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Clarissa Egaña of Port de Bras

The founder of the athleisure brand on making the feminine silhouette, skincare and élan vital the focus of her designs.

Beloved by ballerinas, yogis and women all around the world, cult activewear label Port de Bras — a ballet term that refers to the carriage of the arms — is one of those brands that makes you feel fit and sexy just by slipping on one of their pieces. Kind of like when you apply a clean beauty cream, knowing that the ingredients you’re slathering on your face are healthy, wholesome and effective.

Founded by Miami-based Clarissa Egaña, the mother of two was in a barre class when she got the idea of designing athletic apparel inspired by ballet looks. But a fit that complemented arabesques and grande jetés was not the only goal for Clarissa. Together with her team, she set out to search for the best eco-friendly material she could find that would care for one’s skin beneath the clothes.

Her consciousness of her pieces’ aesthetics even extended to the colours, not just in the conventional visual sense, but with the auric body and our subtle energy systems in mind.

The result? Slinky, high quality and versatile pieces that expand your aura, taking you from day to night — even when you’re not actually working out (we wish all our workout clothes could be this nice!). Most importantly, every item is mindfully designed by Clarissa. “We no longer want to buy clothes that are not up to certain codes or standards in terms of ethics,” she says. And that makes us feel all the more comfortable and confident when we hit the barre, gym, treadmill or stage.

“Principles never take vacations. Be a do-gooder, be creative, be generous, pamper yourself, meditate, dream and have fun.”

Why was it important to you that Port de Bras be an eco-friendly brand?

Port de Bras was meant to be eco-friendly and socially conscious before anything else. This may sound a bit esoteric, but we create clothes that allow your energy to flow freely. From a holistic point of view, what you wear has absolute effects on your electromagnetic field. It is the container of energy for your life force. That is why you see a lot of white in our collections because it increases the size of your aura.

We spent a long time researching the best materials to make this a reality before launching our brand worldwide. Port de Bras is based on the notion of wellness, true beauty and wisdom. We choose to be women who care about the environment and about society, we choose to be the difference makers, and this brand is the perfect way to make it contagious. We no longer want to buy clothes that are not up to certain codes or standards in terms of ethics. We need to protect our planet, our people and especially ourselves — and only by educating conscious consumers will we achieve this goal.

Port de Bras for Apres Avant

Port de Bras’ designs always put the feminine silhouette in focus

Tell us about the key eco-friendly material used in Port de Bras pieces.

We use Emana technology made in Brazil by the best and most traditional and luxurious fabric manufacturers. They have the first patented 100 per cent biodegradable polyamide formula in the world, which transforms the human body heat in benefits to skincare.

We reject synthetic fabrics because it disrupts all the positivity you carry within. We use a lot of symmetry and elongating designs to support chakra alignment and help with flow that should be open during physical activities. Being comfortable on the physical level helps open up the energy around you. Our fabric technology allows your skin to breathe and help remove all negativity though toxin release. When you sweat, your pores open up and this is when the fabric you use should be as “clean” as ever. This whole concept on how you dress up can increase your overall well-being.

What are the key things to look for when choosing the right sports bra, leggings and sports top?

Besides all the previously described concepts, the key things I look for are a great fit and cut. For tops, I like to look elegant by never showing cleavage. It’s better to wear a sexier side-cut and show off your clavicles and shoulders. For bottoms, definitely a gentle but firm hold, which is hard to find one without compromising the other. But this is another positive feature our fabric offers. I believe in buying your true size. I never go up or down in sizes. If the design is good, you need the right size to look perfect.

Port de Bras combination for Apres Avant
We never go out of style

Which Port de Bras pieces do you practically live in?

I love the Alanna Jumpsuit! It is definitely my favourite piece, easy to wear any time of the day, and perfect to look relaxed and comfy but sexy at the same time. My other go-to piece is the Base Legging. It’s a very simple piece but I love it, probably because the fabric gives me an uninterrupted feeling of the fabric on my skin. The Pia Top would be another top pick — I can’t wear it enough!

What is one secret thing you do to care for your athleisure clothes?

To care for my clothes, I give them the proper treatment by assigning them their own space — a special drawer — and treating them nicely by using the right ecologic detergent, washing gently and air drying.

What is your exercise routine?

My exercise routine is quite simple. I dress in activewear everyday which allows me to always take the stairs, squat as much as I can while playing with my two babies and stretch whenever I get the chance. During a busy week, I like to squeeze in a barre or Pilates class at least twice. Sometimes I even practice karate with my husband at home. It’s important for me to find movements that combine strength, balance and flexibility; and to have a variety of activities so my body responds well and I don’t get bored.

Port de Bras alana jumpsuit

The Alanna Jumpsuit and Isabelle Bra

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise. How do you get into the right headspace?

It is definitely hard to find motivation at times, especially when you work too much or have young children, which is the case for me. But dressing up in a power outfit does the trick for me. In fact, wearing the right clothes is so powerful for me, it drove me to start Port de Bras.

What is your idea of conscious living?

Conscious living is all about balance. You will never see me eating 100 per cent clean all the time, or working out everyday. Although I do this most of the time, I also have the occasional drink at a party; I sleep until noon whenever I feel exhausted, and have coffee and sweets almost everyday! But principles never take vacations. Be a do-gooder, be creative, be generous, pamper yourself, meditate, dream and have fun.

Port de Bras group

From left to right: Model, Feng Jia Mei; production manager, Melissa Ghersi; founder and CEO, Clarissa Egaña; sales manager, Isabella Travieso and model, Osnelvis Vargas

“From a holistic point of view, what you wear has absolute effects on your electromagnetic field. It is the container of energy for your life force.”

Images courtesy of Port de Bras