Q&A with Jennifer Bandier, Founder
BANDIER’s selection of fitness wear was once only accessible in the Hamptons. In addition to the weekend perks of fresh air and seaside views, vacation-goers could also stop into BANDIER for a curated selection of leggings, tops, sports bras, sneaks, and more, all from unique brands. When owner Jennifer Bandier finally opened a location in Manhattan, the fitness community was in resounding agreement that the closer location was much-needed in NYC. Now, BANDIER is taking the party online — with their e-commerce BANDIER site launching this week. In anticipation of the launch, we asked Jennifer Bandier to weigh in on the swiftly rising growth of fitness fashion, and BANDIER’s success.
How did BANDIER get its start, and what are the qualities you are looking for in the brands you choose to sell at the store?
I started BANDIER to provide women with options for activewear. I had broken my foot and was restricted to only being able to walk, and quickly realized I needed more stylish and luxurious workout clothes. From there, I set out on a mission to find great new brands, and had the idea: How come no one has brought all these amazing brands together under one roof? From there, BANDIER was born! When looking at collections, we always keep in mind wearability and style.
How did you know it was finally time to take the store online, and start an e-commerce version of BANDIER?
BANDIER Southampton was such a hit that we knew immediately we wanted to bring our edit of luxury activewear to the masses. With social media specifically, we got so much demand for an online store. We feel lucky to have been able to inspire people all over the world to bridge the gap between fitness and fashion. It was a no-brainer to bring the business online.
You have become known for having fun, funky workout wear, that isn't the same as you would find everywhere else. How do you keep your selection fresh?
The thing I love most about fitness apparel is that it makes you happy. From a funky printed pant to a sexy mesh sports bra, there is truly something for everyone at BANDIER. Not only is luxury fitness apparel fun, but it really does make you feel good! We love finding new brands from all over the world, and pull inspiration from both fashion trends and functional fitness training.
As fitness fashion has gone more mainstream, and upscale designers like Cynthia Rowley have added fitness collections, we have also seen a surge in people getting more active. Why do you think fitness fashion is empowering people to get to the gym?
I see the rise of fitness fashion running in a parallel path to the growth of boutique fitness. People are spending money to work out and it's becoming more of a social activity, so it makes sense we all want to look good. There's nothing like working out in a great new pair of stylish pants or a sexy sports bra.
How do you promote positive body image at BANDIER?
We totally believe strong is the new sexy! At BANDIER we strive to use models that are healthy and fit. It's especially important to us to represent and support the fitness community, and we frequently partner with studios to offer free classes that are held at the NYC store.
Any advice for people looking to up their fitness wardrobe? What are the key pieces every fit woman needs?
Every woman needs a great pair of printed leggings. Even if you are someone who wears all black, a dark print is a great alternative to mix it up. I also love a fun jacket or vest that can be easily transitioned from a workout to brunch. Some of my favorite brands for these pieces are Michi, ALALA, and Splits59.
What are 3 pieces we can look out for in Spring/Summer on the new e-commerce BANDIER site?
There are too many to choose from! Keep an eye out for our exclusive printed leggings and sports bras, they are amazing.
Any advice, or final words to share with our readers?
Working out is fun, and there's no reason that what you wear to work out shouldn't be just as fun. I can't have a great workout without great music and a great outfit. And always remember — it's progress, not perfection!
With spring in full-bloom, and summer right around the corner, here are Jennifer Bandier's picks for the season — all available on BANDIER's new e-commerce site.
In left to right order: ULTRACOR Exclusive Neon Camo Print Legging / CANDIDA MARIA Exclusive Print "Daydream Believer" Legging / VARLEY Exclusive Marble Print Legging / PRISM SPORT Exclusive Blue Python Print Legging
Jennifer Bandier opened her first namesake boutique for luxury, fashion-driven activewear in Southampton (a second home since childhood) in 2014, drawing on years of work experience in the music business (where she managed Grammy winning bands such as TLC), and a natural inclination towards searching out and discovering new talent. Now, when she’s not spending time with her husband and two rescued Bluetick Coonhounds, she curates her store’s stock from the most innovative and beautiful fitness clothing brands around the world. As evidenced by the shop’s Affirmation Wall, and her involvement in charities like Culture For One and the Caron Foundation, Jennifer hopes to bring positivity and confidence to everyone she meets. For that opportunity, she feels gratitude each day.