Hilary Swank, two-time Academy Award winner for Best Actress, is taking up a new passion — design.
The star, now 42, announced today that she’s launching Mission Statement, a new athleisure line featuring clothes that, as she describes, mix “high performance and high fashion.” She’s been working for two years on the collection, which includes jackets, dresses, sports bras and more in wicking fabrics and a range of colors, from gray to black to cobalt blue.
“I’ve had this idea percolating and evolving in my mind for a while, but I have only been actively working on it for the past few years,” Swank tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t want to approach this as a hobby or side project. For me, this was just a natural extension of my own approach to life and then also realizing I wasn’t alone in this desire to have clothing that transitioned naturally from my workouts into my day. Every piece that was designed has a very specific function but allows for that seamless transition. The entire line is designed around this premise.”
The collection will be officially available for pre-sale today on missionstatement.com, starting at $125 for a sports bra and ranging up to $1,150 for a leather jacket.
In the days leading up to the launch, Swank spoke to PEOPLE about the meaning behind the name of her brand, why she’s launching it at this moment in her career, her favorite pieces and more. Scroll down to find out the mission behind Mission Statement.
Why did you choose the name Mission Statement?
“Mission Statement is intended to be taken literally. ‘What’s your Mission Statement?’ The underlying purpose in creating the line was to pay homage to women who have extraordinary ideas, ambition, focus and a love for living a full, authentic life. With that in mind, I wanted to design versatile clothing for women who live by this same mantra every day.”
Is it an empowering kind of mantra?
“Yes. We want to recognize and encourage women for their strength and ability to not only work towards their fullest potential but who also inspire others to do the same. I have always had the perspective that women need to look within for the answers that guide them to live their truest most authentic selves, to identify their personal Mission Statement and dress for how they want to feel.”
Why was it important to you to launch this line at this moment in your career?
“I’ve had so many people come up to me over my career and say that my coming from a humble beginning and driving to California with my mom with $75 and living out of our car to pursue my dream inspired them to never give up on their dream. It’s humbling to have a byproduct of living your dream inspire others. I’ve also come to realize that one of the most inspiring things to me is when people persevere through adversity. So I wanted to create something that continues this connection.”
How do your clothes represent that?
“I believe it’s important for the modern woman to have clothes that can be multi-faceted and transitional. I see that women want, and frankly need, the ability to be able to go from exercising straight into their day, to segue into business meetings, dropping the kids at school, running errands and more. In looking for this myself, I couldn’t find something that served me in all of those areas without looking like I was in workout clothes, so I set out to design it!”
Have you found any similarities between designing and acting?
“The process of creating Mission Statement has been an incredible learning curve for me, but it’s also interesting how the concept of designing, collaborating with a team of artists and finding individuals who are like-minded, is similar to making movies. Both experiences allow me to be part of a creative process that involves working closely with a wonderfully talented and collaborative group of people from inception all the way to a finished product. It’s incredibly fun and rewarding.”
What are your favorite activities to do in your clothes?
“I love to do anything active, especially outdoors since I grew up in such a beautiful place and was always outside exploring. [Swank grew up in Nebraska.] I like to mix it up to keep it interesting. Some days I’ll find myself playing tennis or going for hikes, while other days I am doing weights in the gym. Aside from the physical movement, I also love to find quiet time every day where I sit with myself and take that time to recenter and focus. I’m moving so fast every single day that I find quieting my mind is as important as getting in a good workout. I call it a ‘work-in!’ One of my favorite quiet moments of the day is taking time at dusk to be with my dogs and enjoy the sunset. It’s that time where I can let go of all the day has held and truly be in the moment with them.”
What are your favorite pieces in the line?
“It’s challenging to narrow it down, but if I have to list, I like the Centre Court Dress (below). I was tired of making the pulling-down of my undergarments a tennis move, so we really focused on finding a material that would keep the garments in place, in a comfortable way and without making marks.”
“Also, the bras in the Mission Statement line are a must for me. It was important to design a bra that functions for working out, staying put and being supportive, but is also beautiful to layer over. These bras were made in a lingerie factory in Italy that understands a woman’s physicality and form. By developing these bras, combining lingerie know-how and sport technology, we have sizes based on cup with adjustable backs. We believe women will find them more comfortable to wear than traditional limited-size sports bras.”
“I also love the Traversiamo Jacket/Vest because it’s such a great staple item for the winter months. When I’m in a colder climate, the down fill and construction of the coat keeps the upper body warm while staying stylish. The really versatile part of this jacket is the zip off arms, so the jacket can easily be made into a vest. In Los Angeles, it gets chilly during the winter months, so I like to have warmth on my core while maintaining the freedom to move with my arms. This jacket allows for that versatility.”
See more pieces from the debut Mission Statement collection below.
Visit missionstatement.com to see more of the line.