Inside Fitness Mogul Lorna Jane's Elegant L.A. Retreat

Sacha Strebe
PHOTO:

Jenna Peffley for MyDomaineSTYLING: Kate Martindale, design by TwoFold LA

You could hear the collective gasp as the security-lined gates slowly opened upon Lorna Jane Clarkson’s Pacific Palisades estate. We had high expectations going in (it was listed for $16.5 million), but Richard Neutra’s iconic Stuart Bailey House exceeded them all. Built in 1948, the historic Case Study design epitomizes midcentury modern elegance with that quintessential Cali-cool flair. As we walked the winding driveway and descended upon the manicured grounds, our jaws were literally agape at the beauty of this secluded oasis. In what could be called a nature reserve more than a backyard, a chorus of local birds provided the idyllic soundtrack while the infinity pool complete with cascading waterfall circulated those negative ions. The serenity is all encompassing. Our team inhaled (deeply) and let out a mutual ahh and soaked up the peaceful view that felt miles away from the busy humdrum of downtown Los Angeles.

A stylish retreat from her very busy and public life is exactly what the Australian activewear icon and her husband, Bill, were looking for. “I’m a real homebody and love nothing better than to relax (in my activewear of course) makeup-free with family and friends,” she told MyDomaine. “Having a home that is private and perfect for relaxed entertaining is what I look for to rest and rejuvenate.” Whether you lead an active life or you’re just a fan of the athleisure trend, you’ve probably heard the name Lorna Jane before. With more than 200 stores across Australia and the U.S. (as well as stockists in Europe, the UK, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East), Clarkson’s namesake is a formidable force in the global activewear industry (she actually coined the term in 1989) and, as we found out, also one of the most hardworking.

In this exclusive chat with the fitness mogul, we discovered her decorating goals for the new space, morning and evening routines, go-to weeknight meals, pantry essentials, healthy traveling tips, and more.

PHOTO:

Jenna Peffley for MyDomaine; STYLING: Kate Martindale, design by TwoFold LA

Working as a fitness instructor in Brisbane, Australia, Clarkson started hand-designing activewear out of a personal need for fashionable gym gear. Demand for her custom-made pieces grew so quickly (women in her classes were queuing to place orders) that she soon quit her day job to work on Lorna Jane full-time. But as the business has grown, her healthy active-living philosophy has remained. In fact, it is this very brand ethos that created such a connected global community of empowered women. “I truly believe I have gotten where I am today by simply working hard and making good decisions every day, staying true to myself and what I want to do with my life,” she said. “Most importantly, just believing anything is possible and having a never give up attitude.”

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