Sweaty Betty blog: Usa
Empowering Women Through Fitness
We've already seen one half of this fitness-loving duo share her Diary of A Workout Wardrobe; now it's her twin sister Wah's turn. LA-based Wah has run a total of 18 marathons, and deems her personal best as her completion of the Oxfam Maclehose race, running up and over 10 mountain ranges in Hong Kong in under 24 hours.
The first US boutique will be in SoHo. It was one afternoon sitting in Mercer Street Kitchen that made us determined to open a boutique in SoHo. We were watching New York’s beautiful women walking by – and that was when we knew Sweaty Betty belonged at the heart of New York’s fashion district.
It's been a long journey. Two years ago we launched the US website, soon followed by a catalogue launch and a Roadshow in the Hamptons. When we arrived in the Hamptons, we fell in love with the active lifestyle. Yoga, surfing, pilates - they did it all. I was even able to do one of my favourite water sports, Stand Up Paddleboarding, in Long Island Sound.
From New York City to San Francisco Bay, our professional Sweaty Betty yoginis are stretching it out in style. We caught up with ambassadors Stacey Brass and Kimberly Hu to find out what makes them tick…
Kimberly Hu, Budokon Yoga Instructor, San Francisco
A yoga practitioner since 1997, Kimberly Hu has taught many forms of yoga in New York, London and more recently San Francisco, California. Kimberly specialises in Vinyasa Flow as well as Budokon Yoga, a fusion of yoga and mixed martial arts, meaning she really pushes her Sweaty Betty gear to the limit each and every day.
We stayed in a great apartment just round the corner in Little Italy, through OnefineStay - loved having our own place rather than staying in a soulless hotel. It belonged to a couple who were obviously into their fitness so I was able to do my barrecore class, streamed through our SweatyBetty website every morning using their yoga mats and therabands. Huge Macs, Charles Eames' desk chairs, wicked exposed filament lighting, the obligatory bare brick walls and massive comfy sofas made it a great place to come back to each evening (plus nearby heavenly pizza takeaway from Rubirosa).
Although one time, I would love to stay at the Wythe hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A converted old factory, it has amazing views over the river of Manhattan. It's opposite the Brooklyn Bowling alley which had leather chesterfields, huge glitter balls and a live band paying when we visited on a Sunday afternoon.
I was super impressed by the Soho Equinox with the reception lobby boasting a juice bar, overloaded with huge piles of ginger, carrots, apples, pears and fridges of wheatgrass. A screen displaying the tons of exciting classes and videos everywhere of toned abs and "asses" was inspiring, not to mention the free Kiehls products in the locker rooms. Think our British gyms have a lot to learn.
The highlight of my trip to LA this time was going to a 6.30 am class at Soul Cycle. It's the most awesome 45 minutes ever. It's a spinning class, but with instructors who are massively into their music, so it's almost like you dance on your bikes, keeping in time to the beat. Huge messages on the walls inspire you to keep going, it's pitch black except for candles round the instructor and it's rammed full of people going for it. Even the shop is inspiring, beautiful and clean with carefully chosen product in corporate yellow, grey and white. Apparently they are coming to the UK soon. I can't wait.
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