For 9 years, Oiselle (pronounced wa-zell, French word for bird) has grown to be a force in the running apparel industry. But what makes them so special, and how did this happen?
Go fast, take chances
That’s the motto, and Oiselle lives by it. Oiselle took a chance in not settling with the status quo – they went their own way in the running apparel industry. It was risky to make design choices that set them apart; styles and colors that stood in contrast to the cookie cutter looks from other brands and look at home from morning run to runway. And another risk was putting such a large emphasis on community, and dedicating time and energy to fostering their followers. But because Oiselle took those chances, they built up an extremely loyal customer base, while poising women to go fast and take chances on their personal running goals and dreams.
Flystyle meets function
Founder and CEO Sally Bergesen provides an anchor to this brand and their progressive philosophy. In fact, taking a closer look at the choices Sally made from the beginning is where we get insight into the foundation of the brand. Sally saw a need for better apparel for fast runners. Racing kits were boring, and though they were functional, Sally wanted to create apparel that was more than just functional – something that made the running experience better. Along with that, she didn’t believe that fashion had to be sacrificed in favor of making an excellent running piece. As a result, Oiselle has been known for their fashion-forward style choices that no longer force women to choose between “OMG that is SO cute” and “this performs excellently on my run”. Referred to as flystyle by the loyal flock, Oiselle’s style differentiated them from the running apparel marketplace.
This loyal flock (the nickname for the community that Oiselle has formed) is a huge part of what makes them stand out so much as a brand. Supporting female runners of all varieties, this sisterhood is built with a mutual love for the sport of running and is fueled by feminist thinking, engaging women to pursue their dreams. They connect to women runners with an incredibly engaging social media channel – from Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat, Oiselle keeps their flock in the loop and engages them with current events and world issues. With elite athletes on their sponsor list (Lauren Fleshman, Kara Goucher, Kate Grace to name a few), they’ve gained visibility within the running industry at large, but it isn’t all about name recognition on their sponsorship list. Oiselle took care to pick women who are vocal about their beliefs, dreams, and struggles, making Oiselle even more relatable to women runners across the globe.
That’s why Oiselle is where they are today. From the get-go, there was no compromise. With well-executed and fashionable running apparel and a killer community of women backing them up, we are excited to see where Oiselle will go next.
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