This weekend Maggie Vessey will be sporting three new race kits she created specially for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Here are two of the race kits worn on mannequins from a local Aptos Fleet Feet store in California. She plans on wearing them on day 1 (July 1) and day 2 (July 2) of the Trials held in Eugene, Ore., where she’ll be competing in the 800 meters.
Three years ago, the professional middle-distance runner had ended a four-year sponsorship with New Balance and begun designing her own line of fashionably flashy race kits with Los Angeles based designer Merlin Castell, which garnered plenty of media attention in 2014. Since then she’s continued creating new outfits and racing in them unsponsored.
However, recently, Vessey signed her first sponsorship deal since New Balance with CEP, a sports compression technology company, and ITEM m6, a fashion brand that also incorporates the latest in compression tech. (One of the outfits as seen in the above photo is styled with blue CEP calf compression sleeves, and—in true Maggie Vessey-style—a pair of Luis Vuitton sunglasses.)
“CEP and ITEM m6 provide the best performance and craftsmanship across the compression category and I truly believe in their products,” Vessey said in a press release. “I am thrilled to partner with these two brands who offer the perfect combination of performance and style.”
Other than gaining a sponsorship this year, Vessey also relocated from L.A. to her hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif., to train closer to her coach, Greg Brock, in preparation for the Trials. She says it was also due to the fact that she’s been unsponsored for the past few years.
Up until her new sponsorship with CEP and ITEM m6, Vessey says she had been receiving some help from family and friends. “The Santa Cruz Sentinel had done an article on me about my move back to Santa Cruz and push toward making the Olympic Team with the lack of funding,” Vessey said. “One of my neighbors saw that and he went door to door on my behalf without tell me about it. A group of neighbors then showed up at my house and surprised me with cash and checks to help me on my journey. I was so very grateful for that.”
Like every Olympic hopeful, Vessey will be giving it her all to make Team USA during the next four days. The 800-meter Finals is scheduled for the Fourth of July, and if she makes it, the fast fashionista hints that her final outfit will showcase a patriotic theme fitting for a day of victories.