For Candice Fragis, the right activewear can be the ultimate motivator.
She was raised as a dancer in a health-conscious household, then introduced to yoga by a friend at the start of her exploration into more existential concepts as an adult. And, when a serendipitous opportunity arose between jobs, she traveled to India from her home in London and became a certified instructor.
Now, Fragis brings that experience with physicality to her job as senior buyer for online fashion hub, Net-A-Porter, as they launch luxury activewear spinoff, Net-A-Sporter. She insists that the fitness apparel they carry be both flattering and technically sound, offering customers the emotional and physical support they need to perform at their best.
Here, Fragis explains why the best products are born of personal passion:
Live The Process: How has your interest in health and wellbeing developed throughout your life?
Candice Fragis: I grew up in a very healthy home and so have always been conscious of the importance of eating well and staying active. My mother loves dancing and my father is an all-round fitness fanatic. I danced from the age of 5 until around 19. A friend recommended yoga to me at a time when I became interested in psychology and spirituality; it was a perfect merge and next step from dance, and I have been practicing ever since.
LTP: After practicing yoga for a decade, what inspired you to journey to India and become a certified instructor?
CF: I had always wanted to complete teacher training, but, with a career in London, it was difficult to find the time. I had also always wanted to go to India and experience the culture. I was lucky enough to be able to take a short career break in between jobs, which is when I ventured to India on a three-month-long trip and spent six weeks completing my teacher training.
I wanted to strengthen and expand upon a practice that I had been nurturing for so many years. Becoming a certified yoga instructor meant I grasped a greater understanding of what yoga is beyond the physical practice.
LTP: How does your personal outlook on health influence your buying philosophy for the website’s new fitness arm, Net-A-Sporter?
CF: I tend to seek out brands that are born out of passionate people, who either engage in the activity themselves or have a very holistic approach in the way they use fashion to enhance their products. If pieces look good and are technical and performance-based, then we as buyers know our customers will love them.
LTP: How can a person’s activewear wardrobe impact his or her fitness approach, and what are the most indispensable pieces?
CF: Workout wear can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once in the outfit, you’re halfway there: if you look the part, you often feel the part. Start with a good pair of leggings and comfortable cross trainers. Keeping warm after exercising is important, so a hooded top or layering piece is a must. Once you find the activity that works for you, then you will naturally know what else you need.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CF: Being with the people I love in good health, with good food, good energy and lots of sunshine.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
CF: To “Live The Process” is to trust the journey. Even though there are bumps along the way, you have to keep focused and believe you are exactly where you need to be.