We always love our covers and it's always fun to have the opportunity to work with someone that we have previously worked with before. We're excited to have Danielle Moinet as this month's celebrity cover and our first person to grace two covers for Athleisure Mag! We enjoyed our photoshoot with Danielle and we sat down to catch up on what she's up to since we last spoke to her. We talked about her life as an athlete, about her road to the WWE, new projects that she's excited to be apart of, running the Chicago Bears out of Soldier Field, the importance of empowering women and girls in and out of sports and her love for the fans that she continues to see on her many trips as she is always on the go!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your athletic journey as we know you have played a number of sports!
DANIELLE MOINET: For me I always played sports. I was an athlete growing up - I ran track, jumped hurdles and played tennis. In college and when I got out of it and moved to Chicago, that's when I joined the Lingerie Football League, the LFL, and I played for the Chicago Bliss and I played Corner Back and I loved it. I played 3 years and it's full contact 7 on 7 football - very aggressive.
Then I went on to wrestle and a lot of the girls that hadn't wrestled before in WWE had some form of an athletic background. Health and fitness has always been a big thing for me and getting to the gym, so I think that people that work out a lot too are athletic as well and being in a women's sport is very important.
AM: Specifically, tell us about your journey into wrestling, WWE and what you are currently doing.
DM: I was working a Comic Con in Chicago, and WWE was there and it was a dream of mine to get in. There was not an application process setup like there is now when I first started, so I ran over to their booth and told them that I was interested and that I had been wanting to do this for years. I decided to play football for another year and then that's when I went down to WWE to have my tryout and 6 weeks later I was down there training and working out and I got my contract. So it was really a great place in time. There were only 6 girls training at the time. I was the 6th girl and now there is something like 20 or 30 girls training. WWE was amazing - I wrestled there for 6 years and I was on the main roster on Mon. Night RAW, Tues. Night Smackdown for 4.5 years and got to live out my dream.
As of Nov, I left WWE to spread my wings to other avenues and to be able to enjoy life and live it through new eyes. It's bittersweet as I miss my fans and the people I worked with, but I see my fans more often because I do so many appearances where I get to travel the world to meet them.
AM: We caught up with you when you were in the midst of a media tour - can you tell us what you were promoting?
DM: During my time in NY when I did my photoshoot, I was doing a lot of things! I was taking meetings, doing photoshoots with a number of modeling agencies and then I was also there for my first non WWE appearance that was in Manhattan and so I was able to go onto CBS Radio and talk to them about women in sports and the importance of women having a presence in athletics and for young girls to have role models to look up to - being athletic and knowing that strong is beautiful. Body positivity is something that is very import ant to me and I think it's great to be able to speak out to that! It was so much fun and I love everyone in NY!
AM: On set, everyone loved your hair, what products do you use and what tips do you have for healthy hair?
DM: My hair! I'm very fortunate that my mom is a hairdresser and growing up, she never let me dye it crazy purple or orange and crazy colors. I had actually never even dyed it until my mid twenties. I am super blonde naturally and I was always in the sun as a kid by the pool. I always used great products like Biolage or Matrix. One thing that was really amazing that I started to use the last couple of years is a wet brush. The wet brush helps with the breakage in your hair and having bangs, I have really noticed the difference using the wet brush because my hair doesn't break as much and it's able to stay long and healthy - that is something I absolutely swear by and love. And also, good Moroccan Oil and having good oil everytime you blow dry your hair - it's very important.
AM: We know from your IG that you're constantly on the go, what are 3 beauty products that keep you looking fresh and dewy and are a must in your routine?
DM: I am always on the go so beauty products that I love - I always have a spray tan, I do not go in the sun a lot so I always try to protect my skin as far as sun exposure goes, so it's all about wearing SPF. I do not go into the tanning bed so I can keep a wrinkle free life. I love love love and swear by Skin Medica - they're TMS Serum is something that I really do love. I completely see a difference in my skin when I use that. Their eye cream - amazing - it's expensive and I have tried alternate routes and dfferent things and I just see such a difference with them and that's something that's just great. Another thing I love - my lips don't get too chapped too much because I'm always on the go in airplanes - I love the Lip Slip by Sara Happ. It's a lip balm and it's so thick and potent and it lasts you forever - I got it from Nordstrom and I love it. My lips never crack, never peel and I love it.
AM: What's your personal style - what do you work out in, what do you go out in for a night out and what is your beach style?
