Meet Tatiana Korsakova, the designer reshaping activewear

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
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There was a moment in time when we lived in our activewear, and by activewear we specifically mean leggings. Brunch, food shop, dog walk, last-minute Saturday afternoon pub trip and occasionally to the gym.

We have progressed since then, because the options have progressed. No longer resigned to just a plain pair of black leggings (that were vastly see-through) and a bobbled vest, the activewear industry has boomed, allowing us such a huge variety of options that you can find us wearing ours to morning yoga, lunchtime spin classes and evening kickboxing sessions (as well as brunch and other social occasions). According to a research report published by Global Industry Analysts, the global market for sports and fitness clothing is projected to reach £175billion by 2024. 

In short, activewear is big business and leading the pack is Vaara, the brand creating chic, elegant offerings without losing any of the performance aspect of the clothing.

Vaara is the vision of model and entrepreneur Tatiana Korsakova and was launched in 2016 with a clear aesthetic of bold pieces with a fashion focus for the woman who was uncompromising in style. However, fashion isn’t the only pillar of Vaara, with the site also helping women understand health and fitness with wellness posts, recipes and workouts.

We sat down with Tatiana to find out why Vaara has been so successful. 

What is Vaara’s point of difference from other activewear?

“Probably the biggest difference from our point of view is how we structure our collection across three categories – Perform, Rest and Enhance – and how our design inspiration from high fashion has filtered across these. The Vaara design aesthetic is quite pared-back and with the use of juxtaposed colour-blocking it has become quite a signature of ours.”

How was Vaara born?

“It came out of frustration about what was on the market – everything seemed to be quite loud and busy. I wanted versatile pieces that were chic and made sense for my workouts, being at home and everything inbetween.”

Who is the woman you are designing for?

“The Vaara woman lives a busy and active life. She balances family life with her work, social life, exercise and other commitments. She is health-conscious in her lifestyle and desires a wardrobe that transitions effortlessly from morning to night, from work to home, and from active to relaxed.”

How do you go about designing the collection?

“At Vaara we design from the inside out, removing the superfluous and always design with purpose. In fact, the whole collection is built around three pillars. Perform (crafted functionality), Rest (relaxed beauty) and Enhance (amplified femininity). Every piece falls under one of these categories which helps maintain relevance within the collection. We carefully engineer our pieces for the perfect fit, often going through multiple iterations until we are happy. Finally, we never compromise on materials. We only work with the best mills, this is very important.”

What is the biggest difficulty you face when designing?

“The way women purchase products is very seasonal, different to how men purchase products. We aim to always create timeless pieces but because women’s fashion moves so quickly, the design process can be challenging. We want an aesthetic that is both timeless and cross-seasonal, so we need to be very considerate in the design process.” 

The Vaara collection, which spans yoga, ski and performance wear, can be shopped here