I came across this Runner’s World article today featuring Maggie Vessey’s on-the-track fashion. She collaborated with designer Merlin Castell when New Balance did not renew her contract this spring. I definitely have mixed feelings of it. I like the general idea and incorporating fashion into a sport that typically has consistent looks, but the practicality of running in some of these designs does not seem comfortable to me. Then again, I’m not going to question it since Maggie is one speedy lady and it seems to work for her.
Maggie was inspired to put stripes on the back of this one piece when she realized spectators usually see a lot of the back side. Makes sense. I would actually wear this one (provided that I have a body like hers and can run that fast in another life).
This one looks like it is just going to ride right on up there. This is probably why she started testing out her race attire before the actual race day. Also, when I first see the top, I think of stiff formal dress attire. I have a hard time imagining these race outfits in the high tech fabric they actually are in. She set a PR wearing this in the 400 meter with a time of 52.82. Needless to say, she rocks the look.
She ran a 2:00.17 in this piece. It was designed knowing that it was going to be hot that day. I think it looks like it hits in all the right places.
This was her evening inspired look for a night time race. I’m not sure how I would like the bow flopping during running, but I must say she does look like she is about to go walk the red carpet. Nice added touch with the pink shoes.
Vessey designed this pattern herself because her love of Native American history. The blue piping makes the outfit really pop and stand out… along with the long sleeves which are rare for the track. I definitely dig the pattern, but am a little confused about the top of the bottom piece. I can imagine having rock hard abs helps keep everything in place.
Seeing singers wear one piece bodysuits on stage was the inspiration for this one. I think this might be my least favorite, only because it doesn’t look remotely athletic and does remind me of more stage wear.
I feel like I actually have no right making opinions on Maggie’s race attire since I have no idea what it is like to be that talented of a racer. Me and her are on completely different running planets. Universes. Galaxies.
So for running around New Hampshire and doing track workouts in town, these pieces are absolutely ridiculous. I mean I can’t even get myself to wear a running skirt. But for running national races and kicking ass on the track, these are perfect. I would love to even have my simple Nike running shirts in colorful patterns or the back of my tanks have bright ribbon patterns. I want like the “Maggie for Target” version of her runway look.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she collaborates with a big name brand to bring out a line of whimsical running clothes for us basic runners. Or if high end designers catch on and start making athletic apparel for track stars. There are so many possibilities. And maybe the sport of running needs things like this to draw people in. I mean, I would watch one her her races just to see these outfits in motion.
Source for all images and information about Maggie Vessey.