Why Khloé Kardashian Designed Maternity Activewear for Women to Wear During and After Pregnancy

Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede have launched Maternity Performance, a new extension of their activewear line that focuses on mothers-to-be and new moms. The Good American co-founders felt that maternity performance was a natural progression in their lineup.

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One year after debuting Good Mama denim, Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede have launched Maternity Performance, a new extension of their activewear line that focuses on mothers-to-be and new moms. The Good American co-founders felt that maternity performance was a natural progression in their lineup—and that their offerings fill a big hole in the market.

"When I was pregnant I definitely felt like what was offered was just a few pieces and they weren't very comfortable; they weren't cute at all," says Khloé Kardashian. Offering comfort, style, and a range of options was important to her. "We don't tell our consumer what they should be wearing. We don't give them like three pieces. We allow them to have a good range of stuff. And they can pick if they want to be, you know, a little more conservative or if they still want to be sexy or whatever, it's up to the consumer to decide. So we wanted to create more options that you can wear either if you are just relaxing at home or if you want to work out, you still get the same support. You know, our goal is really to listen to our customers and just to be inclusive and what we produce."

MarieClaire.com spoke to Kardashian and Grede a few days ahead of the launch to talk about their new products, and the advice they'd give women who are trying to get back into a workout routine after having a baby.

What was the most important factor for you when you were designing Maternity Performance?

Kardashian: I will say definitely I had no idea even about this maternity world or the lack thereof until I got pregnant. I definitely think comfort and functionality are the two biggest things. I would say comfort more than functionality because for me, what I was offered were items I would never wear in my real life. And I worked out my entire pregnancy and even if I wasn't working out, you just want to be in leggings anyway because you just are so uncomfortable towards the very end. And that's also what made us create our denim because I never found any denim that I was comfortable in. And of course our prototypes I was wearing throughout my pregnancy—we didn't finish it until the end. But I was able to wear it during my postpartum stage, which is great.

But I love that with our performance, everything is seamless. You don't want seams in certain places that they shouldn't be. Nobody wants camel-toe and all that kind of stuff. So we try to do things really seamless–you also don't want a bunch of lines and fabric suffocating your tummy, you want things to be protected and make you feel secure, but not anything that's too suffocating and restricting. I know with me, I felt already kind of suffocated within my own body. That's something else. I didn't want it to feel like an extra layer of skin. I just wanted it to feel like comfortable, stretchy fabric. But that was also cute.

And our sports bras are sports bra, but they could also be nursing bras as well. So those are really easy, especially when you're a mom and multitasking and your baby's screaming and you just need to breastfeed. Those very easy; they’re very functional and that was something that was really important to me as well.

Grede: For me, it was how do we make something super comfortable, first and foremost. But then, you're in this time of your life where your body's changing, quite literally by the day, and you also want to look really cute.

When I was pregnant, the smallest thing would irritate me—a seam in the wrong place, a slightly too small sleeve, a bit of skin popping out where it shouldn't. So actually, it was just like, how do you make it super, super comfortable? And there's just things that you can do in garment construction that takes out some of the things that would usually irritate you. Everything that we do is four-way stretch and it's seamless. And when you make seamless garments, you just take out any of those bits that would usually dig in or leave like an indentation on you when your body's bigger than it would normally be and you take your clothes off.

So for me, it was [also important] to give a super emphasis on the function. You need to be able to sweat in it and you need to be able to move comfortably in it, but just make sure that everything feels nonrestrictive, and that your belly feels all at once supported, but not at all ever restricted.

Why was it important to you to design with the postpartum stage in mind?

Kardashian: Honestly, I think it's harder to dress for [postpartum] because when you have a belly that has a baby in it, it's cute. Show it off or whatever. And even though you just had a baby, let's even just say 48 hours before, you still, as a mom, knowing there's not a baby in there, but you still have this big belly—I don't care how secure you are, you still feel like, I don't want to emphasize this. At least I did and my girlfriends. Even though it's so crazy because you have to give yourself a little pat on the back: You just had a baby.

I remember, you expect, Oh my God, I'm going to have a baby, I'm going to give birth and then my belly is going to be gone. That's really what I expected going in, and when I came out I was like, okay, I'm holding the baby, but why do I still have the tummy? And you do, and you have to be kinder to yourself. So then at the end I loved having some support on my tummy, so I felt like I was being held in. I didn't want to feel, I don't know the word, like loose or maybe just unsupported. Your stomach has gone through so much stuff. So I would say for the next couple of weeks after delivery you do want to feel that you're being supported on your tummy area.

I mean every human body is different. So we all have to be kind. But when people are like, "Oh it'll snap back in, like six weeks so far or six days postpartum." And they have like a six pack. I'm like, what?

And some people do that and some don't. I had a tummy and mine wasn't like a full round ball, but I had a tummy, and I almost wish I had round ball and because you just feel like ugh. Like you just look like ugh. Like that's a word I could describe. But it took nine months to gain this weight to nine months for your body to adapt that you have to at least give yourself nine months in my opinion, that it's going to go back down. Even just the swelling or the shock that your body just went through.

Every human body is different. So we all have to be kind.

That's why people say, "Oh, but why would I want to buy maternity stuff. I'm only going to use it for a couple of months." But they don't realize after you deliver, you will still continue. I used my maternity denim more after pregnancy. One, I didn't have them for my full pregnancy, but I use them so much more because I was way more comfortable and they're still stylish and if you cover the top, no one knows they’re maternity denim. And the same thing with this. No one's going to know they're maternity workout clothes, but if you feel more supported rather than having your muffin top hanging off over the side—to me that would make me more insecure. I just like being held in and supported and that's the beauty about this line.

