In 2014, L.A. brand Koral burst onto the scene with a line of sleek, fashion-forward activewear the world was lacking. Founded by Brazilian born and bred Ilana Kugel, the label takes inspiration from both the streets of Rio and the laid-back lifestyle of California, resulting in a unique range of sports bras, vests, leggings and sweatshirts that are contemporary and forward-thinking. We sat down with Kugel to understand more about the inspiration behind her designs, her must-have pieces and her go-to fitness routine.
How would you describe Koral?
Fashion-forward activewear that is driven by fashion, engineered with luxurious fabrics from around the world, and designed to push and empower active individuals to live, look, and feel their best.
You’re based in LA but grew up in Rio de Janeiro – how have the two cities influenced Koral?
Growing up on the spirited beaches and diverse streets of Rio de Janeiro, I was inspired by my surroundings — from the sensual, organic shapes of the Lush Inland to the sleek lines of Rio’s modern architecture. I later uprooted to Los Angeles to unleash my creativity, talent, and vision in a city that’s home to some of the most influential artists and designers in the world. I quickly took to the California lifestyle, embracing a healthy, active way of life that fuelled my passion for activewear.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From everywhere; from the people on the streets, from architecture, from ready-to-wear shows, from music and art.
If you were to have just one Koral piece in your wardrobe, what would it be?
What goes into your design process?
I start with inspiration. Once I come up with the collection theme, I start sourcing fabrics. After that I begin sketching.
You use a lot of technical fabrics in your activewear – why is this important to you and Koral?
We use fabrics that are chlorine resistant, moisture wicking, anti-bacterial and fabrics with UPF 50+. It is essential for the activewear product to have some if not all of these characteristics. Having these properties assures that you’ll feel comfortable while working out under different weather conditions.
What’s your go-to fitness routine?
I usually start with the 30 min of cardio following with 60 min of weight lifting. I normally end with a good stretch.