We’re always on the lookout for our next favorite workout outfit, and we’ve currently landed on Urban Savage as our go-to for everything from yoga to running to running errands. Michelle Kluz, founder of Urban Savage and former CEO of Pure Barre, talked to us about her new project, how she came up with the name, and what working out and wearing workout clothes has taught her.
Downtown: How did you get into fitness?
Michelle Kluz: I’ve been into fitness my entire life. In grade school, I won the Presidential Physical Fitness award every single year and held most of the female school records. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t “into” fitness – ever!
Downtown: What are some of your favorite workouts?
MK: I adore running outside – it’s the best way to learn more about my neighborhood and a good way to also catch up with friends who also run. I’m a pretty competitive runner (I’ve been nominated for NYRR Runner of the Year in my age group the past 2 years), so I love doing barre and pilates for low impact strength and cross training.
Downtown:How did you decide that the next step was activewear?
MK: When I was CEO at Pure Barre, I heard from so many studio owners that they felt there weren’t enough interesting fashion options in activewear. Also, as a fitness junkie myself, I was getting bored with what was out there. Many people don’t know I actually have a background in design, and so I just simply started designing my own, based on things I would want to wear.
Downtown: What were the most important things to you when developing Urban Savage?
MK: My goal is to create activewear that you love so much that it gets you moving. Beyond that, I knew from the start that I would not compromise on quality: Our core fabrics are either 1. Warp & weft woven – which most brands don’t use because it’s very expensive, but it also means the fabric has incredible stretch and recovery, or 2. A luxurious eco fabric that is mildly compressive so it reduces lactic acid buildup during cardio… and to boot, has UV protection to 50. I also knew that style would be core to our ethos. I don’t love the term “street to studio” or vice versa. The way we live today means that the gear needs to work with everything in your wardrobe, whether you are simply wanting to be comfortable and look amazing running around town, or need the highest performance gear for whatever workout you’ve got planned.
Downtown: What are a few of your favorite pieces/styles?
MK: I’m a real sucker for our recent scallop release. You’ll see me sporting a pair of scallop leggings paired with the adjustable, hook & eye closure McCarren bra ,and the denim scuba jacket on any given day.
Downtown: Who is the audience for Urban Savage?
MK: Females who are confident in who they are and what they want out of life.
Downtown: How did you decide on the name?
MK: Urban comes from the aesthetic sensibility: It’s very sophisticated, Downtown NY in its vibe. Savage is because the woman who is attracted to the brand is a force of nature. I’d been toying with a few names, and woke up one morning and was like “Urban Savage” because it truly embodies our ideal audience.
Downtown: Are the clothes catered to certain activities?
MK: Certainly, they cater to very active pursuits (even though we do also carry some athleisure, too) and can be used for any fitness activity. The second skin, 4-way stretch fabric is ideal for yogis, and the more compressive fabric is great for cardio (and the leggings for most of these styles have internal hidden pockets for things like keys and credit cards), but they truly work across activities.
Downtown: What are a few things readers should know about Urban Savage in general?
MK: Activewear may be the output, but we truly consider ourselves a fashion and lifestyle brand. We are innovating with every season and introducing new and on-trend styles because we understand that modern women want to be in fashion AND have workout gear that extends to more than just the gym.