P.E. Nation has arrived at Glue Store! To celebrate this momentous occasion, we sat down with one of the minds behind the design, Pip Edwards – and discussed everything P.E. Nation.
Launched by Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning in 2016, P.E. Nation blends functional activewear with fashion-forward streetwear.
What was the inspiration behind P.E. Nation? How did it all begin?
P.E Nation was born out of a need for activewear that allowed my co-founder Claire and I to juggle our working-mum lives. We love to train, we love to be comfortable, we are juggling the school drop off, meetings, work commitments and training and we love to look good whilst doing all the above. P.E NATION was the answer to being so time poor. To think that this little idea was sparked from a weekend lunch and has now become a fully fledged global reality, is just insane.
What has been the strongest influence on the P.E. Nation aesthetic so far?
Claire and I love the 80’s and 90’s street-sport vibe. Heritage street sport brands provide a lot of influence. Also retro ski and 90’s pop music bands!!
How do you ensure you strike the right balance between functionality and fashion?
We know that all the pieces we design are for multi functional purposes, so we have to offer technical pieces with a fashion edge. We design around a look/an outfit and in stories, so it’s clear how it’s meant to be worn. We show the way in which you can interchange pieces to transform the look from sport to street.
Athleisure as a fashion category has exploded in popularity. What sets P.E. Nation apart from other activewear brands?
Our product actually does what the athleisure trend suggests: you can wear it to the gym and then get on with your day whatever that may be. Usually it just means changing out one item of clothing or shoes. We pride ourselves on our quality. Product is king. Product is everything.
Do you remember the first time you saw somebody wearing P.E. Nation out in public. Where was it, and how did you react?
Yes! It was in Bondi on the promenade, and I was walking towards her. I was nervous and embarrassed because I’d never seen it in public before. I acknowledged her with a nod and smiled – it’s awesome to see people wearing the product and loving it as much as we do!
What was your ‘we’ve made it’ moment for the brand?
These moments happen regularly for us, as it’s just super exciting to see the brand resonate on so many levels with different people. From celebs wearing the product (Kylie Jenner, the Kardashians, Hayley Baldwin and Sophia Richie), to the amazing collabs we have launched and will launch in the future (Reebok), to the major retail accounts that buy into the product, to the little things (which are actually big things) like our families being so proud. They are all awesome moments to cherish and be proud of.
P.E. Nation has been extremely popular among well-known fashion influencers, including none-other than Kylie Jenner. Is it true that this brand exposure developed through authentic relationships, and you haven’t paid for anybody to post about the brand?
Of course. Everything we do is organic and has integrity and authenticity. We sent her the product – it was up to her to wear it or not! For us, it’s more about the quality of the product and this is testament to why they keep wearing it again and again.
How important has social media been for growing the P.E. Nation brand?
At launch it was single-handedly the most important strategy of all. The control you have over the content you post is so important to building your brand and seeing it in the right context to what is created. Our Instagram is intentionally curated and showcases the strong stamp we have over our aesthetic. Instagram is the main tool used for consumer shopping and for getting a direct feel for the brand, so instagram will continue to be a key tool in our growth.
What are your go-to wardrobe staples to compliment a P.E. Nation outfit?
The Heads Up PE Sweat is a must in every wardrobe. All our jackets are special too. In terms of my staples, it’s usually the WHOLE collection.
Are there any plans for P.E. Nation to branch out into bags or other accessories?
100%. We launch our beach bag in Oct, more caps and closer to Christmas we will drop a beach towel and drink bottle. There are loads more accessories to come next year so watch this space.
You can shot P.E. Nation at selected Glue Stores now.