Ever since I can remember I took charge of dressing myself. I was super stubborn about wearing what I wanted and spending time caring about clothes as an art form. What I wore was so real to me about how I present myself in the world. I was always playing around in the basement finding unique clothes from the 70s when my parents were in high school. My Mom, an original artist made a lot of her own dresses and pants with hippy flower power flare, and my Dad had a variety of treasures like sailor hats from his navy days and random silk jackets his Dad picked up in Japan when he was in the army. My older brother had a wide selection of oversized shirts with animals and nature screen printed on the front, and with his sports uniforms when he was a kid, I had my wardrobe complete.
Now, I got made fun of quite a bit for my treasured mix and match looks, but that’s a sign of success in my book! I was happy and was more interested in wearing something interesting than fitting into whatever the cool kids are begging their parents for at the mall that season. With my style, I never needed much new, and had loads of variety to keep my style fresh. You could call it global-hippy-big brother-chic.
Fast forward to 2012 and I’m doing all this yoga stuff. Strala (our first location) is up and running and doing well. The NY Times did this big cover story on me that scared the crap of me before it came out, and things were moving along pretty great. I found myself in a meeting with all the cool people of Reebok, and there was opportunity on the table. There wasn’t a lot of yoga ranges, pretty much lulu was it. Personally, I had evolved my teenage style into a grow up version of the same, and found myself not shopping at all the traditional retailers for all the necessary things. For yoga, I would wear a mens t shirt with old dance leggings or sweats, and a cute strappy bra from somewhere not so sporty. Turns out I wasn’t along in a growing world of yoga do-ers who wanted some fun patterns, colors and prints and silhouettes that put comfort and performance in priority, over sucking the body in.
There are two questions I ask myself before I begin any new project.
1. Is this useful?
2. Is this fun?
I knew the answers were yes right away so I signed up to play with fabrics and be a part of an interesting and challenging process of making clothes for people to connect to themselves through yoga in. I was about to learn a LOT! My biggest lessons so far is people like to have more fun than they are often given credit for and pushing the limits with patterns and color works best when there is a fascinating story on why. Also, a push to do better, no matter how uncomfortable for a team is necessary for growth and for the planet. I’m proud to report Reebok is using more processes that are eco friendly, less water to dye fabrics, and using a lot of organic products. Factories are sweat-shop free and priorities are always on improvement. Although I don’t sit at the company day in and day out, it’s nice to have shared values before partying too much with the sweat pants.
Together with the design team, borrowed and cobbled together from other divisions at Reebok, since yoga was just now born, we were let loose to make cool things. Our first oversized tank said, “who made the rules” a rad statement we can all be pretty psyched about. Leggings were soft, cozy and we had sweats as soft as babies in candy colors. People loved the gear and we ran out of everything, always. Reebok Yoga became, “Hey did you get the rainbow pants inspired by Tara’s grandma?” I’m too late and they’re all out!” Each season was a new opportunity to push the limits even more and all the crazy ideas kept working. Cloud pants, mountain leggings, pineapples on everything and of course all of the stripes in every color. Dreams come true.
Here are about a million videos of some of the adventures so far. Go for the binge watch. It’s like seeing the world, meeting lots of happy people, practicing yoga, and immersing yourself in color and pattern therapy.
What are your favorite outfits so far? I’ll always be partial to the rainbow pants, mountain everything, and am loving the new Upendo street art theme mini shorts. If you’re daring like me, it all always goes together.