July 27, 2017
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Etta Meyer | July 27, 2017 | People
There’s a new legging game in town.
Aspenites love a good workout look. “I haven’t been to a place where so many people are in active-wear, it’s amazing,” says Tyler Haney, founder of Outdoor Voices (OV), about Aspen, as we boarded the gondola for a leisurely spin up Ajax. OV just opened their fifth store here following two in New York, one in Austin, and one in Dallas. It’s a pop-up shop, open only until September 15th, but that doesn’t mean OV isn’t playing the long game.
“In twenty years, we want to be the next Nike,” explains Haney, “we’re really focused on building the next great active-wear brand.” As a young athlete growing up in Boulder, Haney was inspired by brands like Nike to train faster, harder, stronger. However, Outdoor Voices does not look to aspirational pro athletes leaping to the finish line. Haney’s idea is to build a brand around activities for the pure joy of it—the joy of movement, of the outdoors, and especially of doing things together. In fact, that’s the brand’s hashtag: #doingthings.
The Aspen pop-up was designed by Will Fox at Mcguire Moorman, the same group behind OV’s Austin and Nolita store in NYC.
You may recognize their signature aesthetic, matte, tonal and heathered, as opposed to shiny and flashy, from seeing OV on their first celebrity muse, Lena Dunham. A far cry from Michael Jordan, Dunham represents the brand’s spectrum of appeal. OV is for first-time joggers and for triathletes. “For me activity is ageless and shapeless,” explains Haney. Her ideal brand ambassador? Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres. “We are focused on people who excel at what they do.”
Part of the limited edition Aspen kit, the warm up legging and Athena crop in hunter.
The company is digital-first, with most of its sales realized online, but the brick-and-mortar strategy is just as important. The stores are designed to be community hubs, gathering places for events such as group hikes and pup walks. They are actively seeking out store locations in cities that have “recreational electricity,” and Aspen fits that bill.
This omni-channel retail approach of in person “doing things,” amplified with social media, and supported by digital sales, seems to be working. In Aspen in particular, the response has been immediate. The opening night party was packed with just about every young person in town, sipping Coors Light, (Haney is a Colorado girl, after-all), and first weekend sales were record-breaking for the infant company.
Connecting the power of community, activity, and form-flattering sportswear, now that’s something to shout about. 625 East Hyman Ave., outdoorvoices.com
This interview was the first in a series conversations to take place in Aspen’s most iconic living room/confessional/equalizer—the gondola. Check back from more Gondola Stories, coming soon.
Courtesy of Outdoor Voices