New York is one of the world's most fashionable cities but when Jodhi Meares did yoga there, she struggled to find stylish workout gear.
''I was practising an enormous amount of yoga in New York and I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear,'' she said.
''I needed something that was functional but also stylish, so I could leave yoga and go straight to dinner or go for a drink.''
Meares decided to address the lack of fashionable fitness wear and launched her label The Upside in September, which features bold print leggings, crop tops, hoodies and shorts.
Since then it has developed a strong following including Emma Watson, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell and Kristy Hinze, as part of an international swell of women wanting fashionable fitness clothes.
Now The Upside has been poached from Myer by David Jones, which will stock the brand from August as part of a new strategy to embrace the lucrative ''activewear'' market.
''We see an exciting growth opportunity for us in the activewear market,'' David Jones group executive of merchandise Donna Player said. ''Our customers are increasingly looking for activewear with a fashion edge that they can also wear as casual clothing.''
Style-influenced sportswear is now one of the biggest global clothing trends.
As the general apparel market continues to slump, the Australian athletic apparel industry has grown 8.3 per cent from 2006-2012 and is forecast to be worth $US1.7 billion by 2017, according to the Australia Athletic Apparel and Footwear Industry Outlook report by Ken Research.
Spurred by increased female interest in health and fitness, Australian activewear brands including Vie Active, Lorna Jane and Running Bare are doing big business by bridging the gap between sporty and chic.
Vie Active launched in Sydney last year with a mantra of ''form, function and fashion'' to appeal to style-obsessed fitness devotees.
''Our target customer is time-poor and fashion conscious and prioritises her health, wellbeing and fitness,'' Vie Active director Noa Ries said. ''She wants chic sportswear that can take her from workout and on with her busy day without requiring an outfit change.''
In a year, Vie Active has amassed over 20 stockists including fashion boutiques, David Jones and fitness studios in New York.
Industry veteran Lorna Jane has 133 stores in Australia, 24 stores in America and sells to 36 countries around the world.
''I started sewing my own leotards while I was working part-time as an aerobics instructor because I was frustrated by the boring options available,'' the founder of Lorna Jane, Lorna Jane Clarkson, said.
''I have been championing this way of dressing for 25 years … Fit is undoubtedly the new black and active women now wear their activewear as a badge of honour.''