It's no secret that activewear is a very crowded space — but so was denim when Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede launched a line of jeans called Good American nearly two years ago. It went on to become the most successful denim launch of all time, bringing in $1 million in 24 hours, and the founders hope the same mix of magical, looks-good-on-everyone fit, inclusive sizing and, of course, Kardashian selling power will make its latest category — activewear — a similar hit.
Activewear was not part of the original plan for the label, but it was a natural fit. "I live in activewear," Kardashian tells me over the phone earlier this week. Among the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Khloé's "thing" — at the moment — is probably fitness. She began hosting a largely fitness-focused show on E! called "Revenge Body" after her own physical transformation played out on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
Recently, she's been on a new fitness journey after giving birth to her first child, True, in April. "Being pregnant and being able to just have a baby and seeing my body fluctuate, I really got to try on our clothes in so many different sizes on myself which I was really actually grateful for because I got to test everything myself," she said during an interview with Fashionista.
It was important to Kardashian and Grede for the activewear fit to feel and look as good as the denim, in addition to delivering on the functional aspects that are more important in activewear, and it wasn't easy. "We actually attempted to do this over a year ago and the fit was so bad it just didn't work out and we're not about rushing anything," says Kardashian.
"We want women to know that just like our denim and bodysuits, when you come to Good American for anything, you know you'll have the best fit, period," adds Grede. "The fabrics we use feature a variety of properties you'd want in your workout gear: four-way stretch, compression, UV protection and moisture-wicking fabrics." I was gifted a pair of high-waisted leggings and a deep-V sports bra from the line ahead of its launch, which I subsequently wore during a hot yoga class. The leggings might be the most comfortable and flatting pair I've ever worn; the sports bra was a little too skimpy for me to feel comfortable in while working out — I kept my tank top on.
The first drop, launching Thursday on Goodamerican.com, at Nordstrom and SIX:02 at a price range of $59 to $149, is a tight edit: a few high-waisted leggings, bike shorts, sports bras, crop tops and tanks with subtle branding in a black-and-white color palette. But the size range is impressive: It spans 0-7, which equates to XS-4X.
As with denim, Good American assembled a "good squad" of women of all shapes and sizes to model the line in an effort to illustrate the brand's inclusive message. "I hate when people want to focus on only really [thin] people and that means they're healthy and they're working out," says Kardashian. "I know a lot of really skinny, tiny people that are not healthy." Kardashian had a lot to say about body positivity in what could be seen as damage control following this week's controversy surrounding an Instagram Story of her calling her sister Kim "anorexic," which Kim took as a compliment.
Even so, the campaign is one of the most inclusive we've seen, especially in the activewear space, starring women like step dancer Blessin Giraldo, Canadian weightlifter Kylie Vincent, fitness trainer Emily Skye and models Precious Lee and Candice Huffine. Read on to see more images and for more of Khloé's comments about body positivity below.
Can you tell me about the commitment to having such an inclusive size range and why it's important to you?
We're not going to go into a retailer unless they commit to taking the full size range. That is super important to me and us as a brand because when I used to shop when I was a little bit bigger — I was at that size range where I could fluctuate from a 10 to a 14, and the 12s and 14s weren't where the 10s are if I was in a high-end department store, so I was always ushered to a different floor away from my sisters or my girlfriends and I was always really embarrassed by that. It didn't make me feel confident and comfortable to go shopping with my friends and my sisters. I know lot of women that are completely healthy but they're just bigger. Not everyone wants to be a size zero, two, four, six. A lot of people are very active, they're healthy, they love their body but they're bigger sizes and there's nothing wrong with that. I think we need to stand behind being inclusive whether it be women of shape, women of color, women of anything.
The line has a few trendy details like high waists and bike shorts — what inspired the aesthetic? Did your personal style factor in?
Our very first drop definitely is a ton of basics. Everything is impeccable fit and great structure, but it's not a ton of trendy pieces. Yes, we have bike shorts; we have crop tops and things that are still trendy, but they're still classic pieces that you could invest in and you could mix and match and keep for years to come. With our second and third drop we'll definitely incorporate some prints and some trendier pieces.
I wear everything high-waisted, so there's a ton of high-waisted stuff in the line and I think in that aspect, yes, it's a little more of my personal style. I have a good shopper's eye from my Dash clothing stores [R.I.P.] that I know how to buy for other people as well, so we try to make things that are more classic staple pieces that many people would love to have in their closet. High-waisted is flattering on so many different body shapes and sizes.
When testing the product, what did you want to make sure the pieces delivered on functionally?
I want to be able to confidently stand by everything that we do and our design team is ran by women which I find really important because women know what we want to see. You don't want anything to be see-through or sheer and you want everything to hold you in and feel good. I know so many billion-dollar fitness companies that test on machines and I find that crazy. We test on so many different shapes and sizes and we do the squat test and we make sure that nothing is seen that shouldn't be seen and everything holds you in and feels good. Coming of just having a baby, we have our high-waisted pants, and our high waist goes about an inch higher than a normal high waist and the compression feels good and you feel really supported.
Tell me about how you're promoting the line, not just on your own social media, but with the influencers in your "good squad."
Social media is huge, and it's such a beautiful resource we should use but also I want to shout out to my 'good squad' because we have so many beautiful, powerful women — some are well-known and some that we've found from social media that I love that are either fans of the brand or women I cyber-stalk all the time. I find girls and I send them to the Good American team and I'm like, I love this girl, I love what she stands for, let's get her in the 'good squad.' I love to promote women of all different shapes and sizes. I think it's great to see women of all walks of life [working out]. I love that Good American is really just putting a positive image out there for denim and now for athleisure wear and I'm really proud of that.
Shop the full collection in the gallery below.
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