Hailing from toasty-warm Louisiana and later raised in Katy, the always active-minded Reagan Bregman knew all too well the value of athleisure wear that could withhold not only Texas heat, but also everyday life.
So, when she was inspired to launch her new athleisure line, Exiza (ex-see-zah), Bregman focused on style, comfort, and functional fabric. Beyond the four-way stretch, breathable, and moisture-wicking material, Exiza clothing is designed to feel like a second skin.
“It was important to me and to the brand that the material chosen wouldn’t be restricted,” Bregman tells CultureMap. “As you move, it moves with you.”
By using a flatlock seam, a specific style of stitching traditionally seen in garments such as compression base layers, swimwear, and workout attire, the new line makes it possible for wearers to do just about anything while donning any of the four pieces in Exiza’s core collection.
The Houston-based brand is currently taking pre-orders online until the official launch date, Monday, August 16. The line features leggings, biker shorts, a strappy bra with medium coverage, and a ribbed tank in four colorways: Black, Peach, Sky, and Matcha. Prices range from $83 to $110.
CultureMap caught up with Bregman ahead of Exiza’s launch date to talk her exciting — and ethical — new line, the importance of mental wellness and doing the right thing, her Houston Astros fan favorite husband, and what it means to be #AliveInExiza.
CultureMap: Tell us about Exiza — what’s the inspiration for the name?
Reagan Bregman: Exiza comes from exercise. Our brand is exercise and activity just for the love of yourself, not for any other reason - performance or aesthetic. Those who wear our clothes like activity and they exercise as a form of self-care. So, it’s derived from the word exercise with a little flair to it.
CM: Is Exiza an activewear line or an athleisure line? Is there a difference between the two?
RB: I prefer athleisure; it’s one of the reasons why I created this brand. I wear athletic clothes all day — from running errands to taking meetings.
Sometimes, I work out in them, but on the days I don’t work out, I wanted clothes that you could actually feel good in that were really comfortable. A lot of activewear is great for working out in, but it wasn’t really something I wanted to wear while in meetings and sitting in a chair for long periods of time.
CM: There’s a lightning bolt motif seen in the place of the ‘z’ and on the garments themselves. What does it symbolize?
RB: The lightning bolt symbolizes energy and disruption. It’s the kind of energy behind staying active and living a happy, active life, and disruption is in regards to adhering to strict ethical standards.
By knowing our manufacturers and looking to pick fabrics from good sources, as well as fair wages, we want to make that the new standard for the industry. Instead of being just a one-off company; we really want that to be a disruption in the industry.
CM: The word ‘ethical’ is stated in Exiza’s Instagram bio and on the website. How did you ensure that your line is ethical?
RB: I’ve done so much research on the clothing industry and how bad it can be. One of our main goals was to make sure we knew who our manufacturer is and that the [employees] were getting paid fair wages.
Basically, we know who we’re sourcing from and the people we’re working with so everything is produced in a fair way.
CM: On Instagram Stories last week, you talked about working really hard on the fit of each piece. Can you touch on the importance of well-fitted athleisure?
RB: We’re doing all sorts of things in our daily lives and moving in so many directions so it was important to create lived-in clothes. We went through so many trials and errors with different body types to see how it would feel, look, and hold up.
Something cool about Exiza is that you can size down because the fabric is so stretchy that it really does fit your body. It shapes to you, it doesn’t shape you, if that makes sense.
I wanted it to be cute and girly with buttery soft fabric but also extremely functional. The leggings and biker shorts each have pockets.
CM: You are no stranger to startups. After graduating from Texas A&M University and getting married, was launching a clothing line always a goal of yours?
RB: Honestly, no, not at all. I always knew I wanted to start a business someday, but I didn’t know it would be this soon. I took a few business classes in college where I had to create a business, I knew I was passionate about it.
I worked in startup hubs throughout college and spent a little over a year and a half at Google, and I loved the startup life, but I definitely didn’t know I’d be starting a company right now.
CM: You’re obviously married to a professional athlete [Alex Bregman] and so you understand them in a different way; you get what headspace they’re in. Just recently, the world saw gymnast Simone Biles take a step back from competing in the 2020 Olympics due to the state of her mental health. What is the importance of mental health to you and Exiza?
RB: I believe that no matter who you are, no matter what your profession is, mental health affects everyone. From my personal experience, I’ve learned that activity and getting outside can really help. This is why activity as a form of self-care is so important; we really believe in treating ourselves kindly.
It’s something I want to bring awareness to and I love that it’s being talked about more. If you’re dealing with it, it’s okay to speak up about it.
I think it’s amazing that people who are in the spotlight — actors, athletes, etc. — have come forward and said they’ve struggled or needed to take a step back. It shows everyone that this is normal and it’s okay to have these feelings.
On our website, you will see mental health mentioned, and we talk about our ‘why’ is activity as a form of self-care, but we wanted to push it a step further and ask what activity does for our well-being and daily lives.
CM: The Astros wives are their own family. What has the response been like from them?
RB: It’s been awesome. I’ve already had so many pre-orders. I’m really thankful for the wives community because they’re all so supportive and understanding and it truly is a family outside of baseball life.
CM: Right now, the pre-orders are rolling in. Do you plan to add more pieces to Exiza?
RB: Over time, yes. Right now, we’re really happy with the fit and how each piece flatters different body types, and we want to continue to improve on those pieces. We plan on releasing a new bra style in the future and on Monday, August 16, when the line officially launches, there will be a hoodie available in two colorways: Sky and Ivory.
CM: How can someone be #AliveInExiza?
RB: It ties back to energy and living a healthy, active lifestyle. It means being active in our clothes and living your life in them because that’s what they’re made for — everyday life things.