Meet Recess, the Latest Brand Taking Over the Philippines' Activewear Scene
Co-founder Isabella Daza discusses the making of the label with business partner Anne Curtis.
Designed for women by women, Recess is a Philippines-based activewear brand dedicated to producing quality yet affordable silhouettes. Having been workout partners for the past 10 years, local Filipina actors Anne Curtis Smith and Isabelle Daza wanted to pursue their own activewear line that catered to everyone’s design preferences, budget and fit – thus, their label was born.
Bringing on board Paulina Ortega as creative director and Roxanne Farillas who oversees production, merchandising and operations, the brand immediately gained attention upon its release just last year. “We wanted to make [Recess] feel approachable and not exclusive to athletes. We really want to get people into the habit of carving out time in their day to do something that feels good for them, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally,” co-founder Daza tells HYPEBAE.
To learn more about Recess, we spoke with Daza about the making of the brand, the inspiration behind her and Smith’s design ethos and what makes their company stand out from the rest. Read on for our full interview.
While you’re here, don’t forget to read our editor’s review of the best activewear sets designed in the Philippines.
What made you decide to create your own activewear brand?
Anne and I have been working out together for the last 10 years – I would say maybe even longer. During our workouts together, we would always say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a legging like this, but in this color and something that didn’t cost an arm and a leg?” So it was always in the back of our minds but we were a bit hesitant to pursue it together. Then coincidentally, I got a call from Anne asking if I wanted to partner with her and I told her how weird it was because I had been slowly working on it already.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind your design ethos?
We wanted to create something that was specific to women or anyone who identifies as a woman. We wanted the best product for ourselves first that we couldn’t find in many big brands out there – the best in terms of fit, color, design and price.
The design ethos was really something timeless, fun and feminine. We wanted specific colors you don’t necessarily see out there and we also wanted to run it in small batches so that it’s a bit more special.
What makes Recess stand out from the other local labels in the Philippines?
I can’t speak for the other labels, and aside from putting in the research and development of the fabrics, I would say with Recess, we really wanted to democratize looking out for your well-being. We wanted to make it feel approachable and not exclusive to athletes. We really want to get people into the habit of carving out time in their day to do something that feels good for them, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. From there everything else flows. At Recess, we say, “When your full potential needs a break.”
Is international shipping currently in the works?
We are working hard to make this happen!
Out of all your different offerings, what are your favorite silhouettes and why?
Are there new styles set to launch later this year that you can share with us?
Cycling shorts! Also, a fun fanny pack that I’m excited about.
How have you both been staying active and healthy amid COVID-19?
Every day I try to do an hour of physical activity, whether it be pilates, HIIT or a hike, especially because of my pregnancy. Fortunately here in Hong Kong, we have access to all of that.
What else do you have planned for Recess?
Lots of things in store this year and hopefully some exciting collaborations.
- Natalia Parsonson
- Creative Director
- Paulina Paige Ortega
- Cat Smith
- Hair Stylist
- Paloma Garcia