Behind the Brand: Lucas Hugh

August 6th 2013 / Susannah Taylor

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New Zealand-born Anjhe Mules is the owner of fashion fitness brand Lucas Hugh, worn by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson and Madonna and stocked on net-a-porter.com. Susannah Taylor talks to her about chance encounters, the importance of technology and her love of fitness.

ST: So how did it all begin?

AM: I was a fashion stylist and have always been into fitness, and I set up a high end swimwear line that was in about seven stores in New Zealand. Then disaster struck and I broke up with my boyfriend, so off I went to New York where I bumped into Marc Jacobs in the street; we got chatting and he asked me to start on Monday which is where I started my internship.

ST: Wow that was a lucky meeting!

AM: I also met Alexander McQueen on the street once and starting working with him too!

ST: Then what happened?

AM: I knew I wanted to start my own line and so I decided I wanted to save money. For a while I worked on a private jet for Russia’s richest man in order to save the cash. In my days off I set up my business, researching the best places to manufacture amazing athletic wear. I wanted to create a brand that was technologically leaps ahead of others but that was aesthetically beautiful too. I launched the brand in 2010.

ST: How important to you is technology?

AM: Very. I use seamless technology, so there are no stitches, but fabrics that ventilate and wicking fibres that are antibacterial so the fabric won’t rot, and they draw sweat away from the body.

ST: How has your own love of fitness influenced the brand?

AM: I’ve always been into sport and when I was younger I was in the hockey and swimming teams, and all my design is influenced by my own personal use. There is a headset eyelet on most tops on the left side to put headphones through so the wires don’t flap about, a key pocket at the back (how many of us have been out for a run and don’t know what to do with our keys?), there are even built-in handkerchief pockets for winter.

photo-copy-1-jpg.JPGAnjhe's training kit

ST: What is a day in the life of you like?

AM: 5.55am in the winter I get up and go and train by either going to the gym, doing weights or doing press-ups, you name it. I also love Heartcore Pilates. In the summer I go running in the park. I also do boxing at a place called The Champion Effect in West London with a guy called Leon.

7.45am - I get back home, get ready, refuel and reply to emails.

10am - I get to the office where I work on the newsletter, the website, marketing, events, planning, production, checking quality control of sizing etc. Not enough time is spent actually designing.

1pm - I take lunch to work and eat it on the go. I also take in all my snacks which are generally simple fruit and nuts.

6pm- 9pm I try to design. I put the music on in the studio and draw by hand.

9pm - Go home and I might have a hot bath to unwind. I absolutely love REN’s Moroccan Rose Oil.

photo-18-jpg.JPGAnjhe's wash bag and beauty kit

ST: And finally why the name Lucas Hugh?

AM: They are my two grandfathers - one was into stargazing and being artistic, the other really supported fitness. His motto was ‘Fit in the body, fit in the mind’. Together they sum up my brand.

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Anjhe's must-have kit:

Sachajuan Volume Shampoo, £18.00.

Sachajuan Hair Repair, £22.00

Newton Distance U Trainers, £125.00

Asics Neutral Gait Trainers, £69.95

Frends Ella In-Ear Headphones, £85.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs X Liberty Emma & Georgina Tote Bag, £160.00

Marc by Marc Jacobs X Liberty Wiltshire Cosmetics Case, £60.00

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Cleanser, £18.00

Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum, £15.33

Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, £30.00

Trilogy Botanical Body Wash, £16.50

Lucas PawPaw Ointment, £5.25

MAC Cremeblend Blush, £18.00

All Lucas Hugh clothing is available at www.lucashugh.com

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