DM: My personal style is super super different - I look very girly, but I am actually super tomboy! I love my Jordans, I love my Jays, I've become a big sneaker person since living in LA so really ideally, if I could live my life I'd do it in workout clothes and athleisure vibe and tennis shoes. That's how you could catch me everyday wearing. If you catch me in jeans or everyday pants it's because I have to because I am going somewhere. What I actually work out in is - I'm very cute on Instagram with matching outfits, but that is not how I am. In real life, I'm not like that I don't think. I get a lot of workout clothes sent to me from different brands and people that I work with so I can never find anything that matches when it is time to work out. I am not that girl who matches in the gym - I'm getting in there with a hat the majorty of the time with no makeup. I hate wearing makeup - I love getting glammed up, but I don't like makeup. I am usually in a hat, with it pulled down super low and getting my workout done because I don't want anyone talking to me and workout time is not playtime for me.
For going out, now that I live in LA, I have a very different west coast vibe. I love everything that is oversized and I love a great Tor Merch long sleeve shirt 2 sizes 2 big with baggy pants and a cute heel. If I'm going out, you can catch me in jeans, boots, a body suit or tank top. That's my vibe and I rarely wear a dress - again unless I have to or if I'm in Vegas or a place that's dressy. LA is just not that dressy and NY isn't really either. I have very different vibes - sometimes it's Bohemian or Urban - I like to change up my style.
Style and music are very all over the place for me as there are tons of genres of music I like and tons of styles that I like to dress in.
Beach style is bikini, flip flops and a cover up. Nothing special - no makeup maybe a little chapstick - that's all - very low maintenance.
AM: What are 3 of your favorite foods that are your go to for energy to assist in working out and do you have splurge foods that you enjoy as a treat every now and then?
DM: I'm a big fan of black coffee before working out. I try to stay lately from pre-workouts that have artificial sugars in them and I am trying to go back to that coffee route or just getting enough sleep as that is very good. Protein is a must for my diets and if I don't have a protein shake, I see a huge difference in my legs and body as far as my abs and cellulite go. I can see a negative difference without them and I need my protein high up. I also need some nuts before the gym - healthy fats are good. I don't like to be super full when I go to the gym because when I am full, I want to take a nap. Cheat foods that I love, pizza! I am obsessed with pizza, Mexican food, I love Queso and chips. My friends make fun of me because I eat a whole tub of queso - it's just really ridiculous as I need to be nowhere near that and then cookie dough. Cookie dough is my downfall! I went through a phase where I was obsessed with cookie dough for like 4 months and my friends and I joke that that’s where my butt came from the four months that I ate it. So we call it my cookie dough butt! I still have it but now I am just training it in the gym!
AM: We saw that you did something pretty amazing with the Chicago Bears last fall, can you share with our readers?
DM: Chicago Bears – so in the fall, ran the Bears out of the tunnel and was the first women to ever run them out of the tunnel! They said it had something to do with the fact that the flag is really heavy and then at Soldier Field, the lake wind effect off of the lake is so strong that it just moves the pole around and it’s crazy heavy! They usually don’t have guests running people out of the tunnel BUT I knew someone that knew someone and they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do it. I was kind of unsure if I could and then they said that a woman had never done it before and that’s when I said, “well of course then – I have to be the first at everything that I do”. Don’t put me up to a challenge and I will never say no, especially if it is the first woman. It was amazing and fun. The players were super confused as to why I was down there haha! I’m a huge Bears fan so I loved it!
AM: What travel plans are you looking forward to this summer?
DM: This summer I am very fortunate that I am traveling all over. I have so many bookings for appearances to see so many of my wrestling fans. I’m a little west coast, a little east coast. I may have a few things that are Canada and then I am really really really excited about something that we haven’t announced yet which we can’t announce yet but it’s overseas and it is taking me to one of my places on my bucketlist – so I’m very excited about that!
As far as trips go, I look forward to taking my girls trip which we are going to Mykonos, Greece and I have never been there. We are just going to have a great time and I am looking forward to that because I have a great group of girlfriends.
AM: In LA what is your favorite place to shop, a workout studio that you attend as well as where you love to grab cocktails and a meal?
DM: Living in LA, obviously we have great killer stores. All the stores on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Grove the Mall – that’s really good and we have large stores with all the name brands. Some of the places that I really love to shop and that are fun that I tell my friends to go to when they’re in town – hidden gems on Melrose that are kind of really trendy and inexpensive and I love them – one is called Eden Sky and the other one is Style Delivered and I get really cute fun sunglasses, earrings and bandanas. I got my stuff from Coachella there and it’s good finds that are inexpensive so when you pair them with other really good pieces, that’s great. And of course, we have things like Revolve out here and Pretty Little Things and House of CB, Mistress Rocks – LA’s great we have some really good shopping. As far as food goes, I love Urth Café, it’s one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure that I brought my mom and dad there, friends from back home in North Carolina. You just sit outside and have bubble tea – which is amazing and all different kinds of food which is really good. We actually just got a Joe & the Juice which they have in NY and I’m obsessed with so I am really happy about that being there. I love all the healthy food options we have out here the salad places and everything like that which is really good. And then we have great trendy workouts. I love SoulCycle – I swear by SoulCycle as it’s fun and it makes me feel amazing to just get out there and sweat – so I really love that. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an ankle injury for the past 3 months so I have kind of been having to deal with that and it’s driving me nuts. But I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things soon.
