I grew up in Berkeley, CA, which is right next door to Title Nine headquarters in Emeryville.
When I started Oiselle, in some ways they were my North Star. A by women, for women company started by a brassy founder who profiled real athlete women alongside great apparel. They were bikers, surfers, workers, athletes, rad chicks. Women with muscles and hobbies and busy lives. Hallelujah! Real women.
When visiting home during Oiselle's first year, 2007, I made my Dad drive me down to their headquarters (with my 6 and 3 year old daughters in tow) to foist samples on any staffer I could find. We waited a long, long time in the lobby...but it was filled with balls, and boards, and jump ropes and so we moved and bounced around until someone took mercy. At the time, we didn't have much more than a split leg short, to which they were like, excuse me? Come back when you've got a real inseam on those things.
A year later, I met with the T9 gals at Outdoor Retailer. And then a year later, they placed a small order. And then things grew to the point where we met up with them in person and I had the good fortune of meeting Missy Park, their founder. I took to Missy right away (though it might have taken her longer). Through my newbie eyes I saw a strong, thoughtful, opinionated leader with a clear vision. A year after that, I pitched her on a wild idea: let's celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Title IX with a collection of graphic tees. Let's make it a woman-up event in which two companies create amazing product. I'd do the leg work, sourcing the designs, and they'd help with exposure and reach (after all, they were +20 x our size).
So began a 6 month collaboration with Missy on tees that, while sounding simple, plumbed some intellectual depths. The goal, after all, was graphics that would be much more than t-shirt flourishes. They would be art. They would be statements. They would be endearing, but also unafraid. There would be arresting images - and strong words. The two would interplay, and beg questions, and provoke answers. With each conversation, our friendship grew. And so did our ability to define feminism, as we questioned, and whittled, and characterized that elusive word. A definition that is both righteous and humble...explicit and mysterious.
The collection we share with you now is our latest celebration. It's three of our three most popular styles, in unique colors, created by Title Nine and Oiselle. The Drop Top Mesh Long Sleeve (aka Fab Fierce Long Sleeve) is the ultimate crossover piece - perfect for a run, but even better with jeans. The Baserunner (aka Vroom Tee) uses the same two fabrics, with light as air mesh at the shoulders. And the Stripped Tank is our most recent creation, with a flattering halter neckline that meets in the back with vertical strips of stretch woven for structure and subtle geometric texture. Shop the styles at the Title Nine x Oiselle Pop Up Shop.
We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Yes, they are clothes. But they're also a celebration of friendship.