Blue Elvin Apparel Launches, Aims to Change How Women Train
Lamorna and Tamara Short, founders of the London-based functional training brand Blue Elvin, want to transform how women train.
One big thing: The sisters call their clothing “products for power.” Each piece in their first set — leggings, a sports bra, and shin sleeves — incorporate protective impact panels.
The concept was born from their personal CrossFit experience, which, as they explain on the Blue Elvin website, left “constant marks, scrapes, and bruises all over [their] bodies.”
- “No longer must we experience the pain, bruising, and discomfort during barbell training. We can be empowered to focus purely on form and performance,” the Shorts wrote.
- “We’ve created something that’s different — not just in product but also in how we’re representing the female training experience,” they continue.
The protective panels use RHEON™️ technology, “an active polymer that intelligently strengthens when subjected to force,” and are placed where a barbell hits most: on top of the shin and the collar bone. They’re soft and flexible to the touch — so not to hinder cardio training — but when hit by a barbell, “intelligently” control energy to reduce impact.
Their work to change training for women doesn’t stop with the panels. The sisters took into account other issues women face with existing activewear, integrating bra cups for nipple coverage and easy washing, double-layering their leggings for squat security, adding low armholes for comfort during gymnastics movements, and designing their pieces to fit an athlete’s body.
And, this is all accomplished without sacrificing style. The sisters kept their color palette simple to be flattering and versatile, using form-complementing, recycled Italian fabrics to “celebrate the female body.”
Behind the name: Blue Elvin is a stone, one that the sisters explain is “strong and resilient.”
- “The ‘Blue’ color is from a mineral within the stone called Labradorite, which represents transformation. Labradorite is known to impart strength, perseverance and self-belief,” they say. “We believe the name is a perfect representation of a female athlete — each of us is different but uniquely strong.”
By the numbers: It took two years for the Short sisters to release their first set. During that time, they talked with 50 female athletes, collected research with 12 calls and five surveys, completed 200 hours of product testing, and made 30 prototypes.
Testing was a key element of their two-year journey, all on real athletes. Based on feedback, they adjusted production — even as late as March 2020, when they pivoted from a collarbone-protected tank top to a sports bra.
They intend to keep a data-driven process intact as the brand expands.
- “We regularly receive messages from women asking for specific products to protect their bodies,” say the sisters. “We intend to listen to women, to learn from their experiences and grow from there.”
The first set from Blue Elvin is — as all of their sets will be — limited. Shipping is available globally, and purchases can be made on their website.
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