Loving Your Leggings With Juliana Iglesias, Founder of BOOTÉ
Juliana Iglesias is the founder of BOOTÉ, a line of functional shapewear-slash-athleisure wear.
Finding an amazing pair of black leggings that are high quality, super comfortable, and hug all your curves beautifully is HARD. It’s right up there with nabbing the perfect pair of jeans—also an impossible fashion feat.
Thankfully, Latinista Fashionistas can thank Juliana Iglesias for spearheading a one-of-a-kind label called BOOTÉ that includes black leggings so stylish and comfortable you’ll wear them on the reg with confidence. BOOTÉ body enhancing leggings combine shapewear with athleisure wear. I tried a pair and admit I am in LOVE. (They’re the best leggings I have ever owned because they fit me well, don’t look cheap…AND I went straight from the gym to a luncheon in them!)
Iglesias is a mami, personal trainer, and a curvy Latina, so she knows a thing or two about the importance of wearing leggings that look and feel fabulous. BOOTÉ leggings can be worn at the gym, while running everyday errands, and you can even dress them up for a date night. Their versatility is great.
Let’s meet THE Julia Iglesias!
What was your childhood like? Were you always a fashionista?
“I originally grew up in New York City to a single mother where I was constantly surrounded by my Hispanic family. The women in my life (mother, grandmother, aunts) played a pivotal role in my upbringing. Being the only child to a single mother, I watched my mom work so hard to give me everything that a mother possibly could and always made me feel that I was never missing out on anything despite our financial struggles. I always remember my mom putting me first as a child. I always felt love and support and that she worked hard to give me a better life. It was always a “me and my mom against the world” type of vibe.
I also started working when I was 13. I had an immense desire to make money and make things happen for myself at a young age. I knew my family wasn’t in a position to hand anything to me and I wanted to build something young and knew hard work was the only way to get me there.
I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a fashionista as a child. I was actually more of a tomboy, believe it or not. I used to hate having my hair done and refused to put on a dress. It wasn’t until my teens that I really found fashion and started to develop my own style and pay attention to trends.”
There are so many leggings out there–what makes BOOTÉ, so unique?
“BOOTÉ is different because of its specialty fabric and design. Most leggings are typically transparent and not solutions-based — BOOTÉ is. We have coined the phrase ‘wearable shapewear’. These leggings act like shapewear without having to wear an uncomfortable and restrictive separate garment underneath. We have butt-lifting, waist-cinching, anti-cellulite, and non-transparent properties actually built into the fabric itself. The specialized waistband also ‘snatches’ you in. The design elements and darting on the back create a butt-lifting appearance, no matter your size. The fabric is also so strong and luxurious; you can tell the difference immediately upon touching them; that they are special.
These leggings are also a must for postpartum moms. Being a mom of two myself and having a double c-section, these leggings were essential in my recovery. They really help you feel secure and help compress everything back together. “
Where is the brand based?
“The brand is based in Los Angeles, CA but made in Colombia. I made a conscious choice to manufacture BOOTÉ in South America to support Latinas and advocate for more Hispanic women in the wellness world. I knew going into this journey that I didn’t want to just slap a logo on a pair of leggings and consider myself a brand. I wanted to really create something different and special.
I actually traveled to several countries initially while sourcing and landed in Colombia because the entire manufacturing process provides safe, ethical working conditions that create opportunities for social and economic growth for women in South America. We also manufacture in a vertically integrated, family-owned powerhouse, placing a huge emphasis on innovation and sustainability.”
What was the main issue you had with traditional leggings and bra tops that inspired you to create BOOTÉ?
“As a girl with curves my whole life I have always felt insecure about my hips and butt. I would always wear a longer shirt over my leggings because I felt my butt or hips were too big and just didn’t look good in traditional leggings that were see-through and unflattering.
Although as a woman and mother now, I have embraced and learned to love my body how it was made, I still felt there wasn’t athleisure that really spoke to the Latina community and accentuated our body types. Let’s be real, the luxury athleisure wear market does not cater to women that look like us. So, I aimed to create something that was made for us, but helped women feel good wearing it too. I wanted to create a luxury brand from the onset, where high-quality, ethical clothing at a fair price was the goal.”
What’s it like being a Latina entrepreneur?
“Being an entrepreneur is TOUGH–! There are so many challenges, highs and lows daily, that you face when you have your own business. There are days I cry over the stress of building something on my own and the struggles that come with it. And days I am overjoyed because everything seems to be going right with the business. Being a Latina entrepreneur has helped me find community throughout this journey. There is so much support and love from the Latina world as a whole that really helps me to keep going. “
Tell us about the BOOTÉ fitness program and how your time as a personal trainer also inspired the brand.
“BOOTÉ fitness is a private personal training company that I started in 2017 out of a sheer need to get out and meet women in the community since I was new to LA. It quickly became so successful and I had built a thriving business of training women and new moms that I had 3 employees under me because I couldn’t take on any more clients. The pandemic shifted the dynamic of the business to online Zoom training, but I quickly realized the business was more efficient digitally and I am now able to train more people and from all over the country!
Through my personal training business and the many women from all walks of life that I trained, I quickly learned I wanted to help and empower women. Watching women struggle with their body image and confidence is what inspired me to develop and create a line of athleisure wear that women felt good about wearing.”
You studied so many fabrics before settling on the ones to use for BOOTÉ–do you have a background in textiles or fabric manipulation?
“I had zero experience in fabrics or textiles, but I knew what I was looking for and how I wanted it to feel. It’s funny because when I started the sourcing journey, I was clueless about even the lingo used in the fashion world. I was often intimidated walking into meetings because I didn’t even know how to properly answer the questions they were asking me. It wasn’t until I was knee-deep in pattern-making and fabric sourcing that I really learned the most. I think with everything in life you really learn through experience, so don’t be afraid to just jump in. Now I have women asking me to help guide them on how to start a clothing line. “
Why do you think leggings have become SO popular as gym clothes, everyday clothes, and even “fancy” clothes?
“Because they are easy and comfortable. I live in leggings. I wear a pair of jeans maybe once a year. Leggings are the perfect staple piece of clothing because you can work out in them, lounge in them, brunch in them, or throw on a pair of heels and go on a date!”
What’s next for the brand?
“I am SO excited for what’s next for the brand. People absolutely love our fabric and what it does, so my goal is to keep the integrity of the brand by creating different pieces using our beloved fabric. I also want to expand our already inclusive sizing past 3XL to reach even more women.
We have two new pieces dropping soon that I think you guys will LOVE. It might even be a bodysuit!”
Learn more about BOOTÉ at: https://bootebrand.com/