LONDON — A running frustration with athleisure wear led college friends Jessie Hyman and Lexy Copithorne to launch Pruzan in October.
At Washington University in St. Louis, the pair bonded over their athleticism — Hyman was the only person Copithorne felt comfortable enough to go on runs with.
“When Jessie really got back into training for marathons, she really couldn’t find things that worked for her body while running in the city,” said Copithorne, who then started brainstorming designs.
In the five months since its conception into the real world, the brand has been creating a tight-knit community among athletes and runners in London and Los Angeles, where the two cofounders live.
Pruzan identifies itself as a unisex brand, and all products are shown on male and female models with a concise color palette of light neon green and black, with the exception of the off-white hat and white T-shirt.
“It’s about the idea of the beauty of the body and human form in motion. A lot of what we want to visually show is about power and strength that can represent masculinity and femininity,” said Hyman about approaching the brand in a “fine high art way.”
The website currently stocks 13 pieces of clothing: three shorts and T-shirts; two mesh singlets; four sport bras and a cap.
Hyman and Copithorne have no immediate plans to add products just yet, nor are they preparing any future collections.
“We don’t feel any drive to be a part of the fashion calendar and cycle. Over time, we really want to think about how our customer travels and the city they live in; that’s really our drive and what we’re going after,” explained Hyman, who studied environmental policy in college and wants to install sustainable initiatives within the brand.
“I’m aware of greenwashing and talk about sustainability because it’s important to us, but we consciously don’t claim that we’re the most green brand out there. We’re using recycled polyester, lyocell and deadstock fabric,” she added.
The decision to use recycled polyester was to take waste out of the supply chain, and it’s within scope of what the brand had access to as a start-up, she said.
Stock quantity has also remained low at the brand. It has only produced around 300 vests in three colorways, of which the pink has sold out. The low stock has resulted in higher price points for the apparel, which retails from 70 British pounds to 125 pounds.
“Anytime you want to do something more sustainable, you’re up against the standard. If you want to produce less or use recycled fabrics you have to pay more to be surcharges. We’ve made our price point in a way that can sustain us as a business and we won’t have to feel the pressure to sell massive quantities,” said Hyman.
She wants Pruzan to move into wholesale and is looking into stockists for the brand. “Being able to participate in those different avenues is really important. I think that’s actually what makes a healthy business these days,” she added.