Naja is launching activewear.
The intimate apparel start-up, which calls Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of HSN, an investor, and actress Gina Rodriguez an equity holder, has introduced an activewear collection.
“Our clients started asking for activewear with prints and in my mind there were plenty of options in the market, but most of the prints are geometrics, waves or repeat patterns,” said Catalina Girald, Naja’s founder. “We also saw a gap in the market for socially conscious activewear. There are a few brands that work with organic materials, but once they dye the fabric they basically kill everything that makes the fabric organic.”
Similar to Naja’s intimate apparel, the activewear assortment is made in Colombia, where the brand’s factory is based, from fabrics sourced and digitally printed in Los Angeles. The line, which is called the Tigress Active Collection, is inspired by Tigers, which Girald noted are close to extinct — there are only 4,000 in the wild — and China’s Kung Fu warriors. The assortment consists of capri leggings, mesh shorts and three styles of sports bras that feature Tiger and floral prints. The collection retails from $55 to $65.
The brand, which started as exclusively direct to consumer, is selling its product on its e-commerce site along with Nordstrom and Anthropologie, which picked up the collection in August. Girald said there are plans to increase wholesale distribution and this summer, the brand will move into swim, which is currently being tested in the South American market.
Girald started Naja in 2013 and it’s gained attention for its nontraditional supply chain, which is much shorter than the typical intimate apparel production process because Naja digitally prints their pieces and only works with a limited number of fabrics and components. This process leaves her without excess inventory and with 80 percent gross margins.
Single mothers or women who are heads of households produce Naja’s brightly printed lingerie in Colombia, and Naja offers its employees child education benefits, which includes free supplies, books, shoes, undergarments and school meals. Naja also operates the Underwear for Hope program that trains and employs at-risk women.
Earlier this year it launched a Nude for All, a line of bras and underwear that come in seven different shades of nude, and Girald said she will start to offer this line in lace.