Frustrated by a lack of options for men who do yoga, Louis d’Origny set up activewear brand Ohmme
The popularity of yoga has soared in recent years, but most brands that providing high-quality activewear for yoga fans focus on women. Louis d’Origny is seeking to change that with his activewear brand Ohmme. A keen yoga practitioner himself, d’Origny set up the brand to cater to men practising yoga and encourage more to take up the activity. Sustainability is key, and products feature recycled materials, bamboo and other ethically produced textiles.
Wholesale prices for the brand range from £10 for a top to £35 for trousers and the brand has 100 stockists worldwide including The Sports Edit. Drapers spoke to d’Origny about his mission to help men find balance.
What is your background?
I am half French and half American. I was raised in Paris, and moved to the UK when I was 15. I studied maths at Edinburgh University, which led me to a finance-driven career.
When and why did you decide to launch Ohmme?
Over the years, I developed a skill for exams but felt unfulfilled during my masters degree at the London School of Economics studying mathematical economics and econometrics. I decided to just cram for the exams from Costa Rica instead of London. For some reason, in the jungle, all I could think about was an eco-friendly activewear brand for men. The idea for Ohmme was developing. It took two more years to launch the brand.
How would you describe the ethos of the brand?
Yoga is our DNA. We promote the lifestyle and culture yoga evokes and signals. We are not just for dedicated yogis – we’re for anyone who aspires to that balance: mind/body, work/life, home/away. We want men to go beyond the gym and find the freedom of movement and balance as a way of life.
Why did you decide to focus on yoga?
I felt under-represented as a male yoga practitioner. Part of Ohmme’s core mission is to encourage more men to practice yoga. Yoga is a gateway to finding a new balance and new source of strength. From there, everything else that we do comes naturally.
Do you have a favourite piece in the collection?
I am a great fan of the Discovery Chinos. Through this item I wanted to bring all the benefits of yoga clothing to a lifestyle piece. Women have been able to wear leggings casually for a few years now – men do not have an equivalent. The Discovery Chinos were built to sweat, move or travel in while looking super stylish.
How do you stay motivated and inspired?
My team keep me inspired every day. Motivation comes from the belief that yoga has a positive affect of people’s lifestyles, so there is an important place for an eco-conscious activewear brand for men.
Have there been any unexpected challenges in running your own business?
Running your own business comes with an unbelievable amount of problems! I would say that the number one issue that no one talks about is the strain on mental health. Being able to admit that on some days you need to sit back and reflect and regroup is really important. Having yoga in my life has been an amazing way of refocusing the mind and getting me back in the zone.
How do you see the brand developing in the next few years?
We really want to drive our message that we want men to go beyond the gym and find the freedom of movement and balance as a way of life.
Is there anyone in the industry that particularly inspires you?
I am a big fan of Yvon Chouinard fan, the founder of Patagonia, and Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike. Both these titans have had a huge and positive influence on the life of billions of people.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid.
Favourite clothing brand
I am very inspired by Nudie Jeans. They take craftsmanship to a high level and have managed to make sustainable clothing that is still cool.
Favourite places to shop
I try and look to independent shops to find the newest most innovative brands.
Last fashion purchase
The Ohmme Voyager Trousers to go rock climbing with
Rock climbing in Cassis in the south of France – one of the most beautiful hidden gems of the Cote d’Azure
Last book you read
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Last film you watched
First job Clerk in an antique shop
Alpine mountain guide
What would we find you doing at the weekend?
Yoga, cooking, rock climbing, reading or, most likely, working.