Running aficionados will now be able to shop Seattle-based Oiselle’s athletic apparel on foot with the opening of the brand’s first-ever flagship store later this month. Founder and ceo Sally Bergesen created the women’s activewear line in 2007 to address what she felt was a lack of design-driven apparel in the athletic market. “In the running industry, most apparel is made by running shoe companies [who often] don't care much for apparel. It's not how they make their money,” Bergesen says.
“Oiselle is a by-women, for-women athlete-focused company that isn't apologetic about strength and beauty and how that can translate into simple, clean, non-frilly designs.”
Oiselle, (pronounced wa-zell) is the French word for bird, and alludes to the feeling of weightlessness that runners achieve in stride. Bergesen has been making great ones in both athletic and fashion communities with a focus on performance wear with thoughtful design.
“The things we hear repeatedly are: we want better fit [and design] like pockets to stash keys and money," she says. "Garments that don't just have a single function, but that can be worn for her sport and her life.”
Through partnerships with elite running personalities including Christy Turlington Burns and Olympic athletes Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman, as well as participating in high-profile events including New York Fashion Week, Oiselle’s brand has grown far beyond the company’s Green Lake studio. Of the new brick-and-mortar location, Bergesen says “We want to give [our community] a place to experience all of the brand, to see everything we have to offer, and to allow us to get to know them better as well.”
Such experiences will ultimately include in-store race viewing parties and special events to celebrate marathon season this fall. All in addition to a repeat appearance at NYFW in September, Bergesen says “there will be a lot going on.”
Look for Oiselle in University Village near Fran's Chocolates and Lucky Brand.