The actor and entrepreneur’s new line pairs supportive fabrics and innovative designs with cheeky socks
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
As she dressed for the day in recent years, Ayda Field says she found herself caught between the mundane world of functional activewear and what she calls “the other camp” characterized by “slashed one-shoulder sports bras and things with little strings.” In reaction to the dichotomy of extremes, the Los Angeles-based actor, presenter and mother of four, who is married to British singer-songwriter Robbie Williams, is launching Ayda Activewear. Field is creating performance clothes intended for actual workouts that are also polished essentials designed to be worn throughout the day. “I want to feel joyful about what I’m wearing, but I want it to work, not just be a showpiece,” she notes. Here, the multihyphenate creative discusses her new line, her love-hate wellness trajectory and her Thirsty AF socks.
From left: The AYDA Coco Performance bra, $98, and leggings, $128. The Gwen mesh sports bra, $78, and leggings, $109.
What is the one piece of activewear that has to be done correctly?
Ayda Field: When I get in my clothes, that’s what I’m wearing for the day. For me, the sports bra is the foundation, it’s what makes you feel happy in your workout as a woman. But it’s often a Goldilocks situation. This one digs, this one doesn’t breathe, the bust is a different size from the rib cage. The Performance bra has a detail that I love: We put a Velcro adjustable strap around the ribcage, it’s so discrete and beautiful. So if you need a different size for coverage you can adjust it so it doesn’t dig in anywhere. I wore the Core sports bra all day and forgot about it, and normally when I work out it’s the thing I want to tear off first. It can be like a deathtrap. I don’t want to fight my way into it, or lace myself in!
Thirsty AF socks, $18.
The socks! How did they come to be?
AF: You can’t feel sad when you’re wearing a sock that says “F**king Fantastic.” Obviously my initials are AF, and when you’re sweaty, you’re thirsty. So Thirsty AF is another pair. I’m a big fan of the statement sock. Robbie and I get competitive about them. He actually stole my hat, he stole my socks, they’re in Australia right now, on a set. He absconded with them to shoot a movie.
The AYDA Gwen sets in coral and blush.
What inspired the color palette of this first 18-piece collection?
AF: Being a kid of the ’80s in California, there is something that felt so fun and whimsical, that playfulness, those colors, the rom-coms. Color is a great expression of feeling, the Hypercolor T-shirts that changed color, the double-layered socks. That joy from those colors is the foundation of these pieces we’ve created.
“I have this love-hate passive-aggressive relationship with fitness. Pilates and yoga are my resets, but I’ve also learned that when I don’t do any of it, it’s okay”
You grew up in L.A. How has your upbringing here impacted your take on wellness?
AF: I’m consistently inconsistent. My mom was a very fit mom, but she was always on these weird fad diets, and she was doing step classes, Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons — in fact my mom a couple of years ago actually auditioned for a Richard Simmons video called The Golden Foxes, she did not make the cut, but fitness has always been a part of her life. I’d been an athlete in high school and then college happened. I fell off a fitness cliff and my mom got me back into it. I made my mom do Barry’s Bootcamp with me. It was the old Barry’s, when Barry sat on you as you did press-ups. We did it for like a year and a half. My mom has always been that person in my life.
What’s your workout routine now?
AF: I have this love-hate passive-aggressive relationship with fitness. Being in L.A., this creative hub and with amazing weather, you almost accidentally fall into it. You can do yoga with a goat. Pilates and yoga are my resets, focusing on breath work. I struggle with sitting meditations, but these are moving mediations. They feel kind. I’ve also learned that when I don’t do any of it, it’s okay.
How do you feel while you’re exercising?
AF: I have so many identities. The first 15 minutes I f**king hate it. Your body doesn’t want to come with you. You’d rather not. Then there’s a moment where your mind surrenders and you’re completely connected to your body. All of a sudden, there’s this flow. You finish and you’re the strongest version of yourself. It might last a whole day or 10 minutes. No one can work it out for you, it’s your moment with yourself. I know I am a better person at the end of it, so I fight to find myself in it.
Field wears the the Coco Performance bra, $98, and leggings, $108, in black and olive.
What part do you skip?
AF: In my 20s I skipped stretching and just wanted to do the cardio. I equated fitness and strength with the harder you go, the faster; a brutalist approach. Now I see it as a much more complete picture. The foam roller is my friend. Now I realize it’s the prep, the warm up and the stretch. You don’t need to be in fight or flight every day. It’s an evolution.
“No one can work it out for you, it’s your moment with yourself. I know I am a better person at the end of it, so I fight to find myself in it”
What part do you look forward to the most?
AF: Finishing. And then eating something.
AYDA Activewear is designed to be comfortably worn throughout the day, in and out of the gym.
Have you slept in AYDA designs?
AF: It’s not a proud moment, but I was wearing the same clothes for two days. I slept in pants, woke up in them, wore them and then went to bed again. That’s happened. By the way, the Core pants are amazing to sleep in. They’re so soft. Each piece has a real purpose and we really wanted to create something that feels buttery and yummy, the waistband is not too high or low. They’re for working out, hiking, sleeping, lying on the floor in the fetal position, something that feels like a second skin. And also, the stuff can get sweaty and it doesn’t trap stinky smells like that fabric Rob wears sometimes.
Speaking of Robbie, your husband has pledged to build a compound so his kids will never leave. “I don’t know if you’ve seen Succession, but that’s what it’s going to be like,” he says. How will you dress for this?
AF: If Robbie is successful in building the compound, I’ll have to make a men’s line. It’ll be a family affair. I’ll have to make something in his size. At that point he’ll be sweating and I’ll be watching with a cocktail while he builds the fortress.
Feature image: AYDA Activewear’s Coco Performance bra features an adjustable Velcro strap for extra comfort.
May 3, 2022
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