Introducing EXIE: In Conversation With Christina Exie, The Woman Behind The Brand

Does your activewear take you from gym to business chic and back again? If not, you might want to hazard a glance at the latest new brand to drop at Glue Store. EXIE is the brainchild of seasoned designer, Christina Exie, who has taken her extensive background in high fashion and tailoring and applied it to sportswear. Bold colours merged with sleek constructions hit upon the spirit of a post-lockdown world where customers are searching for the happy medium between loungewear and workwear. EXIE stands out as a brand that carefully considers who the wearer is and creates luxe activewear to fit you and your lifestyle, not the other way around.

Glue sat down with Christina Exie to talk about the launch of her EXIE-iting new brand.

Explore The EXIE Collection

Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy

GLUE: In your prior fashion endeavours, you’ve worked on eclectic, conceptual designs with intricate or handmade details. Quite uniquely, you’ve gone from fashion runways to e-commerce and not the other way around. How has your background and previous experience as a designer informed EXIE, especially on the more technical side of things when it comes to well-constructed activewear?

Christina: In my previous work, although very detailed and somewhat demi-couture, there has always been a sporty aesthetic that’s been consistent throughout. It’s something that I didn’t consciously realise I was doing, but instead [found out through] the observations of others. The technical design knowledge I’ve strengthened over the years through experience and studies has been a key element in making the EXIE product premium very early on. Before EXIE I didn’t have any sportswear experience, but like any industry there is a foundation you can build upon, and mine was tailoring.



Activewear (and even luxury activewear) has become such a saturated market. Consumers have so much to choose from. What was it that drove you to start a business in such a competitive market and what are consumers getting from EXIE that they won’t find elsewhere?

Although the activewear market is saturated, I could see there was still a gap in the market. EXIE is different to the other activewear brands on the market, as it’s the vision of the person driving the brand that the essence, product, and marketing comes from. EXIE is bold and daring with colour, and the silhouettes are cut to flatter your body, making you feel sexy and powerful. We keep it simple with subtle details that differentiate us from other activewear brands.

The EXIE aesthetic strikes me as two things: both nostalgic and futuristic. Is this intentional? How do you balance the two and how do you push fashion forward during a time where nostalgia really sells?

As I design all the product it means my handwriting of everything I love is prominent in each garment. When I design, I try to balance between what’s on trend, what’s going to work for the brand and what I want to design. Focusing too much on what’s trending when I design ends up looking cliché, so I’ll always bring it back to the brand essence and find an angle that is EXIE. Through this process I create new ideas of graphics, colour usage and silhouettes that brings newness and difference to what a competitor brand might do.



There was a time when jet setting in activewear was unheard of, but now we wouldn’t think of getting on an aeroplane without also planning a comfortable outfit to wear. What’s more, we now associate activewear with celebrity, off-duty models, or the Kardashians. How much does celebrity inspo and the jet-setter lifestyle play into the brand?

When I created the brand one of the key phrases on the “About” page was, “wear it from brunch to gym to jet” – so right from the start it was the plan to create easy wear and easy-care garments that are perfect for travelling with because you don’t need to iron them! From a styling perspective I also wanted the product to be able to be worn out, so I made and still make sleek designs that you can pair with stilettos then throw on a blazer and head out to a bar.

The brand has a prevalent message of empowerment and the slogan “empowered through strength”. What was it that made you adopt this mantra? Was there a specific moment that inspired you to launch your brand with this message behind it?

The slogan was planned to be, “unleash your inner badass”, but I changed it to, “empowered through strength”, to be more polite and conservative so I didn’t offend anyone. The mantras came before the brand launched and the essence of the brand influenced the product. This mantra has come from my own personal experiences of feeling mentally stuck, unmotivated and somewhat timid. All of us feel this way at times in different areas of life, so I felt the need to empower women to unlock their potential when wearing EXIE. I wanted to make women feel excited to put on their EXIE activewear which would then motivate them to work-out, and better to push themselves to levels they didn’t before.



As an activewear brand, EXIE is inherently built around the ideals of health and wellbeing. What role does health and wellbeing play in your life?

Health and wellbeing are everything to me. Right from the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I’ve got rituals that maintain my physical and mental health. Some examples are, when I wake up, I drink lemon and ginger water to energise me and line my gut before I consume anything else. I work out every day with a combination of walking, Pilates, boxing, or weights depending on how I feel. I dip in the ocean two to three days a week at 6am to boost my immune system and sleep at-least seven hours per day. In terms of food, I don’t eat refined sugar, gluten, meat or dairy products and keep alcohol to very special occasions. I’m super strict but have been like this since I was very young, so it’s normal to me now.

EXIE caters to not only sportswear fans but also streetwear fans with a diverse range of styles, silhouettes, and fabrications. How does this combination reflect your personal style?

For me street and activewear go hand in hand. Growing up I did all sorts of dance, and the style was to wear our ballet leotards with leg warmers and oversized hoodies, or track pants with one leg [rolled] up and our sports bra on top. This style has been with me this whole time, so I think I’ve just naturally made it a key part of the EXIE brand.



You’ve mentioned that you’re a fan of sci-fi. Do you think that there is a place for epic genre in e-commerce brands? If so, how do you think these influences can shape a design and give something special to the customer?
 
In the aesthetic of apparel, sci-fi can appear in so many ways. A massive influence and inspiration of mine is Thierry Mugler. I’ve loved his work since I can remember because he uses graphic lines with hyper-feminine silhouettes and interesting textures that can appear to be sci-fi. Even now with Creative Director Casey Cadwallader the same design ethos has been applied in a more commercial way, but the essence is still the same. These garments however don’t have a special function per-se, but the aesthetic is now loved by so many and after all these years MUGLER is back and extremely popular with a new generation. Sci-fi as a genre can influence the function of a garment and could inspire technology that is customer facing, like a website for example. There are many things that could be done, though due to the price to make and launder it could be still some time before we see and buy them in a commercial space.



Gone are the days when being seen wearing activewear in public was embarrassing. What personal style tips can you share for anyone wanting to find a way to elevate their activewear in their everyday wardrobe?

The possibilities are endless! My absolute favourite is to wear leggings, a sports bra with a blazer on top, then accessories with a big gold chain, thick gold hoops, heels and your favourite bag! I’ve worn this to events in the past and had so many compliments.

Shop The EXIE Collection

Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Classic Logo Sweater in Ecru
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Meta Leggings in Khaki
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Flex 2.0 Bike Short in Navy
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Meta One Shoulder Top in Khaki
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Transmission Shorts in Ecru
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Flex 2.0 Racer Tank in Navy
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Classic Logo T-Shirt in Ecru
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Leggings in Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Circuit Sleeveless In Farrow
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Sports Bra in Charcoal
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Delta Trouser in Black
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal
Blaze 2.0 Short in Charcoal