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How Outdoor Voices is Re-Inventing the Indoor Shopping Experience

BY tess falotico 12/13/2016

Downtown NYC! 

Aside from Carrie Bradshaw’s old joke about shopping as cardio, there aren’t a whole lot of real-world examples of store-hopping being good for your health. At least, there weren’t until Tyler Haney started channeling the modern athleisure vibes of her ascendant line, Outdoor Voices, into brick-and-mortar locations that somehow manage to turn shopping for leggings and hoodies into a fun-zen experience. Designed with help from McGuirre Moorman Hopspitality, the OV stores in NYC, Austin, and Dallas are filled with crazy-good material combos—hey, marble meet plywood!—and there are even yoga blocks on hand, in case you wanna put a tank to the downward dog test. Here’s the badass founder on translating the good-looking, slightly goofy personality of her line into four IRL outposts.

 

On Going Offline

“Community is core to Outdoor Voices. In a traditional sense, our shops function as places for customers to experience the brand and try on product in-person, but it’s even more important to us that they’re hubs for activity. We use them to host a ton of events, bringing our mission—to bring people together around activity—to life.”

 

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Hunter Slashback Crop Top
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On Location Scouting

“We’re not as concerned with being able to host events inside our stores as we are in using them as starting points for outdoor excursions. We chose our first location in Austin because we fell in love with the recreational spirit of the city, and our Dallas shop is located right along Katy Trail, a scenic outdoor path. We have a New York store on Centre Street right below our NYC headquarters, and there’s a staircase that connects the two—so we’re able to literally work closely to our customers, which is really neat. Plus, our new Upper East Side shop is just a few blocks from Central Park.”

Centre Street's spaceship dressing rooms!

On Taking the OV Vibe Indoors

“Our aesthetic is more in line with minimal clothing brands we admire, like A.P.C. and Acne Studios, than it is with others in the activewear space. Why should you look like you’re wearing a superhero costume when you’re going for a jog? The design process for all of our clothing starts with material, and we approached our shops the same way. There’s a lot of texture in a simple layout that lets the gear stand out uninterrupted.”

 

Ovhunterleggings product 4
Hunter Dipped Warmup Legging
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On Switching Up the Seating Arrangements  

“We worked with Brooklyn-based Friends & Family to make a bunch of custom ‘shapes’ for our shops. They’re sturdy, little upholstered forms in all different sizes that make it easy to get your move on (or just hang while your friend tries stuff on in a fitting room).”

Dallas! 

On Creating a Hands-On Experience

“The stores are all about activity, baby! Everything is designed for movement and play, and we’ve used highly tactile materials, like fabric and plywood, throughout each space. They’re meant to be places where you can be comfortable touching everything, stretching, and jumping around. I don’t think our shops look like anyone else’s—they really feel like us, and that makes me super happy. Our Centre Street store has four standalone fitting rooms, each with a different vibe. There’s one that kind of feels like a spaceship when you’re inside it. We set out to make shopping a fun, delightful experience, and I think we’ve accomplished that.”

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