Culture

This Runner Makes Activewear That Empowers Women

Lorna Jane Clarkson has built an empire on building women's confidence.

This is a part of our 15 Most Powerful Women in Running series. Who runs the world? Girls—obviously.

lorna jane

LORNA JANE CLARKSON
Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Lorna Jane Activewear
Age: 50
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

With a brand attached to her name and a lifestyle philosophy that extends from apparel to coffee table books, Clarkson could be called Australia’s answer to Martha Stewart. The difference is, in Clarkson’s world, women aren’t homemakers—they’re athletes.

After the self-titled label launched in 1989, Lorna Jane Activewear has continued to explode. Three years ago, Clarkson crossed the pond to test the U.S. market with resounding success. The brand now boasts more than 50 standalone stores in the country, a merchandising deal with Nordstrom and more than $166 million in annual revenue.

With running wear that works for both start lines and coffee runs, Clarkson focuses on quality and community in her brand. Many of the brick and mortar stores offer group runs with refreshments and free exercise classes. “Running shouldn’t be seen as a chore,” says the CCO. “It should be seen as a tool to empowerment.”

“To me, power is working hard for what you want and never giving up. No one is born feeling self-empowered and confidence is learned.”

Discover More Of Our 15 Most Powerful Women In Running:
Kara Goucher
Lori Shannon
Michelle Obama
Christy Turlington Burns
Magdalena Boulet
Lauren Fleshman
Harriette Thompson
Sarah Attar