Meet The Saudi Arabian Designer Making Sporty Abayas

BY Danae Mercer / Sep 11 2019 / 15:53 PM

Stretchy, light, and cinched at the ankles, Mulu Athletics’ abayas are meant for everything from lounging to outdoor HIIT workouts — and that’s exactly what this fitness trainer mom wanted

Meet The Saudi Arabian Designer Making Sporty Abayas

Extra stretchy, customized fabric, and available in everything from grey to neon — meet the sporty abayas from Saudi designer, Lojain Al Refae.

“I wanted to mix fashion and fitness together, so my husband and I launched Mulu Athletics with the sports abaya,” says Al Refae. The duo switched their entire lives around and got into fitness in 2006, and now Al Refae is a personal trainer.

“When I moved back to Saudi from the States, it was hard for me to engage in outdoor activities and be active with my children. The regular abaya didn’t allow that freely. So I came up with this abaya that’s called the ‘free flow’, and the idea is it lets you go about your activities freely.”

Al Refae has seen interest in sports shoot up dramatically in Saudi Arabia. “Whether it’s running, cycling, or even HIIT outside, you see women doing this.” Still, when the product originally launched two years ago, some people were hesitant. “It was completely different,” she says.

“Now we have started doing multiple colors and other athleisure pieces, and even kids pieces. My daughter really wanted one. She kept saying she wanted to look like mum.”