Known for their majorly popular tennis skirts and preppy dresses, Recreational Habits reimagines what American prep can look like.

Cofounders Jackie Skye Muller (a Barneys and Kith alum) and Marlon Muller launched the brand in the spirit of bringing the exclusive world of the preppy elite and their hobbies to the historically excluded. We sat down with Jackie for the scoop on Recreational Habits, their new collection, and their exclusive collaboration with Keds.

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Hi Jackie! We are so excited to launch Recreational Habits at BANDIER. We’d love to know a little about you — what were you doing before launching Recreational Habits?

I was born in Seoul before moving to Dallas when I was 5. From a young age I was asked to forget my native tongue and take an “American” name that my classmates could remember. My mom was a huge Jackie-O fan, so that’s how I got my English name. It was inevitable for me to fall in love with classic New England style from then on.  

Before Recreational Habits, I worked my way up the corporate ladder at Barneys New York and worked for some of the most amazing women, including Marina Larroude, Tomoko Ogura, and Laura Stoloff. During my time there, we were tasked with creating stories within an assortment of collections we were buying, and challenged to really think about dictating where fashion was going. We worked with some of the most amazing photographers that were quite new at the time and are now shooting major campaigns and covers. It was such a beautiful time in my career that I remember fondly. 

I eventually left Barneys to become the Women’s Director at Kith. The energy at the brand was incredible and there was so much going on all the time. From store openings to collaborations to constant new launches and activations — there was never a dull moment. I managed a fantastic team of designers and buyers and worked alongside some of the most creative people I’ve ever met. I learned first hand the intricacies about design and production, as well as how to manage a young team. It was truly a life changing experience that I’m forever grateful for. 

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In a short amount of time, you have created such a recognizable brand. How did you come up with the concept for Recreational Habits?

Recreational Habits was really a passion project for my husband and me. We were frequently playing preppy sports during the pandemic — tennis, golf, sailing, etc — and rarely saw people of color participating. It led us to ask the question why? And how could we change the conversation around club sports so that it can be more inclusive and welcoming?

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Your mission statement touches on bringing inclusive opportunities for recreational habits through your brand and collections. Can you give us the scoop on this?

A lot of recreational habits are passed down generationally - from grandparents, to parents, to their children. But what if our grandparents weren’t allowed in the country club so we never knew how to play golf or tennis or ride horses? Our solution is to create opportunities for adults to learn these sports in safe clinics with other people who are new to it like them. There is less fear around trying something new especially if you’re not alone in doing so. One of the best things we do as a brand is put on clinics for club sports. Most recently we had a polo clinic where we invited adults to learn how to play polo in a safe welcoming environment. We used the clinic fees as an opportunity to then fund a free clinic for DC students to learn how to play polo. It was really amazing. 

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Can you walk us through the new collection and your inspiration behind it? What are yourfavorite pieces from the new collection?

This season was designed from the shoe up. The Recreational Habits x Keds court sneaker is incredibly versatile and perfect for a woman on the go. I love how clean it is, but still has a sporty touch. It feels sophisticated and timeless. We wanted the rest of the apparel to align with this, and so we decided to pull influence from preppy Ivy style, especially inspiration that came from HBCU campuses. Looking over vintage photographs from Spellman and Hampton, we found so many great pieces that work for today’s client. We noticed that most campuses had an underlying feeling of mixing sport with academia - like running from crew practice to history class - and so we designed the collection accordingly.

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Tell us about your new sneaker in collaboration with Keds. How did that collaboration come to be? Any fun facts about the collab?

I have wanted to work with Keds even prior to starting Recreational Habits. The brand is such a huge part of American history and I LOVE the fact that they are the first shoe company to make a women’s tennis sneaker: The Champion. Before them, women were playing tennis in a heel - how crazy is that! 

We really got to dig into the archive of the brand, and help update the version of the champion as today’s court silhouette. We couldn’t be more proud to partner with Keds as we push the idea of recreating the new American prep. 

Any other collaborations slated for this year?

Yes  - stay tuned!

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