Yogi Times sat down for a conversation with designer, artist, yogini, woman Michele Bohbot. We talked about the launch of her first yoga line “Electric Yoga” and the new website “Electric-yoga.com”, and how to enjoy an electrifying life!
Yogi Times: Where did your sense of fashion first come from?
Michele Bohbot: I am from Paris, so I think it was something in the air out there. I’ve always been drawn to fashion and the feeling of great clothing. Fashion is a great outlet for self-expression and an example of who you are. Electric Yoga is the perfect evolution for me. There was a time when it was all fashion; now it’s a lifestyle. Fashion and Function!
YT: Why the name Electric Yoga?
Michele Bohbot: I have always been very intrigued with the lightning bolt. The lightning bolt holds a lot of energy, power, and love. The colors that I have chosen to launch the brand resonate an internal energy, charged with positivity. Twenty years ago I had it all; a beautiful family, a successful fashion career, amazing friends, and a life filled with love. But, something was missing. I couldn’t understand the void that I felt. One day, I expressed my feelings to one of the girls that worked in my store; and she explained that I should try yoga. Since that day, yoga has transformed my life, my perspective, and my overall outlook on life. I dedicated my life to being a student of yoga. From Vinyasa Flow and Iyengar to some variations of Hot Yoga, it is part of the fabric of my being. It only made sense that I create and share with others a brand that embodies yoga principles.
YT: The line is quite… “electric”… Who is it designed for?
Michele Bohbot: Electric Yoga is for the woman who is on the go and lives an active lifestyle. Electric Yoga is also an inspiration for women that are not as active and are drawn to the clothing. Have you ever been inspired by something new and colorful or comfortable in your wardrobe? You think, “I really want to wear that”. So you figure out something to “DO” that will get you going? That’s what I want to inspire. I hope the clothes enhance the lives of already self-motivated women; as well as encouraging all women to embrace the electricity within and share it with the world!
YT: So do you start with the fabric and then design from there, or is it the other way round?
Michele Bohbot: The fabrication is my first concern. The fit, function, and fashion aspects all fall into place after that. As an athlete and yoga practitioner, my priorities are durability and comfort. If quality is at the core of Electric Yoga, once the colors and the added features are put into place then the true value of our apparel is never compromised. It is so fun to try out the designs and infuse my fashion background to create fun, fashionable active wear that looks and feels great.
YT: What part of your business do you like the most? Is it the process of designing?
Michele Bohbot: Creating. I love creating products that inspire and empower individuals. There is no "part" more enjoyable or greater than the next. I enjoy the "process". My perspective on design is similar to my perspective on life in general. Be in the moment and exist 100 percent in the present. From Concept> Research > Design >Manufacturing> Production> Photoshoots >Marketing> Charity benefits; each step is fulfilling!
YT: Do you have anything else lined up beyond clothing for Electric Yoga? Accessories, props, mats?
Michele Bohbot: We offer a great Ultra-light-carry-all bag that is packable, water resistant, with lots of pockets and compartments. We also have a special engineered Ultra-Light Yoga mat that is non-slippery, non-smelly, super-light, with alignment embossment. As you can see, it’s very important to me that things are lightweight. I make sure that there is special attention to detail and I’ve coined the ideals of “Structured Awareness”. I made sure that each product that we offer, is specially made to last with added function. I want Electric Yoga to be a line filled with “go to” items. When someone has their favorite pair of work out pants, I want it to be the knee brace, fold over, Electric Leggings. When someone thinks of their favorite top for working out, I want it to be the Bolt, built-in-bra, seamless tank. Something that I’m considering is branching out into men’s apparel as well. Marc (my husband) is a fellow yogi by default (good thing he married me), and I would love to see him in our products more. Our 100% goose down vests and jackets are unisex, but we hope to be adding to the Men’s options for Electric Yoga. Men have some pretty good energy too!
YT: Any organic cotton on the horizon?
Michele Bohbot: Organic cotton is a wonderful-feeling fabric. I've been doing extensive research on the best way to introduce this into our upcoming line, while securing the process that is best for the environment. For now, our apparel is carefully thought-out regarding design, fabric technology, and with special attention to the strain on our ecosystem.
YT: You have a small yoga studio in the back of your house. Is yoga part of your daily life?
Michele Bohbot: 100% yes. I travel a lot and when I miss even one day of yoga, there’s a definite feeling of incompleteness. I have my favorite classes that I attend frequently. I live in Santa Monica so I am very spoiled with the quality of yoga and availability of classes and great teachers. In life, balance is key; mind, body, and spirit.
YT: We know that you are also a mother of seven, head designer of Bisou Bisou, you paint and exhibit your art, give lectures, coach young designers, teach yoga, wrote a book… Do you ever sleep?
Michele Bohbot: Actually, I love sleep. I may cut many other things out of my daily life, but sleep is not one of them. Sleeping keeps you ageless.
YT: You have recently joined the Yogi Times global campaign “I am doing it”, thank you. Can you tell us why you are “doing it”?
Michele Bohbot: I am doing it to reinvigorate my body, mind, and spirit. I am doing it to practice stillness and sharpen focus. I am doing it to make sure that there is a constant flow of new oxygen throughout every part of my body and great endorphins continue to fire. I am doing it because when I do, the world stops and I am left with me, myself, and I. I am doing it to inspire positive change. Yoga in today’s society is so much more accessible. I am so happy that something that has changed my life in such a positive way can now be a part of so many people’s lives who may never had the chance to experience yoga. I am doing it and will continue to do it. I’m doing so much; I’m designing clothes that you can always do it in, and feel great about it!
YT: With so many accomplishments to your name, is there anything more you still dream of doing in your life?
Michele Bohbot: I’ve always wanted to spend more toward becoming a great motivational speaker. My dream would be to focus on perfecting this craft so my story and expertise may inspire others, through seminars and other speaking opportunities.
YT: So there’s one final question we’d like to ask: can you share something about yourself that you have learned to accept?
Michele Bohbot: I’ve really learned not be so demanding of myself and do the best that I can in any situation. I used to always try to be one step ahead and not settle into the here and now. But I’ve accepted who I am as a mother, wife, designer, yogini, businesswoman, and just Michele. I am now much more present.