Margi Gad is a whirlwind, swirling through her life as an entrepreneur, designer, manufacturer, wife, and mom of three. She laughs when she says, “It’s a 24/7 situation.” Maybe we don’t all start our own fashion brands, but as Gad unreservedly acknowledges, most women with families are busy balancing plenty, and Margi considers herself one of the crowd. Which is where her new fashion line, Fierce + Regal: Performance Wear Styled for Life, comes in.
Fierce + Regal came into being as a matter of practical necessity. Gad calls it “elevated performance wear”; performance being fitness apparel, elevated being great tops to wear in class, out and about, by day and by night.
A fifth-generation garmento and a 10-year resident of Boston, Gad combines her contemporary sense of design with the confidence it takes to create a startup. For many years, she designed fine jewelry. She believes every entrepreneur is a dreamer, and it takes guts to turn those dreams into reality. Dreaming reality, she’s invented Fierce + Regal’s anytime, anywhere, elegant performance wear.
Exhale: What inspired you to create Fierce + Regal?
Margi Gad:My inspiration came from a desire for practicality in my everyday life. I work out regularly at a studio with plenty of mirrors. There is real rigor involved in my workouts, which I enjoy, yet I want to look my best in class and out. I also want to look my best consistently and fast. I thought it would help to have workout clothes that I could use for class and the rest of the day, but nothing existed in the market, at least not anything that struck my fancy. The lightbulb moment happened when I realized that there was a void, and I understood how to fill it.
Does your collection fit into the “athleisure” category, or is it something all its own?
We call our brand “elevated performance wear.” We offer bras, tanks, camis, bustiers and tunics. It’s true, it is athletic wear, but it’s also much more. We want to simplify life for busy women. Any one woman who works out will understand the desire to have something she can put on in the morning, wear throughout the day and even into the evening. I can take a class, attend business meetings, run the kids around and have dinner out by simply adding or subtracting pieces, with Fierce + Regal as my base. I might start with a hoody in the morning, a well-cut jacket in the afternoon and replace the jacket with something silky for the evening. We designed Fierce + Regal to help women feel comfortably confident, look good and have more time for home, family, work and fun.
What specific attributes have you gleaned from your family’s long-time fashion industry presence?
My family has been in the fashion business for 100 years, starting out with a Brooklyn pushcart. For five generations, men in my family, including my grandfather, father and cousins, ran a company that produced men’s work clothes. Of course, I picked things up. There are many angles to running a clothing business, from financing, to design, to manufacturing, to material sourcing, to delivery, to marketing, to sales. I work with a terrific team of specialists who bring technical knowledge to the process. Our pieces need to wear well, fit perfectly and look brand new at every wearing. We achieve this with fabrics that have a luscious hand feel, don’t shrink, pill or stretch, and can be simply machine washed and dried. We use quality Italian fabrics that we believe are perfect for our specific demands and manufacture in the U.S. For versatility for customers when combining day and evening looks, we use a neutral palette, some with a matte finish and some glossy. I suppose the system, with all of the complex decision making needed to serve the design, is really a combination of my own sense of style, my experience in jewelry, my family history and the in-depth research we use to create an exclusive, sophisticated product.
What makes your collection unique?
Our commitment is to quality, style and function . Our line is almost entirely logo free. The fabrics we choose are both beautiful and high functioning. We try and avoid being trendy and keep our silhouettes timeless. Our tops, right for women of any age, serve a purpose while bringing elegance to the task. We believe in empowering women by providing a multi-purpose product that, while subtle, does quietly say class.
Are you enjoying designing clothing after having a successful jewelry line?
I was formally trained in jewelry design and for many years sold at Barneys, Henri Bendel, other U.S. outlets and in Japan. Jewelry makes people happy, and that’s something I hope we bring to the table with Fierce + Regal, too. Clothing design is just something that’s within me. Our Pink Agenda collection helps women fighting breast cancer, and it’s an important part of our desire to help make a difference. The entire enterprise is extremely fulfilling, especially as I’m able to keep dreaming as we build the business, helping women be fiercely confident and stylishly regal.