MAHR leggings are luxurious and durable pilates-wear you’ll want to keep on when class is over

We sat down with Monia Furnari, founder of MAHR, to discuss the next chapter in women’s athleisure, and why Made in Italy makes a difference.

MAHR leggings and sportswear tops can come out of the pajama drawer and into the closet. MAHR “tweggings” become a real garment to wear every day, to be used in the most important moments, for a date, a dinner, a happy hour…

MAHR honors Martha Graham’s contributions to the world of dance and movement, and addresses the unique challenge of finding garments suitable for exercise and daily wear. Tell us more about how MAHR came to be.

In many years of physical activity I have never found a legging suitable for both the gym and other contexts. Hence the decision to create a product capable of making me feel at ease, beautiful and without imperfections, dressing even in the most complex positions typical of pilates.


mahr leggings italist

That’s how MAHR came to be, a tribute to Martha Graham, supporter of the movement as the maximum form of expression; and it is precisely in movement that the “Tweggings” make the most sense: in dynamism they maintain their shape and characteristics, without showing the imperfections and signs of fatigue, as happens often in dance apparel.

shop heron preston on italistExplain the “tweggings.” What makes it different from a typical pair of leggings?

The line, the design inspired by ballet. A high waist of 20 centimeters. The inspiration and the materials we use. 

What materials do you primarily use, and why?

The Lycra; its gloss cannot go unnoticed. It’s a glossy charmeuse fabric resistant to piling and chlorine, and it fits the body without constraints.

Perfect for the creation of stylish, glamorous and comfortable wear. It also protects from UV rays with UPF 50+ factor to allow you to do sports also in the open air in peace. 

mahr tweggings

What makes MAHR leggings and apparel special? Give us some details that we may not know.

MAHR garments are special because for the first time, leggings and sportswear tops can come out of the pajamas drawers and enter the closet. MAHR leggings become a real garment to wear every day, to be used in the most important moments, for a date, a dinner, a happy hour…etc.

How does a handmade, hand-cut, Italian-made piece of athleisure clothing compare to the typical mass-produced alternative? (why is it worth the money?)

The difference between a MAHR product and typical sportswear product is the care that we put into the details. It is a 100% Made in Italy garment, from idea to packaging.

The fabrics come from Lombardy (Milan area) to in our Rome laboratory in 150 meter rolls. They’re each laid flat, washed and left to dry and breathe for 24 hours before being rearranged in smaller rolls of 50 meters.

mahr italian athleisure

mahr leggings

After that they are placed on the worktable and cut individually by hand from a pattern, and then sewn by hand.

The most important thing is that MAHR’s product is not based on chain production, but it’s entirely done by a person. The one who cuts it is the same one that sews it, the same one that attaches the label, and so on.

That’s why MAHR leggings and tops are worth the money. Each piece is handcrafted thanks to the skilled hands of those who, with care and passion, create a uniquely beautiful and functional product. 

Q: Why is Italy so good at fabric technology? Even all these years later, it is still the leader. Why?

A: Italy is still one of the leading countries when it comes to fashion design today because we have fashion in our DNA. The idea of dressing up and wearing the best clothing for your figure and for your stage of life—these are important concepts in Italian culture.

mahr pilates apparel

So I think there are many factors that make Italian fabrics unique, as exclusivity because of the limited availability, a small number of items making them scarce and exclusive. The success of Italy in fashion industry is based on insights, on creativity and on innovation, that’s why it’s still a leader of global fashion and fabrics technology. 

Q: Though the last year has been highly challenging—what’s one positive thing that has come out of the pandemic, for you personally or for the business?

A: One positive thing that has come out of this pandemic is a reminder of Italians’ innate resiliency. Whatever happens, we always land on our feet.

Another great thing that has happened in this pandemic is that many Italians have teamed up with each other. Many different incentives, many collaborations. I think that you must always be happy for someone’s success.

mahr athletic wear

Q: As an insider, what are your favorite spots in Rome to eat, take aperitivo, and shop? Favorite bars? Best historical/touristic spots to see? Are there any places you would suggest our readers not miss if they visit (when we can travel more freely again)? 

A: My favorite bars in Rome are the bars of the neighborhoods still inhabited by simple local people. For example: the Milvio Bridge Bistrot, the bar you can find in Rione Monti.

The best places to see are those non-touristy places, so you can discover this magic city visiting its various neighborhoods. A walk to Garbatella, eating pizza behind the colosseum at sunset, explore Mercato Testaccio, buy fresh produce at Mercato Esquilino. 

These are my recommendations.

Discover MAHR leggings, athleisure, and pilates-wear for women on italist.

Check out more Designer Interviews: sustainable swimwear from Peninsula; leather and silk apparel from DROMe; and How to wear a hat with Borsalino.

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.