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Often when a celebrity launches their own fashion line, the results can fall somewhere between inauthentic (would they honestly use that?) and a straight-up fail (RIP House of Dereon), so it's sometimes hard not to be a bit skeptical when a famous face forays into the territory. Luckily actor Eric Balfour (Skyline, anyone?) and and style savvy wife Erin Chiamulon's activewear/lifestyle line Electric and Rose was genuinely and organically conceived, and it shows.
The duo's concept in creating the collection was to embody the spirit of their Venice neighborhood (the label is named for two of its iconic streets)—edgy, cool, and quientessenially Californian. One thing you won't be calling it? Luxe. "I hate that word," Balfour tells us, "I want to punch it." Instead the yoga pants, board shorts, bralettes, joggers, and more are meant to feel more accessible to customers, without sacrificing any quality in the process. In fact, since the newlyweds (they'll celebrate their one year anniversary this June) are authentic examples of the active lifestyle their brand is synonymous with (between yoga sessions, surfing, and biking around town, they're always putting fitness first) pieces are made to function as much as the are to look fly in or out of the gym.
The cool couple recently met up with us for wholesome drinks at Moon Juice's Venice location and we quizzed them about their fave ways to break a sweat, their guilty pleasure food picks, and how they'd spend an ideal date night.
What are you drinking?
Erin: I had something called a Green Shake. It's Moon Juice's green juice, sprouted almonds, and frozen bananas. It's super delicious and a great breakfast or meal replacement.
Eric: I had the Vanilla Fig because I was starving, so I needed something that would be like food. Mine is alkaline, mineralized, oxygenated water—I don't even know how you do that exactly, but no doubt that it's an amazing process—it has Turkish figs, unpasteurized, activated California almonds. I don't even know what an activated almond is. Maybe it's an almond that works out? I don't even know what lacuna is. Vanilla bean—who doesn't like vanilla bean? Salt. It's all organic. It satisfied my hunger, and it's just sweet enough.
Any other favorite healthy snacks?
Erin: I love going to Gjusta. Their prepared salads are really fresh and delicious. Very farm-to-table, which is great.
Eric: I live and pretty much survive on Perfect Bars. Literally, I think they're the greatest thing on the planet. They are raw, organic, and fresh protein bars—meaning they have to be refrigerated. I eat the peanut butter ones, they're amazing. When I travel I'll bring a little cooler bag, and I pack my bag full of them. I remember being in Romania and there was just no food where we were, and I ate them three meals a day. I was in the Maldives and I survived off of them. Those and Guayaki yerba mate teas.
What about a totally indulgent food?
Erin: I like to go get donuts from Blue Star on Abbot Kinney.
Eric: Virgil's root beer. Everybody already knows this about me and you're embarrassed to say it but I'm not. If I'm really going to go for it..
Erin: Don't go for it!
Eric: ...I'm walking my ass into Panda Express and getting orange chicken and kung pao chicken. If I'm depressed or having a bad day [...] it's my comfort food.
Other than yoga, what are your ways to get fit?
Erin: I love to go hiking with my dog. I ride horses, I have two horses. Biking around Venice, walking everywhere.
Eric: Basketball, surfing. I don't get to do it as much but I love mountain climbing, rock climbing. I love snowboarding.
Erin: He's absurdly athletic. You're like built for sport.
Where do you guys practice yoga around town?
Erin: My girlfriend Kyle [Miller] just opened Love Yoga in Venice.
Eric: We love Yoga Collective and Yogaworks. Vinny Marino [of Yogaworks] was my first yoga teacher and will always be my first love. Growing up I always thought of yoga as this sort of internal, meditative thing, and Vinny made yoga something that was fun and physical and actually allowed me to access the meditative side of it. It's like reverse psychology. Like with kids, you tell them to eat their spinach because it's healthy and they go "no no no no no." The first time I went to Vinny's class he was playing Patti Smith and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Zeppelin and I was like "This is awesome!" and it kicked my ass. And then all of the sudden I started to understand the focus it takes to hold a pose. All of the sudden I wasn't able to think about all the other things going on in my day, in my life. And then I got it.
What would be on your yoga playlist?
Eric: Mine would have Chromatics on it.
Erin: Empire of the Sun, I like.
Eric: I'd have some Chili Peppers and [Patti] Smith in honor of Vinny. I'd have some Tribe Called Quest or Black Sheep. Cool, mellow Hip hop. I actually prefer Bhagavan Das over Krishna Das, a little classic meditative vibe. For fun I'd throw in a 311 song.
Who is your fitness inspo?
Erin: For me as far as athletes go, it is and always will be Kobe Bryant. I know that's cliché but I just think of his determination—to tear your Achilles and be in surgery six or seven hours later because he knew it would help it that much more in the healing process. Also what John John Florence is doing for surfing. He's taking the athletic component and making it really creative. His lines and the way he moves in the water is pretty amazing.
Erin: The one thing I really love about Instagram is that there are a lot of fitness people I follow and they do these quick 20-minute workouts that are a lot more accessible for me. I really like [Todd McCullough of] TMAC Fitness, we just did an event with him and we did a 20-minute workout that literally made me sore for four days. The idea of going somewhere and spending an hour on my fitness regimen is really kind of outlandish right now with my schedule, so to get that kind of workout it 20 minutes is so accessible you can't say no to it.
Ideal date night?
Erin: That could go two ways. Option A would be ordering our favorite takeout and staying home. Option B would be driving down PCH and going to Mr Chow in Malibu. And getting dressed up. As you see we can go high end or low end Chinese food.
What's the best part of living and working in Venice?
Erin: It's a really great atmosphere for our brand. We're so inspired by Venice, so to be surrounded by our community and the music, art, and lifestyle here it's always a reminder of what we're trying to be. And then just getting to live that lifestyle. We're constantly riding our bikes, we're going to the beach, we're surfing, we're going to yoga. Being able to work here, we're really lucky.
Eric: It's interesting because we both grew up in Los Angeles. I spent my twenties in Hollywood and when I finally moved over here—listen, Venice has its cliches. The most hipster of the hipster neighborhoods right now, and it's gentrifying and all of that. It's all true. But at core, there's this breeze coming off the ocean and there's a calm—it's the best of both worlds.