In one of the first offerings from Robin Barnes' FIT By You collection (www.fitbyyou.co), a brass band swings its way across a black workout tank bearing the slogan "Move Ya Brass."
Barnes, a local jazz singer, moved into fashion after a severe kidney infection led her to reevaluate her lifestyle. The "Move Ya Brass" top typifies her brand: comfortable, irreverent and upbeat.
"[With our line] we want to promote positivity and health consciousness," Barnes says. "[My story] can't make people be healthy. I've learned that."
Barnes and director of operations A. Hill brainstorm ideas for cheeky, locally inspired prints, which are executed by graphic designer Donkey Beatz. Garment fabrications vary from a spandex-Lycra blend to new moisture-wicking materials. The line includes screen-printed T-shirts, tanks and workout shorts, and will expand into leggings and other loungewear for the fall collection.
"We have to be conscious that it's always hot here," Hill says. "To combat that, we'll have mixed materials."
Barnes and Hill's vision is a high-end product with a manageable price. Currently, most of their sales are conducted online, but they hope to place the line in department stores and with local businesses soon.
Though Barnes has a busy schedule, she always carves out time for healthy activities. She wants FIT By You to encourage others to do the same.
"[When I'm] singing music, I see it moves people," Barnes says. "I want to motivate people by making them realize that life's too short, and you need to be a little more conscious that we're not invincible."