Since KiraGrace's humble beginnings, we have been endlessly inspired by the powerhouse that is Elena Brower. As an internationally-acclaimed yoga instructor, teacher, speaker, author and mother, Elena has her hands full with creative projects that aim to encourage living a more present lifestyle. This is a full-circle moment for both Elena and our brand, as she spent her early days in the fashion industry, and has worn KiraGrace designs throughout her yoga career. Elena's collaborative capsule collection includes intricate patterns and timelessly elegant silhouettes to give you versatile pieces to wear both in and out of your practice.
We are absolutely honored to work with Elena, and loved hearing more about the inspiration behind these beautifully classic designs...
KG - How would you describe your personal sense of style?
EB - Feminine yet practical, old world meets modern.
KG – Where did your interest in fashion start?
EB - High school. I started noticing my mom's style and began formulating my own. I went to Cornell for design, and spent all of college immersed in fashion, art history and creativity in all its forms. After that I worked in textile design for several years, lived in Italy designing garments for ready-to-wear, and then got trained to teach art to children. By the time I'd found yoga, it was 1997 and I'd done everything I'd dreamt about as a kid.
KG - How has your career in the yoga world expanded or augmented your creativity?
EB - Finding my voice through movement was a big, beneficial step in my life. Combining fashion and yoga was a logical next step; a dream come true for me.
KG - In what ways do you think your personality comes through in this collection?
EB -The pattern hints at my biggest print inspirations like Etro; shapes are super simple yet feminine, and the colors are precisely the colors with which I've been surrounded for months now that I've moved to the southwest... Earth and sky. My taste, sensibilities and surroundings are front and center in these silhouettes and colors.
KG - How do you create space for yourself mentally and physically when you are working on a new project?
EB - I tell my family I'm designating blocks of time, and I set myself apart during those periods. I use post-it notes tacked on the walls, clipboards to organize those thoughts, and collage to give life to my visions. Exploring what I'm thinking about in visual ways brings my ideas to life, whether it's a painting or a course. I wake up early; most of my best ideas come in those hours. Running hill sprints, i get some of my finest thinking done during the walks back down the hill. I'm always taking notes on those walks down!
KG - When it comes to designing your own clothes, where do you draw your inspiration?
EB -Two places: other designers and fine artists. Designers from Japan and Italy, but not exclusively. Issey Miyake has always moved me. Daniela Gregis is my latest obsession. I'm inspired by the colors in Nature and the movements. Martin, Hilma af Klint and Emma Kunz are the artists to whom I turn when I'm seeking a burst of creativity for any project, clothing or otherwise.
KG - In our fitness-focused culture, it can seem like the possibilities for purchasing activewear are endless. What do you think makes the pieces in your new collection with KiraGrace stand apart?
EB -Timelessness. We all know that KiraGrace makes such high quality pieces - I have tops and leggings from years ago that still look so new. The patterns and colors in this collection are forever - they'll stay fresh for a long time. My wish was to create pieces I'd always love and want to wear, both on and off the mat.
KG - What is your favorite piece from the new collection and why?
EB -The Elena dress. Both colors - Clay and Chambray. I'm geeking out over the pockets, in love with the everyday versatility and the elegance, proud and thankful that we went for a dress along with the usual yoga pieces. That dress is in heavy rotation around here.
If you liked this blog, check out our other blogs like "Empowering Women Series" or "8 Different Types of Yoga: Explained to Help you Choose", "5 Smart is Sexy Looks: Tiffany Cruikshank's Collection Inspiration" and "Resources to Nurture your Spirituality"