Katie Warner Johnson and Caroline Gogolak, Co-founders of Carbon38
Friends since their days as dancers with the Miami City Ballet, Katie, 28, and Caroline, 27, decided to go into business together when Caroline called and said she was “feeling entrepreneurial.” A PowerPoint presentation and a trip to San Francisco’s Startup Weekend later, and Carbon38 was hatched.
What niche do you think Carbon38 is filling?Katie: There’s this new woman who’s emerged in the last five to 10 years who’s an entrepreneur and a mom, who works out and takes really good care of herself, but there’s no wardrobe that has yet to adapt to that. We think that’s going to occur in the fitness apparel segment because it’s machine washable, it’s sexy, it’s tight, it’s flattering and you can wear it all over. The only fitness apparel brands who really have market share are Lululemon and Nike. And they’re fantastic brands, but there are all these other smaller players. So we thought why not build a platform for these women who are looking for the hot new workout gear and deliver it to them?
Who is your style muse?Katie: Lauren Hutton. She’s just classic, and boy, can she wear a pair of pants. I also have to give a shout-out to fellow former ballerina Charlize Theron. If I could wake up one day and just be her that would be great. When I read that her wardrobe staple is a Rag & Bone blazer it’s like we were separated at birth.Caroline: Alessandra Ambrosio. She is sporty, chic, and lives an incredibly healthy lifestyle. She always looks glam when she's going to a fitness class like Maha Yoga or Soul Cycle.
What item of clothing are you planning on splurging on this season?Katie: Manolo Blahnik black patent pumps. Before Carbon38, I was a full-time trainer so I spent my days in spandex and Nikes. Now Caroline and I are sitting in boardrooms where they all wear suits, so I have to look the part. But I will also pair them with MICHI Rafical leggings during off-hours.Caroline: Definitely the Aelita Leggings and Dejah Sports Bra by Lucas Hugh. Also, I can’t wait for the Lucas Hugh Tuxedo Jacket. It's so sporty and chic!
What are your workday and weekend uniforms?Katie: During the workweek I am always wearing T by Alexander Wang t-shirt, a leather biker jacket, Sukishufu liquid leggings with Nike flyknits. My hair is always in a bun. On weekends I live for Clover Canyon. The prints are fun, the clothes have a whimsical sense of humor and all the cuts are so flattering.Caroline: During the day I’m usually in meetings where people want to see our product, so I love throwing on my Lorna Jane Racer Leggings with a James Perse or T by Alexander Wang t-shirt along with my L’Urv Volley Jacket or Electric Yoga White Mesh Jacket. For weekends, I live in my J Brand black skinny jeans and comfy sweaters by Isabel Marant.
You feel most creative when you're wearing…Katie: My terry monogrammed bathrobe. That’s probably because it’s at the end of a long productive day and I can relax and think about what’s next on the horizon.Caroline: Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. The music keeps it alive in and out of the gym!
Plus, Katie and Caroline share their style essentials with us! See their must-haves.