Stefanï Grosse is the founder of the chic luxury activewear collection Monreal London, which was created in order to satisfy the demands for both fashion and function in tennis wear. As an avid tennis player herself, she identified a gap in the market and hence produced this exiting fashion range, which embodies pure style and exceptional quality. We caught up with her to discuss her brand, lifestyle and success…

How did Monreal London come about?

From a fashion style conscious perspective I was never fond of the clothes I played in. Convinced that I could create something that is as functional as it is flattering and sexy I founded Monreal. I have a great passion for tennis and also fashion. My upbringing allowed me to pursue both – my father worked in the sports industry and my mother in the fashion industry. Combining these two worlds into one seemed very natural and the obvious thing to do and that is how Monreal came to live in 2012!

Your designs are uber chic and exiting – what influenced the style of The Curacao collection? 

The inspiration came from the tropical island paradise of Curaçao in the Caribbean, with its verdant jungles, blue lagoons clear waterfalls and hot-hued wildlife, inspired the Monreal London Resort 2016 collection.The swaying fronds of palm trees in the rainforest,and the colourful macaw parrots that live in hem, captivated and into this season’s signature prints and translated the hot pink, curaçao blue, vivid turquoise, sunshine yellow of the birds’ plumes, as well as jungle green and hibiscus pink, into the collection’s palette. Flashes of neon yellow and reflective silver underscore the brand’s sports aesthetic.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs trying to launch their own brand?

To never give up and fight for your designs to become a reality!

What challenges or obstacles have you faced with Monreal London?

The biggest initial challenge was to find manufacturing. It took me 8 month to find the right factory that was not only capable of producing performance garments with a claim for great quality and the understanding for high fashion- but also that believed in the product and was willing to give it a try. When I finally had the first samples for the first capsule collection established, I luckily was able to excite Vogue editors for the fashion-meets-sport concept, but the next big challenge was to convince fashion as well as sportswear buyers that there was actually a market for it.

How important is it to feel and look your best when playing a match or participating in exercise?

Sport is an important aspect in most people’s lives and there is no reason why it should be treated differently to formal wear or evening wear. Fitness wear is becoming more fashionable because women who usually pay a lot of attention to their appearance and spend a fair bit of money on their fashion, do have the desire to look great, no matter what they do. Gyms, sports clubs and country clubs are also a social platform, where people meet, do sport and generally spend quite a lot of time at – similar to restaurants and cafes. 
Of course there is a great importance in functionality, sports clothes need to be functional, durable and comfortable!

stefanï grosse

What do you do to keep fit and healthy?

Playing tennis of course, I try to go as often as possible when my busy schedule allows me to do so.

What would be some of your top exercise tips?

I like to win. Individual sports are very black and white like this. There is no hiding behind a team. Tennis is as much a sport as it is a game. It requires more than physical endurance, power or technical skills to beat an equal opponent. It’s tactics and mental strength that often make the difference.
Sport in general is simply the best way for me to achieve some kind of balance in life- physically as well as switching off from work mentally. It makes me feel alive and gives me energy. With the limited downtime I currently have, I enjoy catching up with friends over dinner or the occasional night at the movies.

What does your day on a plate look like?

There is definitely a movement in the health and fitness sector, people are more aware of what they eat and how much sport they do. I try to eat as healthy and balanced as possible, lots of vegetables, fish and fruit.

What’s next for you and Monreal London?

We are of course working on extending our national and international stockiest. Furthermore we are always working on new products, so there will be some surprises in the future.

We are so exited to be selling your collection – what’s your favourite piece from the collection?

One of my favourites this season are the biker leggings which come in olive. They are just so versatile and can be worn straight form the gum to a night out.

What would be some of your top exercise tips?

Anything involving compound movements, ones which activate multiple muscle groups at the same time, the likes of Squats, Push ups, Pull ups etc. I have a very busy schedule and I find it’s a really time efficient way to exercise, especially when combined with high intensity interval training (HIIT) for cardio. You can have an entire session done within 20-30 minutes, and build great body tone in the process. At weekends, I enjoy mixing this up with Pilates and yoga for increased flexibility and toning.

What does your day on a plate look like?

Avocado on toast for breakfast, sprinkled with some Chia Seeds.

Salad with grilled chicken or tuna for lunch.

Some wholegrain oatcakes with almond butter as a mid afternoon snack.

Light dinner of grilled salmon, red quinoa and fresh spinach, followed by a piece of fruit.

I try to drink 1.5-2 Litres of water throughout the day, and have some almonds and berries on hand to snack on.