Athleisure is here to stay, as proved by a host of designers at SS18, from Alexander Wang’s monogrammed tracksuit jackets to Ashley Williams’ update on the hoodie and sweat pant. As well as looking to the new collections for sportswear inspiration, we continue to return to the brands that were doing athletic pieces before the street style set locked their eyes on chunky trainers.
Lucky, then, that Champion has this week opened its first women’s-exclusive pop-up shop. Located in the Designer Studio in Selfridges, it’ll showcase the brand’s AW18 collection, with classic slogan pieces refreshed for the new season in various colour ways, alongside the Reverse Weave branded velour track suits and oversized logo sweatshirts.
To celebrate the opening, both Champion and Selfridges collaborated with Cora Delaney, founder of talent agency EYC Management, who recruited a gang of women making waves in the male-dominated industries in which they work. Femme Fatale, the East London-based all-female run tattoo studio founded by Grace Neutral, skateboarder and model Aimee Gillingwater, and filmmaker Mollie Mills were all shot by photographer Daniela Monteiro, making the campaign a celebration of women making things happen in the capital right now.
We asked each of the women involved about how they navigate the workplace, the thing they love most about their jobs, and which Champion piece they’ll be wearing all season long.
What’s your number one rule for bossing it at work?
Daniela Monterio: Personally I think that being kind towards others is very important - I think karma is very real, so respecting everyone around you just makes you feel confident about yourself and your work.
Cora Delaney: Respect is the main priority for me. Whether I’m working with brands or working with my peers, it’s important to be respectful and listen to each other’s ideas. Believe in your ideas and work hard to make sure they happen. Never be scared to ask for help! And always look presentable - even if that means hiding behind some black glasses.
Grace Neutral: The trick for me was just creating a space that everyone is comfortable in. I wanted to create a relaxed environment so people forgot they were at a tattoo shop and felt like they were chilling at a friend's house.
Aimee Gillingwater: My number one rule for bossing it at work is to have fun and own whatever you do. If you’re having fun at work then it will never truly feel like a job, and if you own it and take pride in it, it will be reflected in the end result.
How should we overcome imposter syndrome?
Daniela: Know your worth.
Cora: I actually had to Google what that was! I guess it’s the same answer as above. If you know you’re good at it and you're always proud of your work, then you shouldn’t have to worry.
Grace: I just rise above all of that and don’t pay it any attention - if people wanna diss you, they’re gonna do it regardless. Just know that you are true to your unique self and people will never be able to do it like you do.
Aimee: I used to struggle with dealing with imposter syndrome, but at the end of the day you have to be doing something right if you’re facing that struggle in the first place. Take it in your stride.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Daniela: Being able to work with great people and learn from them.
Cora: I love travelling all the time. I love sleeping on planes and forgetting my worries for a few hours! I love my clients and having lots of different aspects to my company. I don’t really see this as a job, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. My assistant is also my best friend - so that’s also very fun.
Grace: Meeting new people and being able to collaborate creatively with them.
Aimee: I get to see so many random locations you’d never think to go to in the first place, and often the people you meet there are just as exquisite.
Which woman, living or dead, do you most admire?
Daniela: My mom is the most hard-working woman I know. She’s my biggest influence and motivation. Also Nora Vasconcellos.
Cora: Clichè as fuck, but my mum because she taught me not to be a pussy! Also, Sharmadean Reid is a great role model for girls wanting to start their own businesses.
Grace: Marsha P Johnson.
Aimee: I just finished watching both series of The Crown on Netflix and definitely have a new found sense of respect for the Queen for the way she’s had to hold herself in difficult situations and her contributions to war efforts. But also any women who’ve been involved in male dominated industries. It’s definitely not easy to feel so secluded sometimes, and my experience in skating has changed dramatically over the last four years, but I’ll always have ultimate respect for female skaters who’ve been in the scene long before girls skating became popular. Stefani Nurding, Helena Long, Marisa Del Santo are my personal favourites. Some of the harassment and challenges they faced have pioneered the way for the younger girls today and I think they’ve contributed so much more than they’ll ever realise.
How would you describe your style in three words?
Daniela: Cozy, sweet and sour.
Cora: Toddler (in a) business meeting.
Grace: Tomboy, femme, scruffy.
Aimee: Skate, comfortable, feeling myself.
Which piece will you be wearing from the Champion collection?
Daniela: I’m not a skirt type girl at all, but I love it - it sits so well, has a beautiful cut and the material is sick. Everyone looks so badass in it.
Cora: The mustard velour tracksuit.
Aimee: Me too - it’s so comfortable and lightweight, I fell in love with it the minute I put it on.
Champion’s pop-up will be at Selfridges from 13th August for four weeks.