Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Collaborating With Vivre Activewear, Her Must-Have Pieces and More

Sylvia Lim, founder of Vivre Activewear, joins the conversation and shares more about the collaborative process behind this limited-edition collection.
Published: March 19, 2024
Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and More
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

Model, spin instructor, actress and now designer, it seems like Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw is on a roll and there's no stopping her. A multi-hyphenate in every sense, Aimee first stepped into the spotlight when she placed third on the third season of Asia’s Next Top Model in 2015. Fast forward to today, she's dominated runways in fashion capitals like Paris and Milan, appeared on magazine covers and even made her on-screen debut in a drama-horror series.

Beyond the glamorous realm of modelling and acting, the British-Singaporean model stumbled upon another exciting venture during the unpredictable pandemic. At a time when modelling gigs were few and far between, Aimee found herself with plenty of downtime—and soon found herself readily occupied. As a self-professed fitness lover, she soon immersed herself in the world of spin—the notoriously intense cycling workout that's typically accompanied by heart-thumping beats. Not one to shy away from a challenge, the model took a leap of faith and signed up to be a part-time spin instructor; this year marks her fourth year of teaching.

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From her activewear outfits to the numerous workout videos on her Instagram, Aimee is the epitome of a fitness oriented 'It' girl. And that's exactly why she caught the eye of Sylvia Lim, founder of homegrown athleisure label Vivre Activewear. "Aimee’s consistently sleek and on-point style serves as a great inspiration for us, and we were excited to see how we can integrate it into an activewear collection," says Sylvia. Citing her conscientious approach when it comes to finding potential collaborators, it was Aimee's distinctive style and love for fitness that sealed the deal.

When asked about her initial reaction to being approached by Vivre Activewear, Aimee admits to readily agreeing to it. "Fashion and fitness are two huge pillars of my life, so I was incredibly excited to explore designing a collection that meshes the two together," she shares.

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Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and More
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

Versatility underlines this collection, which comes as no surprised considering Aimee's hectic lifestyle. "We imagined creating chic pieces that Aimee can effortlessly transition from model castings to the gym or spin classes, and then to brunch," posits Sylvia.

Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and Future Plans
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

"The collection is largely inspired by modelling. You can see the inspiration come through in the extra-long flared leggings and the bandeau sports bras with removable straps—similar to what models wear for beauty campaigns and shoots," shares Aimee. Thoughtfully designed for a flawless day-to-night transition, some multifaceted pieces include the Solar Flare+ Pants and the Nitro Long Line Sports Bra that double as a crop top.

Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and Future Plans
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

Despite having no technical design background, the British-Singaporean model didn't let this get in her way. Like many who turn to Pinterest for design inspiration, Aimee used the image-sharing app to put together thoughtfully-curated mood boards. Once a certain theme is established, she moves onto her trusty Apple iPad and Apple Pencil, sketching out potential designs and making edits along the way. "The iPad and Apple Pencil were incredibly helpful especially when it came to seeing smaller details like the crisscross back detail and the keyhole open back. It’s great being able to play around with adjusting smaller details until everything looks perfect," she recalls.

Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and Future Plans
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

"My goal with this collection is to help women find their confidence everywhere they go—whether that's in the gym, studio, or wherever else—in pieces that are versatile, flattering, supportive, comfortable, with an element of fun and pizzazz to them," Aimee divulges.


Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw on Her Latest Collection with Vivre Activewear, her Must-Have Pieces and Future Plans
Photo: Courtesy of Vivre Activewear

In this ELLE Singapore-exclusive interview, Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw and Sylvia Lim share their thoughts behind this limited-edition collection, the collaborative design process and their broader views on the athleisure industry.

Who is your style inspiration and how did they influence your designs?

Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw: My style inspirations are Zendaya, Elsa Hosk and Kendall Jenner. But to be honest, when it came to the designs, I didn’t really think much about them. I was more concerned about how I wanted to inject elements of my own style into the designs while making it something supportive, flattering and versatile enough for all body types and all activities—something that people can feel their best in.

As a spin instructor and a fitness-oriented individual, what are some of your go-to activewear pieces?

ACB: I love a black legging; you can never go wrong. It is such a staple. Same goes for a black pair of shorts, hence why I wanted to create one with an extra oomph to it. My go-to activewear piece changes depending on the activity. For spin, it has to be high-support—especially when I’m teaching. For strength training, pilates and yoga, low support is totally fine as long as the material is sweat-wicking—this is why I love Vivre’s fabric.

What were some quintessential design features you wanted to incorporate into your collection—i.e side pockets and seamless tights?

Sylvia Lim: Our design ethos is all about being functional and to making you feel good while working out. We take pride in nailing the fit for every design! Our bottoms often feature side pockets and a seamless front, which is something our customers love us for.

ACB: Side pockets were a must! Functionality is so important to me, especially when the collection is meant to be for people to wear anytime, anywhere—after all, you have to put your phone somewhere! 

What is your favourite item from this collection?

SL: I have a favourite for every occasion! But if I had to pick one, it would be the Nitro Long Line Sports Bra because I prefer pieces that offer a bit more coverage during my workouts. And if I could pick another, it would be the Format Halter Sports Bra because I’ve never found another halter sports bra that fits and looks as good as this one!

ACB: It's so hard to choose. I am incredibly proud of the Solar Flares+. I think Sylvia initially was hesitant on making long-length flare leggings especially in Singapore when there are lots of petite girls, but that’s exactly what’s missing. The tall girls don’t have any nice long flares to wear, everything is Asia-fit, everything is cropped, and nothing is ever long enough. I really wanted to change this and it took more than just simply lengthening the inseam. I’m so happy to see that the Solar Flares+ have found their way to the tall girls of Singapore.

What was the most fulfilling takeaway from this collaboration? Conversely, what were the biggest challenges?

SL: Initially, we were quite hesitant about Aimee’s colour choices and the supermodel-length flare pants. It was extremely fulfilling to see how well they were received once we decided to go for it. The younger crowd is loving them too.

There are numerous challenges that often go unseen. For this collection, one of the designs didn’t fit exactly as intended based on the sample, and we had to find a way to readjust them even though all the pieces had already been made. And we had issues with the strap on another design, which we had to send back for adjustments. It was nerve-wracking, but the satisfaction of customers loving the pieces made the extra effort all worth it.

ACB: It’s been so fulfilling to see how confident people feel in the pieces, especially in the Solar Flares+. It’s never been done before in Singapore, but my gut told me this was something missing here. Like Sylvia said, for one of the sports bras, there was a stitching defect. This meant that we had to send everything back to the factory which delayed them reaching the customers.

With so many activewear brands being launched in recent years, what positive change do you wish to see in the athleisure industry?

SL: The market is currently saturated. This is why we chose to take a different approach. Our goal is to distinguish ourselves by providing more unique pieces that are not only perfect for workouts but also make a statement when worn out and about. Brands should prioritise creating high-quality pieces and designs over solely focusing on selling at the lowest price and allocating the majority of their budgets to marketing efforts.

ACB: I think Sylvia said it perfectly. High quality pieces made intentionally and mindfully and with a purpose in mind. This is a solution that will last you for many years to come. 

From modelling and acting to designing your first collection, are there other creative projects you wish to embark on?

ACB: At the moment, I’m just enjoying having this collection finally available to the public. But just as this opportunity popped up out of nowhere, I'm open new opportunities that come about in the future.

What else can we expect from you both in the near future?

SL: We’ll get together to chat about how we can make things even better for next year’s launch.

ACB: We’ll definitely be getting together and hopefully you’ll see more Aimee x Vivre coming again.

For more information, visit their website.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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