Grede: I remember in my first pregnancy, buying things thinking, I'll just buy this because I'm only going to need to wear this for the next couple of months. And the reality is you don't just turn back into what you were previously, and then, your body's just changed forever. And so you do need to invest in things that you're going to be able to wear for months after your pregnancy, and things that are going to be good in those months when you've just had the baby and you just want to be super comfortable. And that's why we decided to do the nursing bra, because we're like, "How do you do something that's super supportive and works while you're moving up and down? But then, that's also functional for after you have the baby?"

And so, the nursing bra for us was the perfect place to get a little bit experimental and go, "Can we do something that's functional and supportive but then has a use afterwards?" So you're not just hanging around with all this excess stuff that goes in a box for, one day, another pregnancy, or goes to the charity shop.

After you had your baby, was there a specific workout that helped you get back in shape and feel good? Was that a priority for you?

Kardashian: Well, working out was because I worked out so much prior and then during my pregnancy, so you have to take about six weeks off and as soon as you're clear from your doctor, I was so excited to work out, but mentally I was so much stronger than I was physically because I took so much time off. And so mentally I wanted to do all these things but physically, I wasn't able to do them. And that was really hard for me to understand. And it was more me building back up my endurance and my strengths. We definitely worked a lot on my abs because that was the most shocking part on my body. I mean like my body was in most shock, stomach-wise. And so we did a lot of abs—we did more Pilates moves, not too much too soon and you have to ease back into it.

I don't really believe in big diet fads or I'm not trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

But consistency is key. So even if you're just going on a walk, just doing it consistently and always pushing yourself a little more with each week. Just trying to gradually build that endurance. But I'm someone who likes just to do things slow as long as you're consistent because I don't really believe in big diet fads or I'm not trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. I don't try to do anything too crazy like that. I just want a lifestyle rather than a moment in time.

Do you have any advice for someone who's trying to get back to working out after having a baby or might be struggling to regain her body confidence?

Kardashian: That was definitely something I went through. It sucks because with social media, it could be such a great tool to give you information and to help you, but you also do a lot of comparing yourself to others. And like I said earlier, every human body is different and we have to do what's best for us and also our living environment. Like if some people have help, it's probably easier for them to go work out. And if some people don't, it's just not. But I waited until I was sadly like excited to work out. I was really looking forward to it. And I did 30 minutes a day for the first week just to get back into it. And I was really excited. I was like, Okay, now this week I'm going to go to 45 minutes. And it was more exciting rather than daunting and God, I have to work out today. And it was just doing little things.

When True was napping that's what I would do it, and I would just go downstairs and do house workouts. I wasn't having to commute far. You have to ease yourself back into it. Getting back into routine is probably the hardest part. I do think it's mind over matter. But once I started noticing some changes, it really made me feel good. And setting small goals for yourself. But you do have to know that you have to be kind to yourself. You just had a baby, you're taking care of the baby. For me, breastfeeding was really hard. So there's a lot going on and the hormones and everything is a whole different thing. Pregnancy takes a toll on yourself and I think just doing little by little, it will help mentally you feel better too.

Does what you're wearing to work out contribute to your confidence level?

I feel like you know, I used to be a lot bigger without being pregnant. Just my weight was a lot bigger and I think even that's one reason why we started this. The whole idea of the brand and having size inclusivity. I used to be a size 12 or 14 and when I was, I wasn't offered cute clothes in a size 12 or 14. I was offered whatever the scraps they wanted to give me and I thought, don't tell the consumer what they want to buy, just because I'm a 12 or 14. I was really confident, probably more confident than I can be at times now. And I wanted to be in sexy clothes. I wanted to be in bodycon stuff. And so I just feel like that was never offered to me.

I used to be a size 12 or 14 and when I was, I wasn't offered cute clothes in a size 12 or 14. I was offered the scraps.

That’s one reason Good American came to fruition. But then with maternity, too, when I was pregnant and looking for workout clothes. There were more baggy options—nothing was tight as well. And I looked better showing off my tummy. I didn't want people to think, Is she pregnant? Is she not pregnant? Like you're kind of afraid to talk about that or to ask if you are or not. So with me, I liked being in tighter clothes. So with our maternity, we offer bike shorts and sports bras and cute trendy leggings and it's not going to be just a couple of scrap pieces that we're dictating how everybody should wear them. We're going to have a good variety of pieces. I really do love from the line.

We have great sports bras that function as nursing bras as well. I think that's a key piece because I never had the problem of having big breasts before my pregnancy and so I didn't realize how much support big boobs really need and when you're breastfeeding, it's not a fun feeling. At least for me it's not. And so it felt good to be that supported and I love how easy these nursing bras are on. You're multitasking, you're holding a baby and the baby's crying and blah, blah, blah. It’s just refreshing to know you just unsnap your bra. It's just, it's really easy. I think you have to play with it to understand the difference in how easy it is. But I also love the high-waisted bike shorts from the performance collection. They're supportive and I love the compression and you don't feel suffocated in them. It feels just right.

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Sally Holmes

Sally is the Editor in Chief of Marie Claire where she oversees coverage of all the things the Marie Claire reader wants to know about, including politics, beauty, fashion, and celebs. Holmes has been with Marie Claire for five years, overseeing all content for the brand’s website and social platforms. She joined Marie Claire from ELLE.com, where she worked for four years, first as Senior Editor running all news content and finally as Executive Editor. Before that, Sally was at NYMag.com's the Cut and graduated with an English major from Boston College.