Models show off clothing by Devigi.

by Paula M. Riley

In the universal language Esperanto, Devigi means “compel” or “drive.” When Chestnut Hill resident Nadine Gelberg, Ph.D, named her fitness apparel line, she wanted something that would give anyone who exercises confidence and energy to reach for intensity in their workouts.

“Don’t ‘just do it,’” Gelberg said. “Do it with intensity.”

Gelberg believes her clothing line empowers men and women to demonstrate this intensity. The launch of the Devigi apparel takes place at an open house on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 4 p.m. – 9 .pm. at Balance Chestnut Hill, 12 West Willow Grove Ave.

“When you feel like you look good and when you are comfortable, the barriers of participation are reduced, and you get an extra bounce in your step,” Gelberg said. “That bounce pushes you to go further.”

Designed to combine style and performance so customers feel and look great, Gelberg’s products drape elegantly across the body, fitting and flattering sizes from zero to 18 by enhancing the right curves and camouflaging the others. Quite simply, they are designed to hug the chest and hide the belly while producing a sophisticated look.

The key to this, Gelberg explains, is the fabric. She searched high and low to find just the right material that would meet her design and performance goals. The magic element she discovered was bamboo – a naturally antimicrobial, thermal-regulating, and UV-protecting fabric. Combined with cotton and spandex, the apparel is luxuriously soft and light. Devigi has the cozy feeling of a favorite sweatshirt without all the bulk and thickness.

Gelberg, mother of a high school student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, knows that she and her friends often combine a workout with errands on the Avenue, stop for coffee or school pick-up. This consideration was important in her design. The apparel needed to be comfortable, light, but also very attractive so it could be worn well beyond the gym or running path.

New to the apparel business, Gelberg has learned much since she first had the idea to launch a clothing line. The lessons range from the importance of a fabric’s weight, the benefits of personal relationship with suppliers and lenders, and the importance of local production (all Devigi products are manufactured in Philadelphia).

Trained in sport technology policy, Gelberg is a fitness buff whose mission has always been to get people active and engaged.

“I want fitness integrated into everyday life, and these clothes let you do just that.” Gelberg said.

Devigi apparel will be available on consignment for three months at Balance. Devigi is also available online at