Oakley is taking a step toward a fashion and lifestyle collection. The company, widely known for technologically advanced accessories and high-performance clothing, will make its runway debut at New York Fashion Week today.

The Orange County, Calif.-based firm, which will celebrate 30 years in the action sports industry this May, plans for a look beyond wraparound sunglasses and zip-up fleece and into a full fashion-driven lifestyle collection.

“Since the fall 2002 line, we’ve made a major push for the women’s line to transition from sport into lifestyle,” said Oakley apparel program director Nancy Coons. “We feel we are really at a point where the women’s line is strong.”

Media relations manager Crishana Haynes explained the decision to show in New York as opposed to Southern California as a way to reach a wider audience and customer. “We are a global company and from a global perspective, New York is a better place.”

Still considering the significance of technology to the Oakley brand, the line incorporates technology and fashion to achieve what Coons explains as “technology wrapped in art.” Each look will feature Oakley apparel as well as watches, bags and eyewear. 

Other signs of an increased New York presence are the Oakley showroom located in New York’s SoHo where the men’s and women’s lines are housed. And to solidify its foray into fashion, Oakley will feature model Ana Beatriz Barros as the face of the line in the fall ad campaign.

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.