It’s an activewear collection years in the making, created in collaboration between US-based fitness influencer Kelsey Wells and Gold Coast brand Cleo Harper.
Appropriately titled ‘Bright Nights’, the exclusive range features neon green, bold blue and, as Kelsey describes it, “the perfect fluoro orange,” alongside reflective elements and staple pieces.
The goal was to deliver an entire wardrobe – from sunglasses to socks – to empower women as they go about their busy days (whatever that might look like). We say, mission accomplished.
But how did a creative partnership between a Burleigh activewear brand and an American fitness trainer come to be? Through Instagram, of course.
“Cleo Harper was one of the first activewear companies to reach out to me,” says Kelsey, who has amassed three million followers since starting her Instagram in 2015. “I was so blown away at the time. We were so poor, and it meant so much to me that someone would send me activewear.”
From there, a genuine friendship blossomed. Kelsey began modelling for the brand (scoring a couple of ‘bucket list’ trips to Australia in the process) and the Cleo Harper team – headed up by founder Vanessa Levey – continued to send her their pieces.
“A lot of changes were happening with my career, but the one constant over the years was that we were always cheering each other on,” says Kelsey.
So, when the time came for Kelsey to design her own collection, there was no one else she wanted to do it with. Their first collection dropped in November, 2022, making ‘Bright Lights’ a much-anticipated sequel. So far, it’s living up to the hype.
“We’re always so in sync when we get together,” says Vanessa.
“This is a marriage of two dreams,” adds Kelsey. “I couldn’t find a true orange set anywhere, and Vanessa really wanted to do a reflective piece. We figured, ‘We can do this’.”
“We love a challenge,” says Vanessa.
“And we make a great team,” says Kelsey. “At this point, it feels like hanging out with friends. We work hard, but we’re always enjoying it. Seeing everything at the launch event, it really came together.
“I live in my Cleo Harper pieces, whether I’m at the gym or going to a meeting or going out to dinner. I believe that clothes should be made to fit your body – you’re not made to fit clothes.”
For Kelsey, working with Cleo Harper has another perk – spending plenty of time on the Gold Coast. She loves how different it is from her native Utah and makes sure to soak up as much sunshine as she can whenever she’s here.
“This is where I would live if I moved to Australia. I look around all the time and I feel like I’m in a movie,” she says. “Justin Lane is usually my first pitstop when I arrive, and we always go to Siblings at Kirra, too. The beauty of waking up and being able to walk across the street to the ocean is never lost on me. The closest ocean to me back home is an 11-hour drive, so we’re living when we’re here.”
Check out the collection at www.cleoharper.com.au.