Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder of multi-award-winning activewear label, Lorna Jane. She is now celebrated as an icon of Australian fashion design and renowned for her Active Living philosophy.
Lorna’s story began 25 years ago when she single-handedly revolutionised women’s fitness clothing and began building the Active Living category.
Frustrated by the dull and uninspiring range of activewear available for women, she took matters into her own hands and started sewing her own outfits while working as a fitness instructor in Cairns. Her designs quickly gained a following, with many women in her classes ordering her custom-made, colourful leotards.
“It started out as just satisfying my own need for activewear, that made me not only look fit and fashionable, but could withstand the toughest of my workouts,” Lorna said.
“I didn’t think for one minute I was starting a business. It wasn’t until I started receiving orders from other women in my class that I knew I had a winning formula on my hands.”
After quitting her day job as a dental therapist and moving back to Brisbane, Lorna began designing full-time. As demand increased, she launched the label’s first retail store in 1990 in Brisbane’s CBD, with her husband Bill Clarkson by her side.
As word quickly spread about Lorna Jane’s feminine and functional designs, her sisterhood grew with new stores opening across Australia, and the company opening its first store in the United States in 2012.
There are now more than 180 stores worldwide, with the brand inspiring a global online movement with more than 1.6 million followers.