Shown here, three brands pairing luxurious textiles with scientific advancements.
Un-Altered Elegance: We Norwegians
Some things are better left untouched. Working with Merino as a main focus, “the company has always strived to disrupt the fiber as little as possible, meaning we use a minimal amount of dyes and chemicals in the production process and even when blending with other fibers, keep the percentage of Merino as high as possible to maintain its amazing properties of odor resistance, quick dry, thermoregulation and breathability,” noted Ailin Harklau, ecommerce and operations director for We Norwegians North America.
The Scandinavian brand prides itself on “fabrics and craftsmanship for a discerning audience,” according to its website. Its Luxury Essentials collection consists of clean and understated pieces with that perfect drape that are versatile and are mostly crafted from over 98 percent Merino. It’s Voss Ski collection (named for its Norwegian city heritage – its U.S. counterpart is based in Park City, UT) is crafted from a unique pique knit that is “peached” on the backside, meaning a brushing was applied to the fabric to create a fleece-like hand feel.
Top Style: The Saltholmen and Salt collections are crafted of a blend of 98 percent Merino/ 2 percent creora Eco-Soft by Hyosung for comfort and versatility. The Saltholmen Zip Up and Salt Longsleeve Tee both function as baselayers, but also have the elegance to be worn on their own. “While many people think that Merino is only for cold weather, this product will prove otherwise,” commented Harklau.
Physics & Physiques: Jelenew
Designed for women, Jelenew is a luxury performance brand with a cycling focus. Di Liu, a former member of the Chanel Couture team and Marion Clignet, six-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist, head the brand’s creative direction in its Paris design center. The design team is inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, known for applying Gothic and curvilinear structure to his works. “Our designers work to inspire beauty through the organic form and, at the same time, enhance sports functionality,” explained Jelenew president Richard Zhang.
CurveTec, a proprietary technology using draped tailoring and form-fitting design supporting key muscle groups, especially during the active motion of pedaling, helps bring maximum mobility by supporting the core, lower back, shoulders, hips and thighs. Curved lines wrap the body with firmness and comfort, enhancing ergonomics and performance.
Top Style: The Colorblock Cycling Leggings pack premium Italian MITI compression fabric and four-way stretch into a comfortable offering for indoor cyclists and active lifestyle consumers. The waist, abdomen, legs, and hips areas are drape-tailored individually, so the leggings fit lower limbs snuggly and protect skin. The front triangle segmentation lift and contours the abdomen, reducing the gap between the thighs and abdomen, visually flattening the area while providing sufficient support to core muscles. Four curved lines on the back visually highlight the waist and hips, while providing support for the waist and back during exercise.
Biotech Boost: Unleash Your Nature (UYN)
Headquartered in Asola, Italy, UYN parent Trerè Innovation boasts clients including Christian Dior, Rossignol and national ski teams from Austria, France and Slovenia. AREAS, the Academy for Research and Engineering in Apparel and Sport, is based in the firm’s headquarters, enabling UYN to use the 38,000 sq. ft center for research, product development and manufacturing. A climate wind tunnel, 3D body scanner, sports medicine department and thermal mannequins allow for top-level testing. In April 2023, UYN launched its first U.S. line of plant and bio-based baselayers manufactured in Pennsylvania, along with footwear and socks. (For more on UYN footwear, see pages 24-25.) Mattia Bazzoni, head of communications, framed the company as one “combining best-in-class performance with biotechnology to create a new generation of planet-friendly consumer products for the sports and outdoor categories.”
UYN invests heavily in proprietary manufacturing processes that provide consumer benefits including superior grip, lightweight, breathability, durability and elasticity.
Top Style: Launching in Fall 2023, the 100 percent bio-based Evolutyon Baselayer line uses Italian fabrics and NATEX (derived from castor oil seeds) to deliver a 25 percent lighter and 50 percent faster drying piece (vs synthetic materials) with natural moisture wicking properties. Hypermotion construction means no seams around the arm and shoulder (the shoulder area is made of one piece of fabric), and less pressure on those areas. With 3D channels, Coolvent technology quickly transports sweat away from the body and creates airflow over the skin.