Monreal London was born out of personal necessity. When avid sports 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 über-stylish twist on traditional activewear.
The brand is stocked at some of the world's most prestigious retailers, including Net-a-Porter, Selfridges, 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. Other celebrity fans include HRH Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton, super-models Elle MacPherson and Karolina Kurkova and fitness blogger Faya Saunders.
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 ‘zigzag’ logo which is a modern and abstract and dynamic interpretation of the letter "M".
This is an aspirational brand, designed for women who care as much about style as they do about scoring. They want luxurious, versatile athletic wear that crosses over seamlessly into their everyday lives, looking cool during and after sport.
Monreal London Ltd 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.
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 Grosse became one of the pioneer of fusing stylish aesthetics with cutting-edge innovation, catering specifically to luxury performance sportswear and lifestyle.
Stefanï approaches every Monreal collection the same way she would a fashion collection. The only difference: performance comes first.
Prior to the fashion-meets-sport 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.
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 brands have become the driving force behind this new 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. Performance-enhancing fabric innovations and technological advances in manufacture have further boosted the rise of sportswear on the sidewalk.
This is a lifestyle 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 fabrics that are as luxurious as they are technical. The garments include 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.
The Polyamide Elastane fabrics are breathable, easy-care, anti-crease, quick-drying, with a high SPF 50+ UV filter.
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, helping to reduce lactic acid formation during exercise and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.
Monreal clothing is manufactured using technologically advanced 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 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.
Monreal has been dressing the female spa staff of the renowned Hotel Costes in Paris since 2014. 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.
Since August 2017, Monreal is the official outfitter of the exclusive private sports club Thirty Nine in Monte Carlo, dressing the female personal trainers and front desk staff. Thirty Nine combines state of the art facilities with luxurious environment to inspire its members to realize their fitness potential and introduce them to a new way of living.
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 June 2016, Monreal was an official sponsor of the Tennis Classic at Hurlingham in London. Hailed as the warm-up to Wimbledon, the brand dressed the ball girls and VIP hostesses as well as hosting a pop-up boutique during the week long tournament.