AM: Are there any projects that you're working on that you want to let our readers know about?
DM: I’m just really excited to be working with so many brands right now! I have two clothing companies that I am working with and I will be able to get my own line out and then I have one kind of beauty thing I am working on. I’m taking meetings with other people as far as my appearances go and doing things overseas so it’s all in the beginning baby stages. I have only just started to be able to do this stuff as I wasn’t able to do this with WWE and am looking forward to spreading my wings. My sister’s charity is back home in North Carolina – The Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation - love working with them when I go back home and am looking forward to doing a special project with them when I am back home to raise money in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area for the charity!
We shot Danielle Moinet in Manhattan's Lower East Side at Hotel Indigo LES which is filled with a number of great hitoric sites. Christopher White, the properties' Director of Sales and Marketing talked with us about the hotel and how it connects with the community.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Are there different personalities that Hotel Indigo represents on the city/community?
CHRISTOPHER WHITE: Hotel Indigo’s ethos is design, art, music and embracing the neighborhood that we are in - so every hotel will represent those qualities in different way depending on the location.
AM: Specifically, tell us about Hotel Indigo LES - when did it open, what is the atmosphere and the amenities that are offered for guests.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES opened in the heart of the Lower East Side in November 2015. Reflecting the community, the hotel is an urban oasis that features spacious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline. Hotel Indigo LES is equipped with everything needed for the modern traveler - think a rooftop bar and pool, a gym, package handling, parking and we even provide amenities for your furry friends because we know kittens and pups are important too.
AM: Tell us about the lounges and pool.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is the perfect spot to visit day or night - with stunning views of Manhattan from every place you look, the view is unbeatable - especially now that Summer is right around the corner! The 14th-floor lobby is decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire room, spacious L-shaped couches, coffee tables and a cafe. Not to mention the ceiling is covered in a mural by the famous Lower East Side graffiti artist, Lee Quiñones.
Beyond the lobby, guests are invited to checkout the heated plunge pool and bar, Mr. Purple, both located on the 15th floor rooftop. The space offers summer drink menus for guests to enjoy, while taking in amazing views of Lower Manhattan.
AM: Is the pool for guests only?
CW: We prefer to keep the pool exclusive to hotel guests – if locals are looking for a pool break we recommend booking a staycation at the hotel.
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CW:The lobby, cafe, and of course Mr. Purple - come relax, get some work done, or have a drink - locals and guests can do it all at Hotel Indigo LES!
AM: What Spring/Summer packages do you guys have coming up?
CW: Yes! Our Mother’s Day and Royal Wedding packages are can’t miss. Check them out and more on the Hotel Indigo LES website.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that surrounds Hotel Indigo LES.
CW: Located right in the heart of the Lower East Side, there is nothing you can’t find around Hotel Indigo LES! Tons of art galleries of all different styles, music halls, bars and restaurants all surround the hotel. Think hotspots like the famous Beauty & Essex and Katz Delicatessen, Rockwood Music Hall and more.
AM: Tell us about Mr Purple!
CW: Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, the space completely captures the vibrant and artistic spirit of the LES. Boasting a 360 degree view of downtown Manhattan from the two outdoor terraces and a beautiful interior, the venue recreates a hip, artist-loft ambiance. The larger terrace includes its own swimming pool (enough said) and outdoor bar, a perfect setting for yummy bites and signature sips against the backdrop of NYC.
AM: Does the Hotel Indigo LES have activities that they participate within that are local to the community?
CW: We sure do! Our goal is to hire all of our line staff from the community which is part of our ethos and culture. We participate in LESSEN which is part of the Henry Street Settlement in the Lower East Side and 30% of our line staff from pre-opening was hired from there. We also volunteer quarterly for Manny Cantor Center, Bowery Mission and am always working to always give back to the community that we are in.
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we may not have asked you but that you would like to share?
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is all about the art. From the moment you walk, to the sleeping rooms and lobby area, the spaces all reflect the art that can be seen all over the LES. With artwork featured from the likes of Mr. Brainwash and Lee Quiñones, guests can see the spirit of the LES at every turn.