What inspired you to create Lucas Hugh? 12 years ago I was locked out of a hotel room in Moscow after a gym work out. I remember I felt very self-conscious in my gym kit and wondered why there was nothing technical that also looked good for women.
I spent two years working on the development of the products, sourcing the best quality fabrics and trims. Lucas Hugh launched in 2010 with a small capsule collection that was picked up by Net-a-Porter as our first stockist.
I had been designing swimwear for 15 years before I set up the brand, so it was a natural move into designing athleticwear – using similar textiles and manufacturing techniques. I had previously worked for Speedo and Alexander McQueen, and had my own swimwear line in New Zealand, where I am from.
It has always been Lucas Hugh’s mission to create and produce high-quality athleticwear that is original, unique and ahead of the mainstream with regards to design, craftsmanship and fabrication. Also, to be practical, comfortable and assist the performance of the wearer while offering something special visually.
Which three words best describe Lucas Hugh?
Smart. Considered. First. These are the core values that our team uses to inform our design making across departments.
Smart in style and thought; considered, as the brand offers a considerate approach and service, and our pieces are designed with purpose; and first, as the brand is innovative, pioneering and proactive (the first to get something done).
Can you describe your typical day?
At 5am either my three-year-old daughter or one-year-old son wakes me up. At 6.30am I have a coffee and kiwis, then shower and get dressed. At 7.45am, I walk to our HQ in Notting Hill and then have meetings or reply to emails from 8am – 10am. At 10.30am I go to a Ritual class at Heartcore with a friend or business colleague. At 11.30am I have lunch on the go and spend from 12pm – 5.30pm answering emails, attending design meetings or fittings, or working on special projects. From 6pm – 7pm I spend time with our children, and at 7pm it’s dinner and kid’s admin! I go to bed at 9pm.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Futurism is a constant form of inspiration for us at Lucas Hugh. I love the idea of imagining life in 2080. For me, ideas come when I am out on a run, listening to a great piece of music, traveling to a new place, or discovering a new form of construction or fabric in our design meetings.
What are your bestselling items?
The Axis styles for sure. We are just launching a new Dusk colourway in a few weeks.
What are your favourite things about London?
I love the opportunities and entrepreneurial spirit, the parks, the cafés and boutiques, and most recently all the new fitness studios.There is so much to discover here, and it never stops evolving. I love our neighbourhood, Notting Hill, also – it’s community focused.
Which fitness classes do you enjoy attending in London?
I have been going to Heartcore for 10 years to do reformer Pilates and recently it just launched Ritual, which is a combination of dynamic yoga and stretching, barre and flow, and a bit of cardio and body-weight resistance – it’s so restorative and energising.Dalton Wong is my personal trainer – I have been seeing him for eight years and he is excellent.
I also love the classes at White City House, Box Clever and Barry’s Bootcamp.
What are your kit bag essentials?
Aesop spray deodorant, a Lucas Hugh mesh wash bag, comb headband – my hair is so unruly – and water bottle.
Is there a particular fabric you like to work with?
We use polyamide/elastane for everything. It’s anti-static, moisture wicking, breathable and less irritating than a lot of other performance fabrics. I also love 100 % organic cotton for tops and merino wool for performance layers, as both are naturally moisture wicking.
How do you see London’s wellness scene developing?
It has grown so much, particularly over the last 10 years. I am really excited to see the changes in terms of options for exercise. It’s more acceptable now to be in your activewear on the street than it was 10 years ago. London is a busy, fast-moving city and finding ways to switch off is an essential part of well-being here – and it’s becoming social, too.
What’s next for Lucas Hugh?
We have just come back to London from a tour of America’s West Coast, traveling to Los Angeles and California to host pop-up events in both cities. We had a fantastic time and met some amazing people.
Following our international pop-ups, we are excited to have just opened our new boutique on the King’s Road. This store has our full collection, which is unavailable anywhere else in the world.
Lucas Hugh, 147 King’s Road, London SW3 5TX, +44 (0)20 7183 5896