It's a big day for sisters Alisha Marie and Ashley Nichole. The long-time vloggers and social media influencers, who've racked up over 20 million followers across all platforms, have ventured into uncharted territory by launching their very own activewear brand: Parallel Apparel.
Parallel was first conceptualized two years ago after both Ashley and Alisha realized that, even after years of searching, they still struggled to find activewear basics that were the perfect mash between athleticwear and loungewear.
Alisha, in particular, also envisioned a basics clothing line that was size-inclusive and empowering after having struggled with body image issues in the past - something she opened up about in a YouTube video that offers a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the brand. (Related: How Celebrity Social Media Affects Your Mental Health and Body Image)
All the above inspired the sister duo to create Parallel Apparel, a line of sexy and elite athleticwear basics that can be dressed up or down and are accessible to all shapes, sizes, and genders.
The brand's first collection keeps things simple, housing nine items: a tank top, sweatpants, a cropped sweatshirt, a bodysuit, leggings, bike shorts, a basic tee, and a front-zip hoodie, ranging in size from XS to XXXL. Most items are available in just two staple colors: black and white - except for the bike shorts and leggings, which are only available in black. In lieu of a logo, each item is also emblazoned with two simple parallel lines that pay homage to the brand and are a welcomed added edge. (Related: The Best Bike Shorts to Add to Your Collection)
Since plus-sizing was so important to them, Alisha and Ashley recruited curve model Lexi Donato to share her honest opinion on how their initial clothing samples could better fit non-straight-sized people. The same behind-the-scenes YouTube video offers a glimpse into the process, with clips of Donato weighing in on how certain pieces could be adjusted for length and coverage to make wearers feel more comfortable and confident. The sisters then followed Donato's cues and made alterations to their designs before finalizing each piece. (Related: Sportswear Brands That Do Plus-Size Clothes Right)
In the spirit of inclusivity, the line is also unisex, to ensure that whoever wears Parallel will appreciate their body as is, and feel authentic in every way. Each item is also ethically sourced in L.A., meaning the line was made with both the environment and fair labor in mind. And the price points are totally doable, ranging from $35 to $118. (Related: 11 Sustainable Activewear Brands Worth Breaking a Sweat In)
The brand's motto, "sexy as is," challenges people to celebrate their one-of-a-kind journeys. Alisha can relate first-hand how difficult that can be. "I hate the fact that it took me 28 years to realize that sexiness and confidence isn't a destination, it's not a size, it's not a partner that you're with, it's not a status or money - it's already there," she continued sharing on YouTube.
"I've tried all the juice cleanses; I've tried so many different things," she added. "It was naive of me to think that, 'Oh, once I'm this size, I'll feel sexy and confident.' When in reality, I was always that underneath, but I didn't tap into it." (Related: 12 Things You Can Do to Feel Good In Your Body Right Now)
Alisha hopes that through Parallel Apparel she and her sister can inspire others to embrace themselves as they are and live their best life. "If I can have one person feel that way because of these clothes....that to me is a success," she shared.
You can shop the full collection now on Parallel's site, or peruse some of their timeless pieces below - then click through to hit "add to cart" ASAP.