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Varenna Founder Arantxa Gandini is redefining activewear for the modern day woman

We sit down with Varenna Founder Arantxa Gandini, who invites us to discover the world of Varenna, and learn about the tradition, innovation and passion that inform its lovingly designed and thoughtfully-made collections.

Amidst the crystal clear waters and rustic villas of Lake Como, a new activewear brand was born. Varenna — established in 2020 by Italian entrepreneur Arantxa Gandini — sits at the intersection of high-fashion and high-performance redefining activewear for the modern day woman.

“Wellness, elegance and beauty at the heart of everything we do,” Arantxa says as she shares the inspirations and distinctive ‘Made-in-Italy’ ethos of her luxury activewear brand.

According to Arantxa, Varenna was “born out of a desire to create clothing using conscious design methods and minimal waste.” In fact, it is the first and only activewear brand to be completely produced in Italy, utilising only high-quality recycled and biodegradable fabrics, reinforcing Arantxa’s own commitment to preserving the environment and contributing towards a greener future.

Taking inspiration from the inimitable beauty of mother nature, Varenna offers refined yet sophisticated sportswear pieces that “give life to the magic that occurs when the natural world meets wise human hands.

“Our pieces infuse the elegance and sophistication of a luxury fashion label, with the design, performance and versatility of an activewear brand,” adds Arantxa. “Our refined, minimalist aesthetic vision proves that sportswear has indeed become a new expression of contemporary elegance.”

We sit down with Varenna Founder Arantxa Gandini, who invites us to discover the world of Varenna, and learn about the tradition, innovation and passion that inform its lovingly designed and thoughtfully-made collections.

What led you to embark on your journey to create a sustainably luxury activewear brand?  

I’ve always felt the need to feel beautiful and elegant, not just at the office or during special occasions, but also while training outdoors, at home, or in the gym. However, I couldn’t find any activewear brands that could satisfy this need.

Because of this, I decided to combine my two biggest passions — sports and fashion — to develop a brand that could meet the elevated tastes and standards of women like myself. So, with my business partner, we founded Varenna with a clear vision in mind. This was to contribute to women’s happiness and to create an environment where wellness, elegance and beauty are at the heart of everything we do.

Tell us more about Varenna’s design ethos. Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

Our story begins amidst the idyllic beauty of Lake Como, my childhood home. For me, Lake Como has always been the ultimate expression of Italian beauty and way of life. It is a truly magical place where the elegance of the villas seamlessly blend with the majesty of nature.

The main inspiration for our collections come from the natural world in all its forms. From the inimitable lights, patterns, colours and geometries of nature, our collections are born. We design collections that embody the graphic quality and stark symmetries of nature, giving life to the magic that occurs when the natural world meets wise human hands.

Describe Varenna in three words. Tell us more about your brand vision and what sets you apart from other activewear brands in the market today?

Our three main keywords are fashion, sustainable and ‘Made-in-Italy.’ Our mission is as ambitious as it is simple. We combine comfort (an essential feature in any sportswear brand) and glamour, which is something any successful fashion brand has in spades.

Through our collections, we constantly redefine the concept of what an active wardrobe looks like. Our pieces infuse the elegance and sophistication of a luxury fashion label, with the design, performance and versatility of an activewear brand. Our refined, minimalist aesthetic vision proves that sportswear has indeed become a new expression of contemporary elegance.

How important is sustainability to Varenna’s ethos?

In terms of sustainability, we’re always looking for low-impact raw materials and energy solutions. We believe that offering our clients sustainable choices eventually leads to better, more conscious consumer behaviours, resulting in a greener world.

For this reason, we only work with a select network of suppliers in Northern Italy to minimise our carbon footprint. We also put our best efforts towards preventing waste and only using high-quality fabrics from recycled PET bottles and biodegradable sources.

Varenna is the first luxury activewear brand that is completely ‘Made-in-Italy,’ which we hope reaffirms Italy’s position as a leader in the fashion world. Our entire supply chain is sustainable. This begins with design and sourcing the finest recycled Italian fabrics, to our very exacting cut and assembly process, which is as close as ‘made-to-measure’ as you can possibly get in activewear.

For me, tradition, innovation and passion are three words that perfectly describe our collections, which are all lovingly designed, thoughtfully made and packaged in Italy.

We sit down with Varenna Founder Arantxa Gandini, who invites us to discover the world of Varenna, and learn about the tradition, innovation and passion that inform its lovingly designed and thoughtfully-made collections.

What is next for Varenna? What is your long-term vision for the brand?

Our goal is to continue to design and produce elegant, mindfully-made clothes. We believe that brands today have to go beyond simply producing products, which is why we are developing a holistic brand universe that includes fashion, sports and wellbeing.

Our vision is to transform our flagship boutiques into exclusive wellness spaces, where our luxury clientele can relax and take care of their mind and body. At our Varenna boutiques, they can participate in Yoga or Pilates classes, or indulge in some traditional Italian food, reimagined through a lens of wellness and elegance.

Shop #TeamCoco’s top 10 picks from Varenna’s latest collection

  1. Varenna White Bra with Nordic Floral Print
  2. Varenna White Bra with Pink Flower Print
  3. Varenna Black Tank Top ¾ with Long Sleeves and Nordic Floral Print
  4. Varenna Corda Leggings with Ramage Print
  5. Varenna Petal Pink Leggings with Tie Dye Print
  6. Varenna Black and White Tech Polo with Shade Print
  7. Varenna Bottle Green Bra with Nordic Floral Print
  8. Varenna Pearl Grey Tech Polo with Stripes
  9. Varenna Corda and White Leggings 3/4 with Shades Print 
  10. Varenna Blu Navy Tech Jersey with Long Sleeves 

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Hannah Lynn Tan
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