Born in England, Lorna Jane Clarkson moved to Australia with her sister and mother when she was 10-years-old. When they arrived, Clarkson fell in love with the lifestyle and was obsessed with spending time outside riding her bike and running around with her sister. “I think that’s what sparked my passion for health and fitness,” Clarkson said. “It was so cold in England that I spent most of my time there curled up inside reading, so moving here was a massive lifestyle change.”
Before starting Lorna Jane, Clarkson worked as a dental therapist. She explained that at the time she hadn’t quite figured out what she wanted to do with her life and was trying out a few different things. Aerobics was huge then and she loved it so much that she trained as an instructor and taught at her local gym after work and on the weekends.
Clarkson had always been interested in fashion and in high school she crocheted bikinis for herself and her friends. With no formal training in fashion, Clarkson taught herself and said it kind of went from there. When she was teaching aerobics, she couldn’t find any activewear that inspired her to work out and decided to create her own. When Clarkson wore them to classes, the women loved them and asked if they could place orders. It all started with custom leotards, which Clarkson said are ‘definitely not available now’, but explained that a lot of women who were her original customer told her they still have them 28 years later.
Her husband is the CEO of Lorna Jane and together they oversee and approve everything including international jobs. “I know it sounds cliché, but no two days in my life are ever the same,” Clarkson added. On any given day, she can be found doing anything from design fittings and marketing meetings, right through to writing for her latest book. Sometimes she visits schools to inspire young girls with her Active Living Philosophy. “It can feel chaotic and overwhelming at times, but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The brand proudly boasts 208 stores across 18 countries and worldwide shipping online for those she hasn’t already reached. Lorna Jane releases 70-100 new styles every month and has been running for 28 years.
Clarkson is currently putting the finishing touches on her fifth book which will be released in September this year.