Given that everyone from Mod supermodels to cult-fave local labels are putting their stylish spin on activewear, it seems like there's hardly room left for fitness gear newcomers. Despite the crowded market, self-admitted rookie yogi Anna Yan managed to fill a hole in the sweat gear scene with her new made-to-order brand, OMGI Yoga.
Co-founded by Yan and partner Jasper Lynn, the LA-based label produces limited runs of yoga separates, starting with leggings ($120) inspired by street artist Colette Miller's Insta-friendly angel wings. As part of its quality over quantity ethos, OMGI (a mashup of "om" and "yogi") literally put its products through the wringer, testing its proprietary fabrics in the dryer, a sauna, and more tough environments.
That's not all: the brand went so far as comparing its fit against its big-name competitors (from Adidas and Athleta to Lululemon to Lorna Jane, to name a few). In addition, the brand is set to launch its five-piece collection of $99 basics in a few weeks.
Below, Yan explains why the brand chose to produce only 50 of each item, how long it took to size itself up to its competition, the many ways OMGI tested its merch, and more.
What sets OMGI apart from other activewear brands?
Unlike your big box Lululemon brands or even smaller, boutique brands, OMGI Yoga is made-to-order and personal. This translates to an un-generic experience that expresses who we are as a brand. From the time you get your pants to the moment where you see our gorgeous custom-designed box where inside lays a handwritten greeting card and right below it, those beautiful yoga pants—it's an incredibly personal experience.
We collaborated with yogis, climbers, and dancers, in order to produce products that can withstand every routine. Yogawear isn't athleticwear, it's intimate in the way it hugs your curves and body, and it's why we believe in "truly personal yoga wear" that listens to feedback and is created through a collaborative process.
Your fit comparison chart is pretty impressive. Can you describe that process and how long did it take?
As a new brand, it was really important for us to be able to educate and show customers how our pants staked up to pants that our future customers might already have in their closets. This process of creating the chart took well over half a year, countless fittings with various body types, and purchasing a closet full of comparable products. You can even send us an email with what you currently wear and we'll help you size.
We're all heard the horror stories of how you'll see one thing online and when you receive it, it looks nothing like what you purchased. We're going for the opposite of that—which is an honest representation of what our products look like and stack up against the competition.
What inspired you to pursue your particular business model of limiting production?
Having limited production meant that we didn't have to make any sacrifices in quality, or design. There are too many yogawear companies out there that produce [clothing] for the sake of making yogawear, or worse, for dividends or profit margins that compromise something—skimping on fabric, using cheaper stitching, or getting generic designs.
It's why we sourced master seamstresses to put our pants together, not just a clothing mill or a mass production print, cut, and sew factory that the rest of the industry uses. We don't take generic designs from Adobe Stock; we work with artists to engineer their designs to fit to each and every size we sell, so that the pants look exactly as the artist intended.
[We offer] level of craftsmanship that just takes time, and we back up our work with service that is always there. We're never going to give that up.
What were some of the most unique ways that OMGI was tested?
We torture-tested several hundred fabric types to figure out which one would work for us. After we found fabrics that we liked, we went to work figure things out like print clarity and color vibrance. I remember for a while, our dryer was running 24/7 to figure out which one wouldn't pill or fade. We sent our prototypes into the ocean during snorkeling, hanging a clipped weight to the end to see how elasticity held up.
I think my favorite was when we threw a pair into a sauna for a day to see if the polyester base would warp or if the color would distort. You name it—we tried it. It's really important for us to make sure we had a product that was not just beautiful for the sake of being beautiful for Instagram, but a practical product that you can wear time and time again (and still look new).