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The OMORPHO Origin Story

December 2022
Stefan OlanderFounder and CEO
Stefan Olander at OMORPHO Headquarters

I’ve always thought the best ideas come when you experience something firsthand, and spot something that’s missing, or could be done better. I’ve had a few of those moments throughout my life, but the most powerful one was the genesis to what eventually became OMORPHO.

A few years ago, my friend BJ brought a weighted vest for us to do The Murph. We had done the workout unweighted a few times, but this time he said, “let’s do it properly.” As I strapped on the vest, I felt something. It was like a transformation. I felt powerful and confident, but throughout the workout, it struck me how clunky and uncomfortable this vest felt. Despite that, I couldn’t let go of that initial empowering feeling, and kept thinking - why has no one designed a comfortable, stylish weight vest for both men and women?

After that first “aha” moment I did some digging into the effects of wearing weight when working out. I realized that lighter isn’t always better. I’d spent over 20 years at Nike and the first thing you’re told is that every ounce that can be taken out of a shoe or piece of apparel makes it better. Less weight for the athlete means running faster, jumping higher, etc., but that only applies when you’re competing. Most people spend more than 95% of the time training, and the only way to get stronger is to add resistance, so why not create a collection with the resistance built in?

From Idea to Execution

An idea is worth its weight in gold, as they say, so in 2018 I started thinking about how to make this a reality. I pitched the idea to my friend and creative powerhouse Ben Williams, and together we drafted the first OMORPHO business outline. We needed to get a prototype design ASAP, so I reached out to designer extraordinaire, Natalie Candrian, who brought along Irena Ilcheva, our eminent developer. After a few wild ideation sessions we landed on a design concept and with the help of Mike Prstojevich we created our first prototype, which set the course on a journey that led to the creation of a completely new category of weighted fitness gear.

As we continued work on the initial weighted vest, now called the G-Vest , I met Dr. Erin Feser, Ph.D., a biomechanist who spent nearly a decade studying the effects of working out with wearable weights. She shared her findings on the impact of adding small amounts of weight across key muscle groups when training, and how it provides significant improvement in performance. Her insights further validated OMORPHO’s unique value proposition and made us even more bullish on this huge opportunity. 

It’s no longer just a weighted vest — but an entire category, powered by what we call MicroLoad, and Gravity Sportswear, is now a complete collection of athletic gear that boosts any workout simply by changing what you wear. 

Our team has grown to a wonderful group of incredibly talented people, who bring passion, dedication and creativity every day. And we’re having fun doing it.

The Name

I’m often asked, “Why did you name the brand OMORPHO?” The name OMORPHO holds a special place in my heart. It means “beautiful” in Greek (I am half-Greek), and our vision is to design beautiful solutions for all athletes and fitness enthusiasts. We’ve applied our vast knowledge, gathered from working with elite athletes, to ensure that fit and function complement our bold designs. The end result is a micro-weighted collection of apparel and vests that move in complete harmony with athletes’ bodies while providing unparalleled performance benefits.

So why now?

While the global sportswear market is massive, there has been little, if any, meaningful functional innovation in the space for a very long time. We believe our micro-weighted Gravity Sportswear and G-Vest collections are the biggest innovations since compression clothing and accessories were introduced nearly 25 years ago. Our products help athletes of all skill levels yield measurable performance benefits simply by changing what they wear when training, without having to alter their workouts.

Additionally, we’ve partnered with some of the world’s best athletes, including Ajla Tomljanović, Julio Jones, Alexander Mattison, Annie Kunz and Matthias Dandois; trainers like Claire Thomas, Julie ‘Jaws’ Nelson, Mandy DiMarzo and Eb Samuel; and fitness enthusiasts like actress Cynthia Erivo and choreographers Brian and Scott Nicholson. They help us highlight OMORPHO’s diverse training applications and fashionable approach to sportswear.

What’s Next?

We recently launched the OMORPHO fitness app, which provides workouts you can do anywhere with our products. This idea of Training Anywhere is important to us, and the way we’ve simplified our collections and combined them with accessible programming, makes it easier to pursue fitness more conveniently and effectively. Thanks to the subtle NFC tags in our products, you can tap your iPhone on the G-Vest to fire up a 20-minute gravity workout.

We will continue to simplify the pursuit of a fit life for everyone, from weekend warriors, to fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes. We believe that having a fit lifestyle shouldn’t require excess time or undue stress on peoples’ already busy schedules. With the incorporation of MicroLoad, OMORPHO amplifies the effect of any activity by providing just the right amount of resistance, so you can get more out of every move and feel fitter, faster and stronger.

Join us on our journey by signing up for our weekly email newsletter and explore our latest collections on and follow @omorpho on Instagram.

Science tells us is that by distributing weight across your body, you increase the effectiveness of your resistance training (and therefore your results). This research led us to build OMORPHO into what it is today, and we’re just getting started.

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