Interview with Sleek Physique Founder, Natonée Weisenfeld

By Sonseeahray Warren

What is Sleek Physique Apparel?
Sleek Physique Apparel is Transitional Activewear at its best; meaning that you can wear it to work out, run errands, go to casual meetings, hang out with friends, attend social occasions after work, or go to a party, and be as comfortable as you would be in your activewear, without looking like you are going to the gym.

Why did you feel it was necessary to create Sleek Physique Apparel?
I saw that there was a need in the market for functional activewear that was stylish and comfortable with each being equally important. I always felt that women’s fitness goals, needs and desires were always put on the back burner. In an effort to make their decision making process easier, I wanted to have an activewear collection that took the guesswork out of casual dressing, while creating functional and stylish pieces that are interchangeable in a woman’s wardrobe.

What makes Sleek Physique unique?
I like to talk about the Sleek Physique 4 F’s. What are they? Fit Fabric, Function and Fashion.
FIT – Sleek Physique Apparel feels like a second skin, for perfect fit, all day comfort and muscle control. It makes you feel that you’re not wearing anything at all. It’s also slenderizing, giving you perfect support, almost like a light weight foundation garment would.
FABRIC – We spent a few years searching for the perfect fabric. Vertigo by Jersey Lomellina is a fabric from Italy which is absolutely amazing. It’s breathable and ultra-soft, not like your typical activewear garment. It also provides UV protection, its anti-microbial and quick drying, so it provides all of the functions that you would expect of activewear.
FUNCTION – You can do everything in your Sleek Physique. You can go to your favorite yoga or spin class, or go for a 5 k run. It’s multi-purpose. Or, you don’t have to do any of those things. You can just go about your day dressed comfortably and stylishly, without anyone asking you if you are going to the gym.
FASHION – Sleek Physique brings a level of fashion that never been seen before in active wear. Woman have been stuck with shocking hued colored activewear, like bubblegum pink or neon yellow. Sleek Physique brings a level of sophistication with bold colors and prints and classic styling. Remember Sleek Physique is about bringing the runway to activewear.
What do you mean by bringing the runway to activewear? Isn’t activewear already on the runway?
There is a difference between bringing the runway to activewear vs bringing activewear to the runway. Activewear is already on the runway but I can’t wear the activewear pieces that are on the runway now to the boardroom. Bringing the Runway to activewear means bringing sophisticated elements of the runway to the designs in the Sleek Physique collection, such as ruching and draping.

You mentioned wearing activewear to boardroom? What do you mean by that?
On days where you are going to an important meeting you should only have to get dressed once. You shouldn’t have to schlep bags, and you shouldn’t have to go to the locker room. The only thing you should have to do is take off your jacket and change your shoes. Sleek Physique has elements that you can dress up. My tops and bottoms can be dressed up with a blazer or a wrap (which we make), and your favorite accessories and jewelry, so you can wear it to the office and never have anyone question your look or attire except to give you a complement.

Can you give an example of the transitional nature of the line?
The tennis dress is a perfect example of the transitional nature of the line. It’s a very sophisticated tennis dress. Its one of my favorite transitional pieces because you can wear it to play tennis, you can wear it to work, you can wear it out in the evening or to the club. It’s adjustable by the draw string on the side, and it’s comfortable to wear because you don’t have to worry about pulling and tugging on the skirt to adjust the length. You can play doubles at the tennis club, or add pearls and lunch at the country club, or add heels and you favorite hoops and hit the night club. We’ve got you covered! LOL!
Tell us about some of your unique experiences wearing the line?
I love wearing the brand, and the fact that since it feels like a second skin, I sometimes forget that I have something on and I always have to check before leaving the house! That is the idea of all day comfort. It supports you so well, that you don’t even feel it. I also find myself washing the same pants every day because I don’t want to wear anything else; and I own a fashion company! On the off day where I have to wear something else I feel so uncomfortable. Also I just absolutely have to wear one of my Sleek Physique leggings when I travel. All of my clients use our active wear to travel. It’s the best travel pant ever for sitting on a long flight or that long car ride.

Who is the Typical Sleek Physique customer? Who is your target customer?
Anyone in the age range from mid-20’s to early 60’s. Sleek Physique is for anyone who wants all day comfort, and anyone who feels that fashion is important. It’s so easy to dress up Sleek Physique; you can go from day to evening seamlessly. You can hit the gym go to Starbucks or quickly pull together an ensemble and meet a group of friends for drinks.
Sleek Physique helps people transform and be successful. It takes the guesswork out of women’s active days, so they can focus on what they want to accomplish and the goals they want to achieve, rather than what to wear. They can be prepared for everything.

How do you respond to people who say? “I don’t want to sweat in my exercise clothes and then go to work?”
The majority of women are not going straight to work from the gym. They go home, shower put on makeup, do their hair and then go to work. Sleek Physique addresses the need for women who know that they want to get their workout in within the day but they don’t necessarily know exactly when they are going to do it; but being prepared gets them in that mindset where they know they can get it done. When you go to the beach you may or may not get in the water, but you still have your bathing suit, so you can be ready.

So Sleek Physique isn’t just for working out?
Sleek Physique is whatever you want it to be…But on that chance that you don’t make it to the gym or just want to be super comfortable, it can support you where life takes you. Sleek Physique is for home, work, play and the gym; it’s for LIFE. Sometimes women want that all day comfort while looking fashionable. They shouldn’t have to compromise or sacrifice fashion and style for comfort.

There are so many active wear lines out there now, how is Sleek Physique able to differentiate itself from active wear competitors such as lulu Fabletics, Nike, Under Armour?
Well the first thing is that all of those lines make you look like you’re going to the gym. I’m a personal trainer so I know the pride that women feel in going to the gym. There is a certain level of pride in going to the gym but there has to be some pieces that you can grab and go and just go anywhere. Sleek Physique has the activewear basics that you would only wear to work out like the shorts, bra top and crop leggings, but there are also other elements that can be worn anywhere….even at gym. Why not be fashionable at the gym too?
Most of the brands focus on the fitness aspect and leave out the real life situations. Most people have to go to work and have to look appropriate. I felt that it shouldn’t be hard if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Its already challenging that you have to fit working out in…you shouldn’t have to worry about what to wear.

How does the quality of your product differ than competitors?
It goes back to the Four F’s (Fit, Fabric, Function and Fashion). We are exceptional in each of these areas, especially fabric. We have sourced fabrics that can stand up to intense workouts, but still have that luxurious feel.

What is your price point and how does it compare? Some people say Sleek Physique is too expensive? What is your view?
Sleek Physique is the world’s first true luxury activewear brand. The pricing is actually extremely competitive considering the cost of the fabrics and the elements of style that we include in our products. The pricing is on par with Lululemon, but you are getting a product with extremely high quality that you can wear to places other than just the gym. I think that people sometimes expect a new entrant into the market to be low in price, but we are not competing on price. We are competing on style, sophistication, function and most of all quality.

What is next for Sleek Physique?
Well, we have our custom textiles and prints for our next Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter lines. These were designed with the help of renowned artist Veronica Lawlor. We will use these prints for our Couture line of clothing “SP Couture.” Since Sleek Physique is a luxury brand, that lends itself to branching out into other areas of fashion, like accessories, handbags, hats, etc. Sleek Physique is a lifestyle brand. Its “Fitness and Fashion for your Life and Style”, so the possibilities are endless.

Natonée, thank you so much for taking the time to allow me to interview you today.
You’re so welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

Sonseeahray Warren is a freelance journalist who lives in New York City.