This hip athletic wear company dresses Yale athletes and aspires to compete with Nike

Oiselle (pronounced wah-sell, as in Mademoiselle) has aspirations of competing with Nike.

Oiselle launched in 2007.  Business has taken off, with $US10 million annual revenue and an endorsement deal with Yale’s track and field team.

The brand tries to stick to its startup roots, but its unique designs and products have gotten people to notice that it’s an elite activewear company.

Here is what we know about Oiselle.

Founder Sally Bergesen created the activewear company Oiselle in 2007 with the initial intent of developing a pair of running shorts to fit all women’s body types. Bergesen was featured as one of Runner’s World’s 50 Most Influential People in Running.

Bergesen launched the brand with a focus on empowering female runners.

Oiselle began as a 20-employee startup. It has doubled in growth each year. Its flagship store is in Seattle, and it has plans to open stores in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

Current designs include dominant prints and hues on breathable fabric.

Although there is no men’s line, Oiselle’s women’s activewear includes shorts, track pants, tanks, jackets, sports bras, and … running dresses.

Yes, running dresses. Whether you’re exchanging vows mid-race or planning a fun run as part of your wedding weekend, the Oiselle Runaway Bride dress is an amusing option.

Another signature item by Oiselle is the “Roga short” which combines a yoga style cut with running performance features.

Costs vary — running shorts range from $38-$54, pants at $88, sports bras are $48, and tops go from $28-$89.

Oiselle is the first women’s sports brand to outfit a major college running program. Yale University women’s cross country and track and field teams compete in Oiselle, while its other sports teams compete in Nike.

Yale’s track coach, David Shoehalter, told Canadian Running Magazine that he uses Oiselle’s sponsorship as a recruiting tool in order to stand out from other universities.

Kate Grace, who trained for the 2012 Olympic trials during her senior year at Yale, was Oiselle’s first sponsored athlete. Kara Goucher, an Olympic long distance runner, joined Oiselle in 2014.

View this post on Instagram

Returning to form and fierceness! @fastkate will be running the Navy Mile in DC tomorrow unless Hurricane Joaquin decides to toe the line as well. It got us feeling poetic… "I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls with clean blood and organized drawers. I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests at night when no one else is alive or awake however you choose to see it and I live in my own flames sometimes burning too bright and too wild to make things last or handle myself or anyone else and so I run. run run run far and wide until my bones ache and lungs split and it feels good. Hear that people? It feels good because I am the slave and ruler of my own body and I wish to do with it exactly as I please." Charlotte Eriksson, singer/song writer

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Oiselle hit $10 million in revenue this year and is still growing. It seeks to break into the women’s activewear space that is dominated by brands like Nike and Lululemon.

Its marketing strategy focuses on the athlete. Oiselle’s Instagram bio reads: “We love to cheer on athletes of all paces.”

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