NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - In the crowded active wear space, Outdoor Voices is making itself heard, focusing on recreation rather than performance or competition. Tyler Haney, 27, created the brand in New York in 2013 with the aim of making athletic wear more approachable. Haney grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where, she says, activity is baked into everything you do.
When she started Outdoor Voices, Haney wanted to make it a brand that approached activity in a more moderate, social, and fun kind of way. A graduate of Parsons, Haney says her first focus was the material, so that when you touch Outdoor Voices product, it feels more durable and of higher quality.
She describes the brand's color palette as tonal and interchangeable and says all of the pieces work well together. According to Haney, their crop-top and two-tone leggings are all you need for working out.
And it appears, as a business, Outdoor Voices is also working out. It was the first fitness brand ever carried by J.Crew. It launched online, but now has a shop in Austin, Texas, and a pop-up on Lafayette Street in New York City. Haney says New York is the largest market. That was evident the day we visited. Women were waiting outside for the store to open, and one woman said she came straight to the shop after flying in from Los Angeles.
Just a month earlier, Haney was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and rang the Nasdaq opening bell. Haney humbly says that making the list was all about her team, and that being part of such a young group of people moving and shaking and doing things was quite rewarding.
That team has now grown to 32 people thanks to OV's most recent round of funding. It raised $7.1 million in October, with the goal of not only growing the team, but also getting more product in people's hands. Among those people, Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller, who has over a million followers on Instagram, and teamed up with Outdoor Voices for a limited collection.
So who's next? Haney says she'd love to get Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Lawrence in Outdoor Voices kits. Kits are what the name for OV's matching sets. As for the brand name? Haney says it comes from when you're little and your mom says "Use your indoor voice!" It's that kind of youthful spirit of "Heck no!"
So how will that voice get louder in the future? Haney says this spring the New York City pop-up shop is moving down the block to a permanent location. The company is also looking to open stores in San Francisco and L.A. And next week at New York Fashion Week, OV is announcing a collaboration with French label A.P.C.