sports club has seamlessly combined the latest technologies and advanced facilities with an eclectic mix of home comforts and unexpected luxuries. 

The highly specialist equipment in the club’s two  high-altitude chambers adjusts the oxygen and nitrogen levels in the air of the training rooms to simulate different altitudes. This training method provides a performance advantage to numerous world-class athletes that are regular visitors to THIRTY NINE.

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