Noa Ries (co-founder of Vie Active) has been into health and fitness for as long as she can remember, training for the City 2 Surf with her dad when she was just eight, and running laps of soft sand along Bondi Beach. But it was in her early 20s that Noa became committed to health and fitness, or as she puts it, “I swapped my party heels for sneakers.”
Noa was soon training for triathlons and completed a half ironman before becoming a qualified personal trainer.
“Exercise just makes me feel better and it gives me the energy to get through the day. I know on the days that I don’t exercise I feel really sluggish and don’t have much focus. I’m really passionate about living an active life because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have vitality and energy.”
“Something I love about Bondi is that whenever anyone from overseas visits us they’re always struck by how fit and healthy everyone is. Any day of the week there are people working on their fitness. It’s an incredibly passionate community of health and wellness. You can go for an amazing run along the coastline, swim laps at Icebergs or surf the ocean.”
Noa, a mum of two, remembers the day she was inspired to create Vie Active. “It was an epiphany – I found myself still wearing my workout clothes at four in the afternoon and I hadn’t had time for a shower that day and I felt really revolting. I thought, there’s got to be a way I can do an intense workout and run throughout my day and not have to make this conscious choice between being fit and being stylish. And also feel as good at the end of the day as I do at the start of the day.”
What followed was a two-year journey of research and development and pushing the envelope in terms of garment technology and fabric and print innovations. “I was really clear that I wanted to fuse fitness and fashion, and function,” says Noa who felt there were a lot of brands that were either really fashionable but not very functional or the other way around. “I wanted to fuse the two and that’s how Vie Active came about.”
Vie Active teamed up with Woolmark, the world's leading wool textile organisation, to use temperature regulating Merino wool in their garments. Merino fibres don't react with sweat, keeps you warm in cooler climates and cool in a clammy environment.
“It’s the most amazing fabric,” boasts Noa. “People think it’s strange to work out in wool but I say try it for one workout and you’ll never work out in anything else. I wear merino every day because I have a busy life and don’t have time for five outfit changes. I still feel good, and chic. The fabric works with me instead of against me.”
Vie Active celebrated their first birthday last month and will launch into the US market via their online sales porthole on July 1st.
“It’s been amazing. It’s blown all of us away how positively people have responded to it and I think part of that is the authenticity. I had a vision to create a brand that spoke to women, it was less about ‘here’s the latest tights and jacket’, it was more about, ‘here’s the latest green smoothie, here are the benefits of a Barre workout, here’s five exercises to do while you’re travelling’. And to really communicate the latest trends and inspirations in wellness.”
The result is a community of Vie activists around the world! “Enabling women to live an active life without having to make a decision between being fit or stylish is really empowering and the easier we can make it for women to live an active life, the better.”
“It’s an amazing thing to be able to celebrate having an active life!”
I trialled Vie Active wear for myself when Noa put me through the Bondi Body Workout moves she designed to give us girls a toned and terrific bikini body. Not only comfortable and sweat repellant, the designs and prints are definitely something I felt good wearing from workout to doing the daily run around in.
Noa and I worked out at the Xtend Barre studio in Brooklyn Heights where they offer Pilates and dance amplified classes for beginners, advanced and mums with bubs. Check out their new client special - three classes for $49!
“The Bondi body to me is toned and fit, tight bottoms, trim thighs, toned arms and flat abs. Nothing’s better than Xtend Barre for all of those!”
BONDI BODY WORKOUT
Complete circuit 3 – 5 times.
-Plié squat – 20 reps
With one arm out level with your shoulder and the other hand on your hip, squat repetitively, keeping knees in line with ankles.
Plie squat is a signature move of Xtend Barre, it’s great for toning the bottom, inner thighs and by holding your arm out you’re working on those small inner muscles.
-Tendu lift – 20 reps
Rest hands on bar or wall, softly bend inside leg and tilt and bend outside leg to a diagonal position as if you were swinging your leg over a bike.
Ideal for toning the side of bottom.
-Hip raises with tricep dips – 20 reps
With arms behind you, lift hips up into the air and raise one leg and lower down, alternate legs while dipping arms down from behind.
Hits the area where the hamstring meets bottom – where bottom smiles :)
And helps the butt to lift.
-Side planks with rotation – 20 reps
Start in plank position, roll hips over from one side to the other (meeting at plank in the middle) and make sure hips touch the floor on each side.
A signature move for chiseling the side of the abs.
-Russian twists – 20 reps
Sitting up with legs in a table top position, twist from side-to-side with a medicine ball or similar
Attacks the deep abdominal muscles and obliques.
-Leg flutters – 20 reps
Lie flat, with arms behind head and slowly raise legs up and down in a scissor repetition
You’ll feel this one in the lower abdominal muscles