Mode Sportif founder Deborah Symond O'Neil talks interior style

October 9, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Way back in 2014, 26-year-old Deborah Symond O’Neil had a hunch. A hunch that women would like to attend yoga followed by brunch, with no need to change in-between – and they’d look good doing it. So she created Mode Sportif, an online store that curated the best athleisure wear in the world for the discerning, up-and-coming wellness crowd. All this before athleisure was even a word, let alone a multi-billion dollar industry.

Since its inception, Mode Sportif has expanded to include much more than just athleisure wear. Whether you need an outfit for a workout or a wedding, it is a one-stop shop, with international brands like Alexander Wang, Chloé, Gucci, Kenzo and Saint Laurent alongside local favourites like State of Escape and The Daily Edit.

The success of the online store led to a concept store in Paddington’s exclusive Glenmore Road, a flagship in Double Bay, and now Mosman is getting the Mode Sportif treatment, with a new boutique opening on the upmarket stretch of Military Road.

Poco Designs have done the interiors for all three Mode Sportif stores, but the boutiques are by no means facsimiles of each other. “It is important to me that each store has it’s own unique personality,” says Deborah. “They need to be welcoming and fresh spaces that showcase the clothes and accessories. I want customers to feel inspired.”

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Circular design elements, like the custom banquette seating topped with honey-onyx stone (pictured above), create a natural flow for customers to move through the space. In fact, the banquette is Deborah’s favourite piece of furniture in the new Mosman store. “Its texture and colour are so warm and inviting,” she says. “It creates the perfect place to try on shoes, or for friends, family or partners to relax.”

The fitting rooms are also a point of pride (pictured above). “Framed with a brass archway, highlighted with polished plaster, finished with lush carpet and draped with crisp linen curtains, this section of the store feels like an elaborate walk-in wardrobe from a private home,” says Deborah.

So how does it feel to have turned a website selling activewear into bricks-and-mortar boutiques in three of Sydney’s most enviable postcodes? “Exciting,” says Deborah. “We have a new mix of brands launching soon, which includes an offering with a focus on sustainability.” Watch this space.

Way back in 2014, 26-year-old Deborah Symond O’Neil had a hunch. A hunch that women would like to attend yoga followed by brunch, with no need to change in-between – and they’d look good doing it. So she created Mode Sportif, an online store that curated the best athleisure wear in the world for the discerning, up-and-coming wellness crowd. All this before athleisure was even a word, let alone a multi-billion dollar industry. She was a woman ahead of the curve. Though right now, she is a woman with a physical curve – well, a bump, more accurately. Deborah recently announced her first pregnancy on her well-followed and very stylish Instagram account, @deborahsymondoneil (pictured below).