Famous for their bum-sculpting leggings and technical high-performance fabrics, British women’s activewear brand Sweaty Betty has opened its first store in Hong Kong. Located in IFC Mall, the store marks the brand’s first location in Asia and adds to its roster of over 60 shops in the United Kingdom and the United States. The Sweaty Betty Hong Kong store will showcase the brand’s entire multi-sport activewear range covering categories such as run, yoga, swim and ski, as well as the complimentary services offered at Sweaty Betty’s London flagship store such as monogramming, kombucha on-tap, personal shopping and yoga classes.
At the Sweaty Betty Hong Kong store, we caught up with founder and creative director Tamara Hill-Norton, who started her business at the age of 26 and opened the first Sweaty Betty shop in London’s Notting Hill in 1998, during a time when women’s activewear was still far from a properly recognised category. “That’s really why I started it,” she explains. “It was when I came to London and saw that there was nothing around apart from men’s sportswear shops with a tiny section of women’s wear in the back. All of the brands were just doing smaller sizes for women and pink T-shirts. It was quite patronising so it hit me that there was such a big gap in the market for stylish women’s activewear.”
Sweaty Betty’s premium, fashion-forward activewear is famous for its body-sculpting fabrics and brilliant fit, with their hero product being their bum-sculpting leggings. “We worked so hard on it — the gusset, the high hem, the seaming details — all of it is so important. We have a big focus on the fit and the team really pays a lot of attention to how it looks on a woman’s body. There are a couple of leggings — the Zero Gravity and the Power — that we’ve had now for quite a while, so we’ve been able to really perfect the fit over the years. We also have the Super Sculpt leggings, which are new and have just been developed for us which has taken a long time. I love them for yoga because they’re a bit thicker and the waist is higher than any of our others. I love the Power leggings for everyday exercising and the Zero leggings for running because it’s the most compression — it’s 41% elastane so it really stays with you.”
But beyond seriously flattering activewear, Sweaty Betty (a term defined as “someone who works out, but definitely loves cake” on the brand website) empowers women through fitness and beyond with a streak of rebellion and tongue-in-cheek humour. “I love our ‘No Pain, No Champagne’ motto because it captures our ethos of living a balanced life,” says Hill-Norton. “It’s about having fun and not taking yourself too seriously or beating yourself up too much.”
Sweaty Betty, Shop 1028 Podium Level One, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Hong Kong; 25190922