After sustaining a career-ending field hockey injury in 2010, Marlies Korijn went back to her roots. “I grew up in a fashion family with more than 90 years of experience in European retail and would accompany my grandfather on trips to the company’s headquarters on Saturday mornings," says Korijn, referring to Etam, her family’s European retail chain. After successfully designing an active wear collection for Etam in 2012, she became determined to merge her love of athletics with high fashion. In the months that followed, Korijn traveled across three continents, meeting with experts and weavers to develop a cutting-edge, high performance fast-drying, breathable and butter soft fabric, which she then tested on professional athletes—and VIPE was born.
As a former athlete, Korijn is prone to push herself. In February 2014, after VIPE’s first season, Korijn took her line to the next level with the help of Susi Auzinger, who had worked on the collaboration between Stella McCartney x Adidas as head designer. “I loved producing clothing that would motivate women to push themselves physically but still feel chic,” Auzinger explains of the smart collection of black, form fitting pieces, accented with muted and fluorescent colors. “When Marlies showed me the fabric and explained how she wanted to take the brand in a new direction with a larger emphasis on high-fashion I knew this was something I had to be a part of,” says Auzinger. This month, in celebration of VIPE’s re-launch, Auzinger and Korijn will open a pop-up shop in Los Angeles, alongside the surf and swim line Mott50 and sunglass company Finlay and Quaye.
VIPE pop up is at 1112 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Los Angeles, through April 30.