For years, brands like Nike and Under Armour have focused on performance wear that helps athletes excel to the best of their abilities.
But what if you want to take competition off the table?
Enter Outdoor Voices, the athleisure company that has been called the “Lululemon for hipsters.”
The company founded by 27-year-old founder of Outdoor Voices is gaining traction; it’s sold standalone stores and J. Crew. Haney’s work has landed her a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30.
Essentially, Haney wanted to nix the competition and elitism from exercise. Here’s what she told The Coveteur:
“While in school, I still had this feeling that I wanted to create a brand that approached activity differently — with moderation, ease, and delight — and celebrated activity rather than thinking about it as performance or competition. I [also] couldn’t find product in the activewear space that resonated with me in the sense that, I was wearing Acne Studios or A.P.C. Brands that thought of clothing as a uniform. Everything on the market was black and neon and perforated so, I started Outdoor Voices.”
But just because Haney depicts exercise as something handled with “moderation, ease, and delight,” it doesn’t mean that she’s forgotten about the technical aspects that have become central to athleisure. She told The Coveteur how she became “became obsessed with technical materials” while she was at Parsons Design School for Business. She then took technical apparel one step further — she wanted it to look “aesthetically more in line with what I was wearing in my everyday.”
And despite her distaste for competition, she did tell The Coveteur that she “is very much wanting to be the next great activewear brand – and so that’s very much [her] vision for it.”
A win for Outdoor Voices is a win for the people who just enjoy trying — and sometimes floundering — at Zumba.
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