Designs are like children. I have many. Some required pain meds. Some have fallen by the wayside. But many are extra special. They happened at a time that was formative for me. Or taught me something I didn't know about apparel design. Or today, they just make me laugh when I look back on them. 


There was "iRun without" which spoke to my internal Luddite and belief that the best of running is disconnected, technology-free running. I'm a purist that way, even as I learned through the launch of this tee that most runners disagree. Let's just say sales weren't off the charts. And yet I stand by the original statement, even as I nerd out with my Garmin and occasionally haul around my phone for pics and stories and selfies and buying coffee post run. The creep of technology is hard to resist - but resist, sisters. RESIST.


A classic, that we launched in 2008, was the "Big Run Tee." This simple typographic design instantly took off, and we still bring it back. It just happens to be in our Née Day Sale this week!


In 2010 or so, we stopped embroidering our logo on shorts and started using the reflective "circle bird" that was common in the brand up until this year. We're celebrating that original embroidery with our limited edition OG Rogas. Later this year, we'll be updating our brand again. The bird can't be caged!

Three styles that I'm especially proud of, considering the design background they include:


1. The Kara Collection. Working with an athlete, from start to finish, was a dream come true. From designing the silhouette to picking the fabric, to working through fittings, these styles exceeded my expectations in all the right ways. Not ashamed to say I own every piece in both color ways. The Kara Pants in particular are my down-day go-to.


2. The Vim Jacket and Vigor Vest. Creating a weather-ready lightweight shell that works for runners in a variety of climates and conditions is a tall order. We agonized over every single detail of this jacket and it's one of my favorites of all time. I have a running joke that the Vigor Vest is my security blanket.


3. The Big O Hoodie. These hoodies, which are no longer in the line, are beloved by many. The making of them is unique... the white or "PFD" fabric (prepared for dye) is printed with an invisibly layer of temporary ink (in the pattern you see), and then the entire garment is garment dyed, which means that the fully sewn garments are bathed in huge vats of dye. The result is the fabric takes the dye differently, depending on where the invisible ink is printed. The combination of this tonal print process and the garment dying results in a wonderfully soft garment that is uniquely Oiselle. We don't do much garment dye any more, particularly because the dyes are not environmentally friendly.


I'll conclude with the election tees from the 2008 presidential race. Shortly after we released them, Runner's World included them in one of their issues and at the time, for a tiny company, it was a big deal (ie, crashed our website).

Creativity is just another muscle in our bodies. We all have the capacity, and it's just a matter of finding that area of interest. Today, it's such an honor to lead a team of innovative thinkers and designers, developing that next Roga, that next Flyte Tank, or that next election tee...



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Allyson Ely