A yoga apparel line out of Brooklyn, New York, is trying to make healthy living attractive and feminine as well.
Kate L. Gaertner launched Omala as a yoga collection for spring 2007 and opened a store at 400 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn in May. Both use environmentally friendly materials, like bamboo, and champion a holistic lifestyle.
Gaertner comes from a business background, with an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, not from design. Personal experience has shaped her design aesthetic. "I was a basketball player through college at Dartmouth, and I looked androgenous my entire life," Gaertner said. "I've been doing yoga for 12 years, and I wanted a collection in which I could finally feel feminine."
Omala features longer torso silhouettes, thicker waistbands and rounded lines "to accentuate the best parts of a woman," said Gaertner. Looks include a dress and leggings with an attached skirt. For spring, clothes suited for Bikram yoga (which has gained in popularity) will be added to the collection.
Gaertner works with Manhattan-based designer Heather Verran-Ramo to execute the design of the clothes, which are manufactured in Berwick, Pa., and China. In addition to her own store — which hosts free yoga and Pilates classes and also carries other yoga lines such as Tao Freedom, City Lights and Beyond Yoga — Omala is carried in about 10 doors, including Nomadic Outfitters in San Francisco, Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York, and The Yoga Place in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
A top wholesales for about $25, pants for about $34 and cover-ups for around $50. Gaertner projects sales of up to $1 million, retail and wholesale, in her first 12 months.
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