When you think about gaining the most out of a workout, your mind focuses on diet and training. But what about your clothing? In 2013, Nicholas Harris filled a huge gap in the market. He combined the latest technology with style, and created HPE (Human Performance Engineering).
Using his experience of more than 15 years as a human performance specialist, Harris applied the systems and science used to accelerate performance, increase recovery and reduce inflammation. Simply put, he designed activewear that makes you perform better.
When I slipped on HPE’s Spider Bra, I instantly felt sexy. It’s not an old sports bra that does the job, it’s a garment that makes you want to work out. Not to mention the comfort ability factor; it’s thin straps feel light on my skin and the fitting is as though it’s been tailored.
Exclusively to i the stylist, I found out more about Harris and his clothing success – adorned by celebrities and retailed worldwide (Harrods seal of approval) and discussed the future of fitness technology.
i the stylist: What inspired you to create HPE?
Nicholas Harris: “As a human performance specialist, I wanted my clothing to be an extension of what I do day in, day out: Help people perform better. What you wear to exercise really effects your performance, so in essence, the HPE range was designed to provide individuals with highly technical kit, which offers credible points of difference helping you to perform better, in optimum comfort and style.
At HPE, our mantra is “your body is the greatest thing you’ll ever own”, and you shouldn’t be putting it in anything other than the best, which is what you’ll get from the HPE Collection”.
Describe the technology you use. Why is it so beneficial in activewear?
“Each item in the HPE range incorporates our unique FRESHFIT technology with silver ions and moisture management systems, which have been designed to resist bacterial build up and keep you feeling fresh, in any condition. Additionally, we’ve just launched a new, quarterly subscription box service, another offering which makes us unique.
Allowing you to embrace the latest active wear trends, this new service offers significant savings on signature styles and bestselling products, helping users build a workout wardrobe, which is delivered directly to their door. Thanks to the ‘Build Your Box’ option, each subscription box is carefully tailored to the customer, with women choosing a pair of leggings, a top and a bra from a selection of style categories, and men selecting a pair of bottoms and top from the extensive essentials collection”.
Are certain items better designed for specific workouts?
“The intention of the brand was to create a combination of performance and style that can withstand the rigours of intensive training, whilst still maintaining optimal comfort and enhancing performance. All items are designed to ensure that they can improve all workouts, and are mostly designed with the same fabric technologies to ensure versatility.”
How varied is your female clientele? Have you noticed particular fitness trends like the rise of women lifting, changing the way that they shop?
“The rise of the mantra that females are strong and can lift as much as men has definitely contributed to the way that women shop, and it has definitely been in HPE’s favour. Women want clothing which will work as hard as they do in the gym, withstanding intense training sessions, whilst offering the perfect fit, in a range of stylish designs.
There has also has been a rise in the ‘athleisure’ trend, which involves wearing activewear and fitness clothing outside of the gym. This, again, has changed the way women shop as they want clothing that is stylish, comfortable and on trend. This is definitely something that HPE achieves, as we offer versatile styles, designs and colour ways which cater to all fashion needs.”
What do you think the future of fitness technology is?
“The trend for subscription box services is continuing to gain momentum, especially in the world of health and fitness. In the main, these services save people time and money, also allowing them to try new products which will benefit their lifestyle, and allow them to discover new products and brands.
The retail industry is ever changing, and subscription box services offer a customisable, personalised service which gives consumers what they’re looking for. As a forward thinking, innovative active wear brand, I’d noticed a gap in the market for a premium service which allows people to embrace the latest performance focused fitness clothing trends and build a workout wardrobe packed full of technical apparel which can boost performance and aid recovery.”
How do you see HPE growing in the next few years?
“Our plan is to open 25 retail stores in the next 3 years. We’re also looking to design and manufacture running shoes, kit bags, and yoga mats.”