You'd think winning an Olympic gold medal, founding a charity, and landing on the New York Times' best-seller list would give Kristi Yamaguchi reason to relax. Instead, the Alamo mom just launched Tsu.ya, a new brand of women's activewear designed for busy yet fashionable moms. "It was definitely about function, fit, and, comfort—using high-tech fabrics and infusing details into the designs to make them more fashionable than typical activewear."The Name: Tsuya, Yamaguchi's middle name, also has a deeper connection. "It not only pays tribute to the family name that belonged to my grandmother but also to my Japanese heritage."
The Inspiration: "The inspiration came from my own life and wanting to find a product that I felt stylish and confident in, but could also wear for picking up the kids from school and running errands. The other motivating factor was wanting to bring a quality product to market that would support [Yamaguchi's] Always Dream Foundation."
The Details: The clothes feature banding and pleating for flattering silhouettes, ruffles for a feminine touch, and drapey cotton knits for layering. The biggest inspiration from Yamaguchi's skating days is in the "Bling" pieces, which have sparsely scattered tiny rhinestones. "It's subtle, but it dresses it up."
The Difference: Look for high-functioning quality with a strong fashion bent. "Aspirationally, we looked at what Stella McCartney was doing for Adidas, and how she brought in innovative designs to activewear."
The Favorites: Yamaguchi often grabs the tulip jacket, a double-breasted number with leopard-print lining. "It's a very fun jacket to throw on. It looks dressy, yet you can keep it in your bag, shake it out, and it still looks great."
A limited launch of neutral pieces hits East Coast–based Lord & Taylor stores on September 6. West Coasters can find online purchase information and links at kristiyamaguchi.com.
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