In their report titled "Enclothed Cognition," researchers Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky explain the power of apparel on performance. They found that the two main factors at play were the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them. Together, they had the power to transform.
Nowhere is this more at play than with elite athletes. The "kit" symbolizes both the idea of what they hope to achieve -- and the function of how they will do it. Even in race prep, it occupies a sacred place -- a place where they go to envision their ideal performance, over and over.
On race day, the kit becomes ritual. Like a warrior preparing for battle, the very experience of putting it on creates physical sensations and mental cues. The look, the feel, the way it either compresses or provides movement and ease. The color, the symbols. Like the body's war-cry, it brings the moment of truth into clear focus.
As the lioness crouches, the paws stretch, the claws extend.
In honor of the unveiling of our 2016 elite kit, we took a little stroll down memory lane. Even in the way back, when Oiselle was just tiny, we were interested in this relationship between the mind and the body. To be where we are today, creating kits for so many incredible female athletes is beyond a dream come true. They honor us beyond measure.
A Look Back: 2012 to Now.
Days before kits - Becki in the Iris Bra at 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon
Allison Maxson flying in our first singlet
Kate Grace debuts the first bra and brief prototype in Austin, winning the TRE Indie 5k
Official first brief and bun elite kit hits the roads and track
The updated elite kit debuts on the runway at NYFW 2014
Originally made in three proto colors - the elites voted in pink as the official kit color
Little Wing Flying at 2015 US XC Championships in Boulder
Shante Little signed as Oiselle's first hurdler in May of 2015
And then in 2016...
You know we're hooked on fierceness...so when we started designing the 2016 kit, we looked at a wide range of options -- all incorporating bold yet organic geometry in shades of red white and deep, deep blue. Here's a few of the runner-ups:
The final direction felt both unique and traditional. Patriotic without the patriarchy. And very dangerous. Bottom line, when our elites put these on, I want them to feel like they're going to ignite the world.
Speaking of fire, thank you Kara for making the dream real. There are no words; just pics...just these breathtaking pics.
Of note this year is an expansion of the styles we offer - for the many different women, body types, and events we now serve. A singlet, strappy bra, 3/4 top, singlet, two types of buns, compression shorts, knickers and tights. I'm thrilled to give our highest flyers, the Haute Volée, a distinct collection of styles for their most powerful athletic moments.
Here's to an incredible 2016! Head up, wings out!