By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Nathalie de Champlain compared launching her new compression sportswear line Caliloko to planning her wedding.
She spent years planning and organizing before she had models walk down the aisle runway with the finished product.
Instead of a wedding dress, they wore compression tights, sports bra and headbands.
“It’s as exciting as a marriage,” she said of her new brand. “It’s for everyone, every size and different lifestyles. It’s a compression brand that makes your butt look sexy.”
Caliloko launched after two years of designing and testing. The activewear combines fashion with technology including body mapping and compression.
de Champlain is a competitive squash player and her husband participates in ironman competitions, so the idea to create a line of clothing that can help boost athletic performance and help with muscle recovery was meaningful to the active couple, who are parents to two sons.
The Boca couple tested the first prototypes while they were working out.
“The first thing I wanted was quality,” she said. “The first thing you feel is quality.”
The pieces are made of yarn that has antibacterial and moisture wicking features in it. She said most fabrics have the anti-bacterial added after, Caliloko has the antibacterial in the yarn. The fabric is breathable so you can run outside in Florida summers and not feel overheated. The products are hand finished.
And the quality shows in the price. A pair of the tights retail for $145, a sports bra for $58 and the calf sleeves for $55.
She said you won’t find Caliloko in big box retailers yet. That is because she wants places that sell her product to be able to explain why it is different.
The tights have body mapping features and feel like a second skin on your body. Products are for sale online and at Boca Cryo.
The name is something that describes de Champlain. Cali stems from her love of California, a place where people lead active lifestyles and are fashion forward. Loko is a play on the Spanish word loco with Loko because of her and her husbands love for languages and because people who work out hard are often crazy about their workouts.
de Champlain is a French Canadian and her husband is from Belgium and he speaks six languages. She said it was important to come up with a name that could be pronounced in multiple languages and changing the c to a k in loco made it stand out.
“It’s catchy,” she said of Caliloko. “People remember it.”
Currently, there are two types of tights, active and recovery. Active has extra reinforcement on areas like the knees and is tough. The recovery tights are a little less rigid and can be worn for yoga.
The product isn’t just for people who are serious about working out. She said people who travel a lot will benefit from wearing the tights on flights.
Her husband Fil Maes can attest to that. He travels on a lot of long haul flights for work and said he always wears the calf sleeves or tights under his pants.
Long term she said she seems Caliloko expanding into the medical world for either doctors and nurses who are on their feet all day and patients who are in post recovery.
“This a dream come true,” she said during her launch party. “I was a little girl from Canada dreaming I would have a brand. I never thought I would do it in the United States.”