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We talk to Mary Moran, founder of luxury activewear brand ILU

Mary Mason

Mary Moran is the founder of the luxury activewear brand that should be on your radar: ILU. Stylish as well as performance driven, like its wearers, the range consists of leggings, crop tops, and super comfy fitted tees. There’s also a calm range, ideal for those into yoga or pilates (or for stylish lounging-about-the-house wear!).

We talk to Mary to find out more about her fitness story.

Tell us about the journey of the ILU brand…

The ILU seed was planted while I was still working in the City, when I first got seriously into fitness. It was actually an ex who really got me passionate about health and wellbeing, and I then trained as a personal trainer, part-time. I was spending lot of time in the gym or classes and really wished there was more choice for women- I realized back then that what you wear affects how you feel, which in turn affects your motivation to do fitness/yoga! But it took a few more years before I did anything about it. I was feeling increasingly disillusioned with the City and that I was hitting a glass ceiling, a few life events made me realize how short life is and how important it is to do what you’re passionate about. So I went part-time and then left the City. That was in 2013.

The brand’s mission is to create beautiful pieces which lift your mood, suit your lifestyle and make you look fabulous

What’s in the name, ‘ILU’?

ILU means beauty in Estonian. I wish I could say we had a connection with Estonia, but truthfully, we don’t. We were looking for an easy to remember, short and abstract name that represented feminine, sophisticated values, and we liked the sound of it. And of course, it stands for I Love U.

Sum up the aesthetic of the brand…

Our design signature is feminine sophistication on a can-do canvas. I felt that so many activewear brands carry a cool, urban, graffiti look. I was looking for a modern, trend-based look but with a more feminine, tasteful and sophisticated style and feel. And designs which flatter and complement the feminine body, and stand up to physical activity and frequent washing.

Who is your customer?

Women who make things happen! (which happens to be our tag line). Sophisticated, cosmopolitan, feminine women who want to make the most out of life. Who enjoy (but aren’t obsessed by) wellness.

Our customers actually span a huge range of ages, fitness and lifestyle profiles. I think that’s because we have such a wide range of pieces, some really soft and beautiful, for ballet, pilates, and yoga; others more designed for performance in the gym, outdoors or at classes.

ILU_Destress Leggings_Side 2
ILU means beauty in Estonian

What’s your favourite piece/s from the current collection?

Personally, I really love the Destress Crop and the new Mindful vests. The Destress Crop has such a pretty back and is supportive enough for me to wear in high impact classes. I like the removable pads. And the Mindful Vests are so soft and loose fitting, and again I love the double layer cut out back, which is long enough to cover my bum! The indigo goes really well with all of my navy and blue pieces, and the pink is a grown-up beautiful feminine pink. Fabulous for Spring.

What’s in store for 2019?

Beautiful textures and a mix of active and relaxed pieces for the first half of the year. And then.. we are working on a very, very exciting project…but it’s top secret. But it will feature beautiful activewear….watch this space.

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