The Philippine Star
THIS LOCAL ACTIVEWEAR BRAND EMPOWERS ALL MOVEMENT
The irony of activewear is that you are not always performing 100 percent while wearing it. We can’t help it. Leggings are just so comfy. There’s a brand slogan that eggs me on to “Just Do It,” when really, the most I’m doing on most days is a brisk walk to the lobby to pick up some packages.
And Recess just gets that. Led by partners Anne Curtis, Isabelle Daza, Roxanne Farillas and Paulina Ortega, it’s the newest lifestyle brand conceptualized as a “recess from life.”
“We’re in a hyper-productive, hyper-driven society, and the main thing that we kept having to remind ourselves to do is take a moment for yourself, carve that space, step back,” says Paulina, the brand's creative director, over an intimate Zoom call to showcase their 29-piece maiden collection. “It’s a brand for the well-rounded woman created by women for women and for anyone who wants to wear our product. We like to say we are zero-pressure activewear for when your full potential needs a break,” says Isabelle.
One of the brands that Anne famously endorses is Plains & Prints, and Roxanne is the woman behind the womenswear brand, bringing in 26 years of experience in creating apparel.
But Recess posed a different kind of challenge for Roxanne. “We don’t buy anything from the market. We started from scratch, really,” Roxanne admits. “Creating an activewear line is very different and more difficult from what I used to do.”
It’s four women with different needs, different dress sensibilities, coordinating from three places around the world: Roxanne from the Philippines , Isabelle in Hong Kong, The Tricolor Athlete bra's colorful piping is made out of leftover fabric scraps/ and Anne and Paulina in Australia. Beginning conceptualization during the first quarter of 2019, the launch was pushed back this year due to the pandemic. The brand created an Instagram community before they released any product. Behind the scenes, they were able to take the time to performance-test everything as well as make sure the brand was inclusive.
“Inclusivity is a huge thing we want to live up to every day, but it is a process for us,” says Paulina. Recess’ sizing goes from a more neutral 1 to 6, not XS to XXL. The bras accommodate cup sizes AA-DD.
“One thing that kept coming up was when women’s bodies were going through changes, as our bodies always do, we kept getting feedback from people saying it was almost a deterrent for them to put a pair of leggings on because their size changed. We want to eliminate every barrier we could find for you to put a pair of leggings on and snap into the mindset of ‘I want to do something good for me.’
“In terms of the length, we started with one length of leggings which we perfected to the average height of the Filipina which is 5’2”. If you’re taller you can wear it a little cropped,” she shares, having had to tailor storebought leggings in the past to fit her height.
Recess’ clean-cut, neutral-to-bright designs accommodate a spectrum of movement, from light physical activity to a challenging workout, offering medium-to-high compression while keeping the same soft second-skin feel in lightweight sweat-wicking fabric for an intense workout, as well as breathable and cottony gentle compression for when you just want to relax.
In a conscious move to be low-impact The Personal Best set have lightweight medium-to-high compression for more endurance- and strength-focused activities featuring a heat- pressed two- ply waistband for added
support to the core.