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Hilary Swank’s latest role? Redefining activewear with a hot “crossover” collection

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Photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Hilary Swank has never been one to back down from a fitness challenge. For Million Dollar Baby, she spent 25 hours a week in the boxing ring honing the moves of a serious fighter. And before that, for Boys Don’t Cry, Swank took up serious weightlifting to get the physique of the transgendered teenage boy she was playing. (She won Oscars and Golden Globes for Best Actress in both roles, BTW.)

So when finding a clothing line that would actually crossover from the tennis court (her current fitness passion) to meetings proved non-existent? Swank simply created one.

Called Mission Statement, the actress’ super stylish new clothing line aims to solve her (and every woman’s) problem of wear-all-day, sweat-friendly pieces—while suggesting there’s a larger purpose served when women’s clothes actually “support all they do in the world.”

Swank recently visited Well+Good, and brought her passion A-game for her serious new business endeavor. Check out our exclusive video.

“There’s a trend out there towards this idea of a crossover [fitness-fashion] brand, but I don’t feel like anyone has hit the mark,” the actress explains. “You’re really still wearing your workout clothes. I wanted to create a line of high-performance clothing that seamlessly meets a high-fashion aesthetic.”

The debut collection of Mission Statement (starting at $125 for sports bras to $1,150 for a leather jacket) includes surprising city-chic pieces, like washable leather pants, on-trend jackets that just happen to be made in a high-performance fabric, and temperature-regulating cashmere tops. Her team includes Carolyn Risoli the former president of Marc By Marc Jacobs, and manufacturing happens in Italy and Portugal. Swank’s calling it aesthetic wear. 

While she’s known for her athletic roles, Swank’s fitness inclinations actually date way back to childhood, preceding any notion of an acting career. A swimmer since age 3, she went on to compete in the Junior Olympics as teenager and was also an all-state gymnast. These days Swank says she’d love to spend 10 hours on the tennis court instead of 6, and spends gym days throwing arounds weights like they’re frisbees—seriously check out her #FitnessFridays on Instagram.

And Swank’s not just selling clothes, she’s disseminating a philosophy, one that supports women and inspires them—her site will feature women telling their stories of perseverance. As someone with an adversity-filled childhood (Swank speaks openly about growing up poor), she’s is a huge believer that pushing through your “can’ts”—specifically using fitness and sports to power through—is how you discover exactly who you are meant to be. —Additional reporting by Katie Maguire

Scroll down to see some of the key pieces from Swank’s new line, Mission Statement, available online now.

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Photo: Steve Gong

Swank’s key styling tools for pulling off aesthetic wear is all in the layering—which she calls “cloud layering”—i.e. the signature pieces that work stylishly on their own, but effortlessly together as “an ethereal but powerful foundation for the perfect degree of temperature control,” she explains.

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith
Photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith
Photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith
Photo: Brian Bowen Smith

Need help with your layering chops? Try these perfect for fall legging-and-leather jacket combos. Or invest in one of these cool, new jacket trends that will go with everything from skirts to jeans to leggings.

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