Q. How much did your skating experience play into your decision to design sportswear?
A. The vision to be a fashion designer was inspired when I was a little girl, but my career as an Olympic athlete played a huge roll in my commitment to pursue my fashion goals.
I felt very disempowered as a female athlete wearing sportswear or carrying a gym bag with colors and styles that were not feminine or flattering. This, along with my relationships with Nike, Lululemon, Under Armor, Ralph Lauren, GK Elite Sportswear and various other athletic brands as an ambassador or on product research teams/campaigns helped me to use my education and MBA in Marketing to narrow my brand vision. These design teams were learning from me as an expert in my own field on what fabrics would be best or how their products should fit. Using this expertise and creating my own line has been empowering. For example, I spent over nine months on the fit of my sports bras. I started in sports bras because I knew that was going to be the most difficult and I knew I was going to have to have confidence in myself and my knowledge. Now, when I see women of all shapes and sizes in my bras that love the fit and performance, it makes me feel that it was worth it.
My Mom has been a driving force in my fashion goals ever since I was a young girl and has helped me on the technical design. As a young impressionable child, her talents intrigued me. She made a lot of my workout shorts, costumes, uniforms, dresses and always had me dressed to impress. I had the hottest workout shorts on the team! The hot pink leopard were my favorite. I would tag along with her to the fabric stores and help with the patterns. She taught me about the intricacies of fashion and inspired me to find designs uniquely my own, which has lead to bringing my goals to life. As a family we would visit NYC. I dreamed of having my own store on 5th Ave. I am a creative, visionary, achiever type person who dreams of many things.
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