Outdoor Voices is bringing a touch of the Lonestar State to the Big Apple.
The Austin, Tex.-based outdoor brand is opening a flagship in New York’s Flatiron District. The 1,400-square-foot store will be located at 19th Street and Fifth Avenue in the heart of what OV’s founder Ty Haney calls the “fitiron” district. Neighbors include Sweaty Betty, Bandier, Nike and Lululemon.
Haney said OV has had a store on Centre Street in lower Manhattan for three years, but “this is much more ambitious. We’re viewing this as our ‘Doing Things’ flagship.” The company’s motto is “Doing Things,” and speaks to the idea of “creating the next great activewear brand around recreation.” Instead of the testosterone-fueled vision of other labels, Outdoor Voices has built a business — and a rabid community — inviting everyone to be active and just have fun.
The Flatiron store is the 10th unit for the brand and will bring a taste of the desert to the city. “We’re based in Austin so we’re paying homage to that, but dropping it into the middle of New York City,” she said.
The store will be filled with various cactus species native to Texas that were ethically sourced by the Cactus Store. That includes yucca thompsoniana and opuntia aciculata. It will also sell grab-and-go snacks from Erewhon, an organic market from Los Angeles that sells only ethically and sustainably produced foods. “The only place you’ll be able to get their snacks will be in L.A. and at OV New York,” Haney said.
The store will also be a “resource for recreation.” Haney said its events will be frequent and numerous and will include dog jogs and walks, dance tours, endorphin hours and other fitness-related events. “It’ll be a place to be played in, and a key feature will be nature,” she said.
Although the brand was started in 2014 strictly as an online play, Haney said brick-and-mortar locations have become an important part of the equation. “We’re more fun in real life,” says the company’s store-locator page. There are currently retail units in big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Nashville, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Chicago. Next up is Houston.
“The stores have been really important to us,” Haney said. “It allows up to activate in real life, and locally. The events are what connect the customer to OV.” And the stores also draw new customers who may not be familiar with the brand.
At the Flatiron store, the company’s apparel for women and men will be offered and there will be a “discovery zone” in the rear where customers can do a deeper dive into the products. “It was built by our OV Design Studio,” Haney said, “and our brand reps will walk you through the styles and materials to make sure to get the customer into the right styles.”
The store will also offer some New York-specific products and a concierge-style experience for the first time. “There’s a lot packed into the space,” she said.
Haney, who grew up a competitive athlete, started Outdoor Voices as an alternative to the major performance-oriented activewear brands. She targeted women who wanted to be active but didn’t want to be pressured to compete. It has since expanded into men’s wear as well. Since its founding, the company has raised $56.5 million in financing and successfully partnered with other brands including Hoka One One, Madewell, Teva, Allbirds and Peloton.
Last week, Haney and her husband, Mark Wystrach, lead singer of the country band Midland, welcomed their first child, but not even that is going to slow her down. She said that looking ahead to 2020, “we have more stores coming and we’ll be expanding into additional markets similar to Austin.” And expect more events such as the dance tour that it hosted last year to introduce its exercise dress. “We’ll be doing another version of that in the spring,” Haney said.
The Flatiron store opens to the public on Nov. 29.