Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves has spent most of the pandemic playing pickleball, tennis and doing yoga and hip-hop dance classes.
“I think that was kind of the only thing that saved me,” Dobrzanska Reeves told WWD. “I feel, like a lot of other people, staying active helped me stay sane during this crazy time.”
“I’ve always thought about designing sport, but it hasn’t been the right time,” Dobrzanska Reeves explained. “We’ve been producing three collections a year, so it was just a lot to handle. This year, we skipped a whole season, last spring, because of COVID-19. So I had some extra time to design what I wanted. That’s how sport came about.”
The 18-piece Marysia Sport Clean collection includes sports bras, leggings, tennis dresses and bike shorts, all with the brand’s signature scallops and all named after female tennis stars. There’s the Iga onesie, named after Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek; the Serena and Venus dresses, named after Serena and Venus Williams; and the Naomi leggings, for Naomi Osaka.
“Adding the sports collection is part of the whole Marysia lifestyle,” Dobrzanska Reeves said. “Now you’re not only swimming [in Marysia], but you can do all kinds of other activities in our pieces.”
She added that each season she plans to update the collection with something new.
“I want to try to be creative and add different fabrics,” the designer said. “I’d love to do some pleated skirts, but you can’t do that with our fabrics. I want to play around with the different styles.”
Marysia Sport Clean will be available at Marysia.com and Net-a-porter, starting Thursday.
The collection includes an extended size range from XXS to XXL and is priced between $169 to $399. In addition, all pieces are sustainable, made from 100 percent recycled fabrics and without the use of harmful chemicals.
In fact, Dobrzanska Reeves said with the launch of 2020’s Marysia Swim Clean, the brand’s first sustainable swimwear collection, all Marysia swimwear and sportswear is now sustainable. The brand plans to add sustainable resortwear this summer.
“Sustainability and size inclusiveness are new things that we’re doing, which I’m really excited about, because it’s taken years to be able to add,” she said. “Swimwear, especially, is a hard fabric to try to make sustainable.”
The Marysia brand, which Dobrzanska Reeves founded in 2009, can also be found at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and a variety of independent boutiques. (Marysia closed its sole Manhattan brick-and-mortar shop in June 2020 because of local lockdowns.) But Dobrzanska Reeves said these days more than half of the business is online. Swimwear sales, she said, continued to trend upwards during the pandemic, with April 2021 being the best month ever for Marysia’s e-commerce shop.
While Dobrzanska Reeves acknowledges that competition in the activewear market is intense right now, she said Marysia Sport Clean offers something new, something both feminine and sporty all at once.
“We have such a loyal following; people will be so excited that we have launched a sports collection that has the same signature scallops and fabrics,” she said. “They’ll be just as obsessed as they are with the new sports collection as they are with the swim line. It’s a classic, timeless design that can appeal to anyone who likes good quality and design.
“And I hope people remember that staying active is important to keep your mind healthy and just ready for anything,” Dobrzanska Reeves continued. “I think this year has taught people that. So hopefully they won’t forget.”