Meet Lara Mead, one half of the couple behind Varley, a London born, Californian inspired swimwear and activewear label. They spend half their year in the US, the other half in London, which is clear to see in Varley’s design: the edginess of London has been combined with the free spirited Californian attitude. The result? An inspiring new activewear collection to die for. We speak to Lara about her inspirations, her gym style tips and the future of Varley.
Who are you?
I’m Lara, Creative Director of VARLEY.
What inspires you?
I’m generally inspired by my day to day surroundings, I spend 6 months of the year in the USA, so travel is a huge source of inspiration.
I do feel at my most inspired whilst being active in the outdoors, there is nothing like an early morning run down the beaches of California to get the creative juices going.
Who is the Varley girl?
The VARLEY lady is stylish, elegant, active and comfortable in her own skin
Where do you see yourself/brand in 5 years’ time?
Hopefully continuing to develop the brand, penetrate new markets, and capitalising on our recent growth in the USA.
What’s the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A good sports bra… it’s the foundation of everything!!!
What are your style tips for dressing to the gym?
Be comfortable! There is no point looking amazing but not being able to meet your work out goals because you’re uncomfortable and restricted.
Layers are also important. I like to work out in leggings and a sports bra, and then put on a stylish tee or jumper to grab a juice or coffee post gym.
And DON’T wear your bf’s t-shirts!!! There is nothing elegant or stylish about turning up at the gym looking like a bloke!
What’s your favourite healthy snack?
Since being pregnant, it has to be Kale Crisps. I have such a craving for them. The Inspiral wasabi wheat grass crisps are particularly good.
What do you indulge in on a cheat day?
It’s really very boring, but I love a really good smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. There is a deli bar in Venice, LA called Gjusto, and their smoked fish sandwiches are to die for.
What’s your workout of choice?
My workout of choice has to be Lagree Fitness, when I’m in the States. I try and do it at least 4 times a week, there is nothing better than the ‘mega reformer’ to get you feeling toned. I can’t wait for it to come to London.
Do you have any fitness goals you would love to achieve?
Being 5 months pregnant, I have no current fitness goals, I’m just focusing on having a healthy happy pregnancy, and keeping active for as long as is physically possible.
What do you do to relax?
Exercise has always been my favourite way to relax. There is nothing like going on a long run down the beach, or in the countryside, feeling the wind in your hair, and listening to my favourite tunes. I also love a good sports massage, and although a little indulgent I’m a particular fan of the Cow Shed at Babington House.