Anique founder Kelly Artz was continuously left unsatisfied while shopping for athletic apparel. More often than not, Kelly found that the luxury pieces were uncomfortable, were not durable, or were simply ill-fitting and unflattering. As a discerning athlete who also understands the concept of “look your best, feel your best”, Kelly decided to do something about it what was missing from women’s athletic wear.
These issues surely sound familiar to any female athlete. Women’s fashion is hyper-focused on trends or high-end designers for women, and many seem to forget the athletes who are searching for well-made sports apparel. Well-known athletic apparel manufacturers focus on functional athletic wear and often leave these female customers with little options that feel pretty.
The curves and body silhouette of athletic women come in different shapes and sizes depending on their sport. Many women have trouble finding activewear that fits their muscles and busts in a flattering way. Faced with sun-shirts that were too boxy, too tight, too bulky, or made out of too thin of a fabric, the idea for Anique was born.
As the idea for Anique took shape, Kelly wanted to create a high-end product that did not sacrifice fit for function. Using advanced textile engineering boasting cooling Smart Yarn with UV protection and thoughtful patterning, Anique sun-shirts are designed to fit and flatter the modern female athlete. The final Anique design, after a year of development, featured feminine details and includes a princess cut, heart-shaped bust, and fashion-forward rose gold zippers.
“I feel that women should have access to athletic clothes that are prettyand functional.” - Kelly Artz
For Kelly, it was important to pay homage to the tradition of the equestrian sports the brand has its roots in. Anique shirts offer a classical elegance made to withstand the rigors of your athletic lifestyle. Kelly didn’t want a tight-fitting shirt that would make wearers feel self-conscious. She wanted a shirt that would make its wearer feel confident and comfortable in any situation. But fit and quality are just the basic requirements for her. What really excites Kelly are the details in the trims and finishes because at the end of the day those little things, like the color of the zippers or, are what make women feel glamorous. It’s the difference between leaving the house with makeup or putting on a nice watch, and Kelly believes that it is important for women to still get that feeling from their clothing when they are being athletic.
All of the details that went into the development process were overseen directly by Kelly, who went so far as to import the thread used in the shirts while ensuring that Anique was a product manufactured in the United States. In the first production of Anique sun-shirts, Kelly sat at the factory to hand-cut the zippers so that the shirts would be more comfortable.
Since the launch of Anique, Kelly has received feedback from athletes and continues to make improvements in the design and construction of the shirts. Anique sun shirts can be found on the golf course, the tennis court, hiking trails and, of course, the horse riding arena.