A few months back we interviewed Corinna and Christina from Chill by Will and asked them about their brand and how they balance working out, working, and being Moms. Here’s the full interview for the first time!
What’s the backstory of Chill by Will?
Corinna: Christina was involved with fitness as a brand ambassador to Splits59 and a few other companies, while training celebrities as a personal trainer, and I was a dancer and had been involved in several other clothing and fashion lines. It’s always been a passion, since as a dancer, I’ve been living in activewear my entire life, and I’ve been a fitness nut. We both sort of do everything; dance, box, spin, pilates. Christina and I knew each other and we have a very similar style when we work out.
Christina: And it’s a lifestyle. If you see me in the morning, I’m working out in activewear, if you see me in the afternoon, I’m in activewear.
Corinna: We both have an energy and an edge and a style to our workout life and so I started to design a few pieces, and then I reached out to Christina and said “I’d really love it if you wanted to do this with me.” So now, we pretty much do everything from A to Z.
Corinna: Yeah! For instance, if I have a design idea, I’ll talk to Christina and say “Hey, what do you think about this?” We both look at fabrication — I deal mainly with production, but she also helps … there’s a lot of crossover, we both pretty much do it all!
So your backstory is similar to Katie and Caroline, Carbon38’s co-founders — you were living in activewear, and you wanted to create the types of pieces you wanted to wear!
Corinna: Exactly! And I knew Katie from teaching me in class at Physique 57 and she helped me before, during and after my pregnancy, and when I came back afterwards, I said “Hey, I heard you started Carbon38!” So, we’ve been both been sort of growing up together since the beginning, because that was right around the time we started Chill by Will.
What’s the one thing people should know about Chill by Will?
Corinna: I think it’s how we wear what we create. I pull what I like from what inspires me, and I try to incorporate all of that.
Christina: We’re inspired by so many things in the athletic world, and we think that there’s something in each piece we have for everyone; a mom, a dancer, a teacher — we wanted to make it so that you don’t need to be working out in our gear to feel your best while you’re wearing it. It’s taking all that inspiration and distilling it down and putting it into one awesome piece.
Corinna: And also, I think a big thing is how it’s put together. You can see what we’re trying to accent with our pieces, and that comes from our own style — how we’d rock the shirt, or what kind of sneaks we’d wear with the pants. Christina and I are super into sneaks, so we’ll have women tell us “Oh, where’d you get those sneaks?” because they like the overall style. It’s not just the one particular pant, it’s our vision of how we rock it all together and that, I think, is a bit more of an overall feel than just “let’s make this pant look good”, it’s lets make this pant able to look good with our sneaks, or tees, everything. We don’t want something that’s just a cool pant; we want a cool pant that’s going to look great in a look.
When you’re designing, are you designing for any specific workout?
Corinna: Oh no, we both do everything; I do hip-hop dance, we both spin, Christina is really into boxing, I love yoga. Everything we design, we wear, and we both do everything. So we want to make sure that we CAN do everything in these pieces.
Christina: Yeah, so we test it all ourselves, and we want to make sure it works! I want to make sure that if I’m in yoga and I’m doing Downward Dog, I want to make sure the pants don’t fall down! So, because we’re doing all this testing, when we’re adding stuff, like “Oh, here’s some mesh” we’ve got to make sure “Yeah, but you can also ride a bike with these pants on.” So if you want to get on the spin bike, or you want to get on a rowing machine, I don’t want it to pull, and when I’m in barre, my knees are on the floor, is it going to rub the wrong way — we want it to work, and work well, wherever you might go.
So you guys aren’t just the designers, you’re the testers too?
Christina: Oh yeah, and there are times when we get something on a hanger and it looks great! We’re so excited, and then we test it and we’re like “Nope!” We have to make sure it’s functional! Like, making it look good isn’t the whole deal, we have to make sure you can, like, walk down the street in it!
Corinna: It’s funny, that’s actually a big reason why we did it. We started out as brand ambassadors, and we were able to give feedback to the brands, like “Oh, hey, this seam is too low, or they feel funky here” and we realized “Hey, we can do this on our own, and just build the styles we want from the ground up!”