As 2016 comes to an end, many of us our thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2017. Some of those goals may be to save money, go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip or pick up that hobby that’s been always been an interest. For a lot of people, 2017 will be the year of reaching those body goals. Whether your eyes are set on burning a certain amount of body fat or losing a couple pounds to fit an upcoming wedding dress, fitness is one of those goals that many women can relate to.
With work and other responsibilities that often get in the way of workout time, many women have leaned towards wearing more athletic and leisure (aka athleisure) items of clothing to help make that transition from the sedentary cubicle to the sweat-induced cycling class seat. One West Coast-based clothing line, montiel activewear, strives to bring the “fun, flirty and functional” to athletic attire. With social media networks like Instagram and Pinterest making online shopping and wardrobe makeovers all the more convenient, montiel, known for its staple teardrop bra, only sells from the web and does not have a pop-up shop anywhere in the United States.
After coming across some rather cute items on Instagram, Vibe Vixen had a chance to sit down with the founder, Maggie Montiel, to briefly chat about her activewear line, how it came became popular in the “fit Hollywood” scene and more.
VIBE Vixen: How did you get started in fashion?
Maggie Montiel: My dad’s been in the fashion merchandising industry for forever. I have always wanted to be in it, and it fell in my lap. I started with a few pieces out of my two-bedroom apartment, and it took off organically through social media. I had to keep up with it. I sell exclusively online to offer a better price point to the customer – I’m not doing any wholesale – and it’s working.
Who would you say would benefit from an item from our clothing line?
I would say women ages 20 to 45, who are comfortable shopping online, appreciate great prices without any risk. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym. You can just be comfortable.
What’s the most popular item that you have out now?
The popular signature piece is the Teardrop bra. It’s kind of like the claim to fame for us, but that’s the one with the two straps.
How are your pieces different from that of your competitors?
I’m using top fabrics comparable to Lulu Lemon, and with a controlled quality. We manufacture everything in San Diego and keeping it in the US; that’s important to me. And then I also add pieces like this cowl back top I’m wearing, and these leggings.
That’s a trend these days, wearing tights and or leggings. A lot of women find it convenient to just wear what we can also wear in the gym have always worn our tights and leggings.
Yeah, but I had the vision of wanting it to be even more than just looking like you are if that makes sense. I think a lot of the athleisure brands are still sporty looking, especially with the labeling. My labels are very small. My logo is a matte black on top of black. I would go without it if I could, but I can’t. For now, they’re on lifestyle pieces like this cowl back top – I won’t put any labels on it; I’m not into that. I’m more focused on minimalism and just having items that are effortlessly pretty. I focus a lot on the back, but the front is really pretty too and has a tier in the front. It definitely makes your gals look good. But the fit, price, quality are all really, really important to me. So that’s just where I’m at.
Very elegant with the street style of downtown LA. Would you say montiel is good for your yoga enthusiasts or even a runner?
Yoga, running, and I have all different levels of support [for other activities]. I’m hitting bustier girls, just different types of bodies as much as I can according to the feedback I receive from customers, which helps me perfect my products. If they want longer tops or different sizing, I can make that because I’m making it on the West Coast, making my cut and sew really really fast.
Tell me about the materials that use in your items.
We use Supplex, which is like a high-end version of nylon. There also a lot of tiny fabrics we use like spandex. My pants are custom-made with a custom blend so it won’t lose color, holds you rear end, while making you look nice and trim. It’s like Spanx, but they’re thin. You can wear them with boots or you can wear them and work out. I also use tinsel, which wicks moisture off of you. You can put them in the washer, put them in the dryer, use and abuse them because they’ll last forever.
A lot of women take their exercises to the outdoors, in the form of hiking and more. Do your items offer UPF or extra sun protection?
Not yet. I just went to the Paris Premiere Fabric Show, and I found a really cool fabric line that I want to try for sun protection.
What’s the largest cup size that you offer in bust size?
We base it off of the fullest part of your bust. We go up to extra large, and I believe that’s up to 44 inches. So it’s really the fullest part around here.
Have you tested your bras for high-impact movement?
I make sure to test every product on every type of woman. We have the victory bra and sienna bra, which are good for high impact activities. They go all the way up to an extra large. There are definitely options. We specify and recommended to not use our teardrop bra for jumping jacks; it’s a yoga bra. We’re very clear. And we’re witty with our recommendation copy like jumping jacks approved, non-approved, hold up your gals, show off your gals – that kind of stuff.
What do you have to say to women who looking for something elegant that they can work out in? Why should they try your pieces?
We are made in California for active women from start to finish. From every activity, whether you’re just going from coffee to going to yoga, to going for a run, to coming into the office, to have a glass of wine and going out to dinner, we want that transition to be all day – all day active. When you’re in montiel, it’s effortless.