Outdoor Voices, the athleisure brand responsible for introducing us to matte color-blocked leggings and the ultra-chill Doing Things hashtag, had a tough last week. Tyler Haney, the brand’s energetic 31-year-old founder, who served as the public face for the athleisure company, announced she was leaving Outdoor Voices after being forced out as CEO. This came amid reports that the brand was struggling to raise money even as it burned through cash. Just a few days later—as if to remind people of the struggling brand’s outsized cultural relevance—Outdoor Voices dropped the STV.OV line, created in collaboration with singer-songwriter St. Vincent.
The collab, which ranges from a pair of slim-fitted, high-rise sweats ($85) to an ankle-length (and water-repellent) trench with a slouchy, Say Anything appeal ($195), delivers a set of high-quality basics that can go from gym to plane to (presumably) the recording studio with ease. (The company calls the collection a “modular” system of dressing.) Other standouts include a reversible bralette ($55) that goes from low- to high-cut, depending on how it’s worn, and an oversized hoodie ($95) that nevertheless feels structured.awkwardly timed launch serves as a reminder of how Outdoor Voices built such a strong brand in just eight years: through smart collaborations with influential companies and people. The OV x roster includes A.P.C., Man Repeller, Allbirds, Madewell, Teva, Merrell, and more. It’s a brand-building playbook employed by a lot of digitally native brands these days. But as Outdoor Voices’ recent struggles illustrate, though these partnerships may result in great products, they don’t always mean there’s a solid business model behind them.
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