Supermodel-BFF duo Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver just launched their fitness brand JOJA Activewear, bringing to us workout apparel that will not only inspire you and your own best friend to hit that pilates class, but you’ll both look cute as ever. Designed to be worn as a matching set and perfect to coordinate with your workout partner, the JOJA Goalfriend Collection eight activewear styles in a variety of two-tone colorways.
Ahead of the launch, Skriver and Tookes spoke exclusively with Modern Luxury all about their fashion-forward activewear brand and the secret to finding the right workout and business partner.
JOJA Activewear is a natural extension of your partner-driven social network. Can you tell us more about your idea to evolve the social network into an activewear brand?
Josephine: Honestly, we started the @JOJA Instagram in 2016 and it was meant to just be a community where we wanted to just share our journey. It was a time where a lot of girls were still nervous about being in a gym or working out together and it felt less intimidating if you had a friend to train with. I learned so much from Jasmine about what she’s doing in the gym and she showed me that heavy lifting was fun and totally worth it, which just started our friendship and grew into a new level that made me so excited. I was like, we should share that with the rest of the world. It really just took off from there, and now you can find these friendships that JOJA has built across the globe which all start with the idea that you have the same love and passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.
And slowly but surely, our social media following grew and the community really took off. Then, they started asking us, ‘Hey, we really like what you guys are wearing. Where's this from?’, which led us to the point of I think one day we just sort of woke up and were like.. You know what, I think we have something here. They really want products.
So then we went on this journey of asking ourselves, what does the brand JOJA look like? It took us a good year to even figure out what JOJA looked like to us and to decide on what kind of clothing we wanted to do, what kind of branding, and all of those things. Then, with COVID it delayed us a little bit, but it also gave us so much time to really really hone in and figure out how we want to do it. Because we have been building this from the ground up – just me and Jasmine. Now, it’s finally two years later, and our dream has become a reality that’s coming out very soon.
How does JOJA enhance an everyday workout routine?
Jasmine: I mean, who doesn't like looking cute while you're working out? When I put on a cute workout outfit, it really just motivates me even if I'm not planning to work out that day and I throw on a JOJA set, I'm like “Ok, today is gonna be a good day and I'm going to work out. I’m going to go to pilates.” I think the most important element of JOJA Activewear is that it really pushes you to want to look cute, kill it in your workout and still be comfy and stylish.
Josephine: We have created this whole collection with the friendship aspect in mind because we find so much motivation in each other. So, we made sure these outfits are matching so you can have these best friend outfits, and we haven't seen that anywhere – other than if you go and buy the same thing. The coolest part of JOJA is that it’s actually designed to be partner workout clothes which is really fun.
Your activewear brand is fashion-forward. How does that tie into JOJA’s promise to motivate its fitness enthusiast wearers?
Josephine: Well I almost just said that! Yes – in our clothes. The #Goalfriend Collection is meant to be worn with your friends. Obviously you can wear it by yourself! But the whole concept behind our brand is to engage and motivate this community of friendships and to find the people in your life that motivate you and encourage you to work out together, and we’re designing clothes that do exactly that. JOJA rallies around that it’s more fun to work out with your best friend.
Why is it important to have a go-to supporter in one’s health and fitness journey?
Josephine: Because when you book a 6 a.m. workout, and you know your friend is standing there and she woke up too and it's cold. It's not like you’re going to hit snooze again. But… If nobody's waiting there you might just roll over. For me, it was definitely a huge motivation.
Jasmine: Yeah, I mean, I think it's very difficult for someone to get into a fitness routine. I mean, I know it is for me. When I fall off the track a little bit, it's really hard for me to get my foot back in the door and get going. So if I have a friend that's there to motivate and inspire me and say like, “Hey, tomorrow, let's go to pilates.” It keeps you accountable and makes it so much easier and way more fun. And it's also fun to set goals with each other. For example, we’ll say like, ‘Okay, over the next month, let's try to do XYZ’, and if you achieve it together, it's just so much more rewarding.
Josephine: You get to share your wins with each other, which is so much fun.
What is the secret to having a successful business partnership with your best friend?
Jasmine: Well, the number one rule people always say is never mix friendship with business.
I think the secret to having a successful business with your best friend is communication – as is with any other relationship you’re in, whether that's a romantic relationship or a friendship. Communication is key! It’s important to always voice how you feel and never let anything just sit on your chest and kind of bubble up into something that it shouldn't. That and just being honest with each other.
Josephine: It comes down to the respect of I might not always agree with the idea Jasmine has, but we walk through it together and see where it ends up that and then if I still don't like it, often we have to give each other the chance to be creative and to come up with ideas because it's all about lifting each other up. And I think that is very important for the JOJA community to how we build our brands. How we're friends. We are always each other's biggest cheerleaders.
What is your favorite go-to partner workout?
Josephine: Especially because we're always on the go without access to equipment, for me I love using bands for resistance exercises and we love partner workouts where you almost use each other as equipment. That’s been super beneficial because it can be tough to figure out what to do from a hotel room.
Jasmine: I’d have to agree on that!
What else is essential to know about JOJA?
Jasmine: I think what I'd like to add is that we're just super excited, super passionate about this whole launch because we had been approached by so many people over the years of wanting to throw our name on something and do sort of a licensing deal, but we have built this the ground up by ourselves. We've learned how to do everything. We're completely self funded. And we're super excited because we really feel like our designs are very unique and very different. And when you see a girl walking down the street, you'll know exactly when she's wearing JOJA. And that's just super exciting for us.
Photography by: Courtesy JOJA Activewear