ARCHIVE: AN INTERVIEW WITH TYLER HANEY OF OUTDOOR VOICES
From the Archives: Outdoor Voices continue to make clothes that make us want to work out. Here's an interview with Tyler Haney from the beginning of her Outdoor Voices journey… Warning: Major Inspo.
Push Things Forward. A phrase of determination and elegance, which seems to perfectly encapsulate the instincts of Outdoor Voices. After meeting founder and designer Tyler Haney, we’ve thrown our notion of workout attire out the window. It’s sleek and modern, but even more contemporary than that — it’s curated for a lifestyle of anys. Go anywhere, do anything… In your activewear. We got to visit the Outdoor Voices studio and see some of the latest, and so chatted on what it’s like releasing an activewear line in New York City.
HOWDY, PARTNERS IN FASHION. PARTNERS IN BUSINESS.
TYLER HANEY: We both have always loved fashion and realized that if we were going to successfully pursue a creative career, we better learn some business. The business degree at Parsons was a perfect combination of creative and business courses.
We both come from very active backgrounds. I grew up in Boulder and was the ultimate tomboy running around with all the boys, and Matt was the all-Canadian athlete tearing up the rinks and tracks of Toronto. Moving to the city greatly influenced Outdoor Voices as the urban lifestyle was quite different from our hometowns.
Outdoor Voices is the synthesis of our outdoor lifestyles and our urban aesthetic.
MAKING THE MOJO.
When designing our first collection we were really inspired by an old black and white photo of my mom running track. We are really into track and field and a lot of our pieces have a bit of a varsity feel. There is something about vintage varsity typography and that look that speaks to us. Aesthetically we are really into tonal layering and texture.
MADE IN THE U.S. OF A. TECHNICALLY ADVANCED. AHEAD OF THE REST.
Made in America is super important to us. It’s a major point of differentiation between us and the big guys like Nike and Lululemon that primarily produce overseas. Our relationships with our factories in NYC and L.A. are super important to us and we spend a lot of time in the factories making sure the quality of our product is on point. One of the best things about domestic production is that we are able to make changes quickly and often to ensure that we get the best end product.
Our fabric is a huge part of Outdoor Voices. Everything feels amazing on your body; for us, it’s all about the experience, it’s a huge selling point... We spent a year researching technical fabrics focusing on moisture wicking, breathability, anti-odor and durability. It is really amazing how much better these technical fabrics feel. We are working with some of the best mills that also do a lot of great work with the activewear giants.
WORK. WORK. WORK. WORK.
We eat, sleep and breathe Outdoor Voices. Matt and I are involved in every step of the process.
It’s a whole lot of work, but we are passionate about the brand and are excited to see it come to life. We’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things that we weren’t formally trained to do, but we think that’s ultimately helped us.
WHO IS THE OUTDOOR VOICE.
Outdoor Voices is about a curated performance brand offering. We are really after the tastemakers. We are after the people who are driven and inspired by what they do. We want Outdoor Voices on the movers and the shakers.
My favorite piece in the collection is the crop top. I love the unique silhouette and you don’t see anybody else running around in something like it. It has a nice shape that highlights strong shoulders and stomach. Matt’s favorite would probably be the Running Man sweatpants. They look great and they’re super comfortable around the office. We spend a lot of time in the office and it’s awesome that we can lounge in our stuff and literally run to meetings without having to change and still look put-together. I think that’s the key, people who wear Outdoor Voices want to look different. They don’t want to wear the same thing as everyone else, but still want that comfort.
...We make it a point to get out and exercise almost everyday. At times it gets difficult since we spend so much time at the office, but we both need to stretch our legs to keep us productive — so we do our best to make time for it.
GIVING BY NATURE.
Our greatest advice would be that if you really believe in yourself; stop talking about it and just start doing it.
ONE THING WE SHOULD SEE, HEAR & KNOW:
SEE. Moonrise Kingdom
HEAR. Theophilus London
KNOW. That anything is possible, you just need to work for it.
This article was produced for and published on SHK in 2014.