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Meet the Designer Who Inspired Gigi Hadid to Wear Activewear Everywhere

Photo: InStyle

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Leave it to supermodel Gigi Hadid to take activewear outside the gym and onto the streets. Of course, it helps when the clothes are trendy, fashion-forward, and incredibly well-made, which Creative Director and co-founder Ilana Kugel accomplishes with her stylish line of workout gear, Koral. Ilana, who hails from Brazil, has a vastly different approach to her collections, firmly rooted in her experience in fashion school and her childhood in Rio de Janeiro, where the active lifestyle reigns supreme.

"Because I'm from Brazil, I've always had this mentality and lifestyle that revolves around the beach and being active, " says Kugel, "I grew up wearing leggings. For me, it was very natural to design activewear." Unlike other workout brands, Koral follows a typical ready-to-wear schedule, with four collections released a year, all of which are based on a single design inspiration. "I'm designing so that you have a perfect crossover, so you can wear your pretty leggings outside. When you buy something that's high-quality and more expensive, you need to able to wear it to more places than the gym."

A photo posted by KORAL (@koralactivewear) on

That's exactly what's happening, as celebrities like Gigi, Khloe Kardashian, and Alessandra Ambrosio are taking Ilana's leggings and funky tops to the streets, mixing and matching them with both casual and high-end contemporary pieces. Naturally, Ilana's thrilled that her vision is coming to life, just the way she intended. "I love the way Gigi pairs my pieces with a T-shirt and does a crossover with the gym and the street," she says, and the designer herself is a workout fanatic. "I'm going to this new gym. It's called Gloveworx in Santa Monica. It's intense cardio with boxing. It's my new obsession." Since both Gigi and Khloe love boxing as well, it seems like a match made in athleisure heaven.