The former boxing champ reveals how her father’s iconic phrase influenced her new Laila Ali Collection and how she hopes it will motivate the women wearing her clothes.
“Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee” will be a phrase forever associated with legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali. So it’s only fitting that a butterfly is the logo that Laila Ali chose for her new athleisure wear line, which debuts on HSN this month. It’s her brand’s story and one that she’s very proud of.
“The butterfly is not only beautiful, but it stands for transformation, creativity, change. It’s evolvement and that is something that I think we can all relate to,” the 43-year-old mom-of-two tells HollywoodLife. “And the fact that my father’s not here anymore really made it even more special to me, because it reminds me [that] he’s like an angel hovering over my shoulder. So I really wanted to embrace the butterfly and all that comes with its meaning, but also the Ali legacy that is always going to be with me.”
Laila is definitely her father’s daughter. It’s not just the fact that she bravely followed the G.O.A.T.’s footsteps into the boxing ring. It’s her determination to forge her own path as an entrepreneur, a mother and wife, who seeks to inspire her fans.
Her athleisure wear collection is just another part of the Laila Ali Lifestyle. “I have my nutrition products. I have my spices. I have my skincare,” she says of her products, which include YouPlenish, a range of protein powders and supplements. “My website, my lifestyle brand [are] all about empowering people to be the best version of themselves.”
The Laila Ali Collection is an extension of that; a multipurpose athleisure wear line for the busy woman who – even before the work from home, pandemic era – was juggling many hats. “I truly believe that if you look your best and you feel your best, you can be your best,” she says. “I think that really makes a difference.”
The collection includes a chic jumpsuit, hoodie pants set and cute tops that you can just as easily pair with jeans and heels as you can with leggings and sneakers. The message is clear: Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean you can’t make an effort. “It’s clothing that is versatile and adaptive, taking you from the yoga mat to work or to a night out,” Laila says.
Two items that she highlights are the jumpsuit (which comes in three colors – black, violet and light wash blue) and a pair of leggings that feature a panel of faux leather. “The jumpsuit I think is going to be a staple in a lot of women’s closets, because we all love jumpsuits,” she says. “And my jumpsuit in particular fits and drapes really well. It has a nice elastic waistband that gives you shape.” As for the leggings, she promises that they “sculpt and hold you in” too.
“Again, just thinking about things that you can wear, not only when you want to work out or do yoga, but it also styles up,” says Laila. “Do you want to put on some boots or put on a button-down denim top or something like that?”
For Laila there really is no excuse for not looking good. Yes, even if we’re still at home doing everything remotely. “I think it comes down to selfcare. You feel better about yourself when you get up, you take a shower, you brush your hair, you brush your teeth, you look presentable,” she says later joking that she even urges her friends to “put on a little mascara” and “lip gloss.”
What she does not want to do, however, is sacrifice glamour for comfort. “I don’t care how good you look, if you’re not comfortable, that’s gonna work against you,” she says.
Fans will get to see exactly what Laila means when she presents the collection on HSN on Jan. 21 on Obsessed with Style during the 8am ET hour and again on The List with Colleen Lopez at 10pm ET. They’ll get another chance on Jan. 26 at 12pm and 6pm ET. In the meantime, you can browse the collection on HSN.