By Jessica Siskin
The idea of activewear used to involve nothing more exciting than faded grey P.E. uniforms or basic black yoga pants. But with the rise of boutique workout culture and the appearance of fun new ways to exercise, it only makes sense that fitness fashion has followed suit. Case in point: the Zara Terez line of clever, colorful, and cutting-edge workout wear. Zara Terez has been covering the legs of cool girls for years with their photo-real printed leggings — featuring images of everything from pop-culture favorites like emojis, to generational classics like woven friendship bracelets.
FOR NEW YORK, BY NEW YORK
The brand was launched in 2008 by founder and CEO Zara Terez Tisch, originally as a made-in-New-York leather handbag manufacturer, seeking to revive the Garment Center and bring new jobs back to the city — which was once considered the capital of the fashion world. In 2009, Zara brought on Amanda Schabes (now the company's Creative Director) to help spread the Zara Terez world. The two worked together to produce their line of genuine leather handbags that blended classic silhouettes with crazy-fun, printed interior linings.
In the name of taking that inner wild expression to the streets, the girls also began to sew the funky interior lining fabrics into cosmetics cases, which were quickly picked up by some of the biggest names in retail fashion. Zara and Amanda then continued on to design a collection of printed leggings that took off faster than they ever could have dreamed. Zara Terez now has a line of exclusively designed apparel and accessories that can be found in their online store as well as 500+ specialty boutiques, fitness studios, and department stores around the globe. They still design, print, manufacture, and ship everything in New York City.
TaKing it to the Gym
The brand has always stood behind the idea that having fun with your wardrobe is a natural attitude booster, so taking this ethos to the gym was an obvious evolution. “We’ve always felt that activewear could be a vibrant extension of your personality — something that made you excited to work out,” explains Zara.
The line’s activewear features energizing imagery and dynamic color, in addition to moisture-wicking technology, and an expert cut that sucks you in and lifts you up in all the right places. Zara Terez' partnership with SoulCycle, wherein Zara Terez designs a customized print for their studios each month, as well as wholesale relationships with big names like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bandier, and Carbon38 has taken their performance wear to a wide audience. It’s hard to dread hitting the gym when you’re walking there on legs covered in vintage cassette tapes or vibrant slices of watermelon!
While it’s important to feed off the energy of others during a workout, it’s easy to feel like you’re just blending into the crowd. Dressing to stand out is a perfect way to get noticed — when the instructor calls you out by your rainbow tie-dye pants and compliments your form, you know he’s acknowledging you even if it isn’t by name. Cheeky prints that address fitness culture, like the bright-green leggings featuring oversized leaves of the frilly vegetable-of-the moment, kale, are an easy conversation starter, and once the ice is broken you’ll have a whole new group of friends at the gym who will motivate you to keep going back.
Anyone who has ever found the perfect black dress or the white t-shirt that hangs just so, knows that looking good leads to feeling good. And that same swagger that can lead to a fun night out, can also boost your energy in the gym — facilitating not just a better time but also more effective workouts and lasting results.
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Zara Terez is a collaboration between best friends Zara Terez Tisch and Amanda Schabes, who literally make their dreams come true every day by printing their wild imaginations on clothing and accessories that then travel the world on the kind of girls they’d love to hang out with. Made with love in New York City, the Zara Terez original prints are as cool as you are. Zara and Amanda believe in freedom of expression, individuality, and empowerment. Be inspired, live your dreams and never blend in.
(photo credit: Newsday's Bruce Gilbert)