Featured Interview with Title Nine
drirelease staff | October 31, 2017
Welcome back to the drirelease blog! This interview features Patti Olson, Sourcing and Product Development manager for Title Nine Sports. Patti’s passion for this brand and her integral position in its development meant she was the perfect person to answer the questions that we knew you would want answers to!
drirelease: How would you describe your brand?
Title Nine: Title Nine is focused on providing high quality, performance apparel for the myriad of activities women enjoy every day. We bring benefits such as wicking, odor control, quick dry, machine wash/machine dry, stretch and recovery, and abrasion resistance, to our Title Nine branded apparel. Our customer could decide to wear our clothes for her active adventures like a cross country run or a workout in the gym, or the adventure of chasing her kids around the playground, as well as to look good for a casual work environment. We have a saying – “Not that you would, but you could.” – meaning that all our styles need to let the woman move all she wants. We’ve seen our customers wearing our dresses and skorts on the race course. Customers today want more from their clothes. They don’t want to have clothes that are specific to one function. It’s all about multi-function garments.
drirelease: How would you describe your customer?
Title Nine: The Title Nine customer is an active woman, about 35-55 years of age, with a love of the outdoors. She is not interested in fashion, but is interested in beautiful, high quality clothing that she can wear and look great in for many seasons. She loves color and print, and she is tough on her clothes – requiring washability, low pilling and great color fastness. She isn’t super technical about her fabrics, but she loves the extra benefits of our fabrics, such as quick dry, stretch and wicking.
drirelease: What benefits can the T9 customer expect from our drirelease styles?
Title Nine: Quality blends, soft hand feel, wicking and odor control. Those qualities distinguish Title Nine from other lifestyle brands. Women know what qualities/benefits they want in a shirt but don’t know much technicality of fabrics. So, while they might not be looking specifically for drirelease, they are looking for qualities that only drirelease can offer and we bring that to her in our products.
drirelease: What are some of your most popular drirelease styles?
Title Nine: The Vibe tank is our most popular drirelease style. I was looking to improve upon a 100% cotton tank that didn’t offer the performance benefits we wanted as the cotton absorbs too much water. Our brand was evolving and this style needed to be phased out of the assortment even though it was a bestseller. The drirelease blend we developed gave our customer what she wanted: the same every day tank top that she could get in a whole bunch of colors that she already loved, but it was now going to perform better than the old one, with wicking and quick-dry and it would still have the natural hand-feel to it. This change happened in 2014 and the Vibe tank continues to be a customer favorite and is now a staple in the line.
drirelease: What drirelease products can the T9 customer expect in the future?
Title Nine: We have expanded into a new fabric we call “Breeze” for Spring 2018. I was looking to update a legacy fabric that didn’t evolve with our brand initiatives. The old fabric was a rayon, poly, spandex mix that didn’t fit our performance requirements. As well, I thought the print quality and drape could be improved. We developed the new fabric with a poly/Tencel/spandex mix. It prints and dyes very nicely, which I’m hoping will look vibrant on the website. It now offers many performance benefits that the old fabric didn’t. The cost was considerably more, and I’m trusting our customer will see the added value and benefits. She loves the high-quality clothing Title Nine delivers!
drirelease: What has the T9 customer response been to drirelease?
Title Nine: Our customer loves that the Vibe tank is great for both an active run as well as an everyday top to wear with our popular skorts. We offer the style in many colors and have expanded the offering to include a short sleeve striped tee for Spring 2018.
drirelease: How does the drirelease partnership impact the success of your product line?
Title Nine: We use the hang tags provided to distinguish the styles and provide more details to the benefits. We have the new fabrics tested by drirelease to be sure we are getting what we asked for.
Title Nine is named for the landmark Title IX federal civil rights law that requires gender equality in all aspects of publicly-funded education. Since its 1989 beginning, Title Nine Sports has remained committed to the idea that they can be a petri dish for experimenting with ideas around women and work. The motto behind every new product is “Not that she would, but she could….” This attitude of endless possibility has led Title Nine to remain the largest independently owned and operated retailer in the women’s fitness and adventure space.BACK TO BLOG