Natalie Lane | Who's Your

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Natalie Lane

Founder and Managing Director, PILOT Athletic
Pilot Athletic is a Melbourne-born premium active wear label that launched in 2012. The business was founded by Natalie Lane, a former luxury marketer with 10 years at Mercedes-Benz and later her own marketing agency Redline Marketing. Natalie is a keen aviator with a fixed wing licence. Her penchant for luxury branding and living a healthy active life (Natalie’s talents also lie in fitness as a qualified PT) was the impetus for creating the brand Pilot Athletic.

Natalie Lane

Home is…
Toorak, Victoria

What do you do?
Founder & Managing Director for the Melbourne-born luxe Activewear label Pilot Athletic

What can’t you live without?
I know it’s cliché but chocolate. I don’t think there’s a day that passes that I don’t indulge in at least one square. I choose raw chocolate like Pana or 90% Cocoa Lindt, so it’s more about the cacao and less about processed sugar.  On a more sentimental note, I couldn’t live without my friends and family – they are incredible positive influencers in my life. I have some very special people in my world (successful, passionate and real) that make me smile through all of life’s challenges.

What is the philosophy behind Pilot Athletic?
Pilot is a premium label made for women that maintain an active life and don’t necessarily have time for wardrobe changes. The Pilot aesthetic is very clean and sophisticated, which can seamlessly take you from the treadmill to the café with friends. Our range includes hardcore performance items in compression fabrics, as well as luxurious loungewear and casual basics. Our philosophy is very much centered on very high quality fabrics and timeless styling for the ultimate sport-luxe wardrobe.

Your favourite way to exercise is…
I love exercising outdoors, so running or walking are my favourite activities. I used to push myself to run a certain number of kilometres a day. As human beings we are dynamic, so I am a lot kinder to myself these days and I work with my energy levels at the time. One of my favourite walks is the Lyrebird track at Mt Dandenong – it’s one super leg and butt workout amongst the most fabulous forest!

You are mum to beautiful Siena. What life principles are you trying to teach her?
I want Siena to know that there is nothing out of reach and that she is empowered to create her own amazing life. I think it have set an example from day one that if you want something enough you can achieve it through hard work and grit. There are no barriers to success – if you want something enough if you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the work to turn it into a reality. I also want Siena to have empathy and understand that the privileges she has in life are a blessing that should be paid forward to those that may not have the same start in life.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, you would be…
I would be a commercial pilot. I have a pilot’s license and I studied commercial theory for both fixed wing and rotary but I didn’t pursue it any further after I started my career in marketing at Merdeces-Benz.

What has been your worst fashion blunder?
Oh Christ, I think I had many of them growing up. I think ill-fitting clothes are possibly the worst – like a shirt where you bust don’t fit and the buttons are about to pop open! There is nothing worse than squeezing yourself into something that doesn’t fit you well. The size label is not as important as how it looks on you!

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Champagne and vino! I love good food and the two just go hand-in-hand. You only live once and a girl’s gotta have bubbles!

Favourite three apps, and why?
I have recently become a bit of an Uber fan. I have met some incredibly interesting people who drive part-time – seriously from an M&A expert to a guy that had just started a jeans label! I also love MapMyRun as I can track my walks and run to help motivate myself. My most used app is definitely Spotify. I love music and I couldn’t live without my favourite tunes at work, in the car and most definitely when I run. There is nothing worse than your phone going flat mid run – my motivation wanes (actually dies) without some tunes to drive me!

What’s on your bucket list?
I’d love to spend an extended time in Italy with Siena. My father was born in Trieste and I have a passion for that part of the world. I would love to learn the language and I would love Siena to have that opportunity too. I think living there for 6-12 months and immersing yourself in the language and culture is the only way to do it – right?!

I would love to finish my helicopter license too – oh and buy a boat! I am a water baby and my big dream is to spend time with family and friends on a yacht somewhere warm and remote. It all starts with a vision….

What are your trend predictions for sportswear? What will we see next?
I think we’ll see a lot of developments in technical fabrication, which will change the market significantly.

  • You love to exercise outdoors and run, but who’s your favourite personal trainer when you need an extra push?
  • I have had many personal trainers over the years but Matt walks the talk better than most. He has incredible knowledge and experience which I think is important.