Performance & Perspective — with Yehua Yang of Pivotte

The women behind Pivotte started their clothing company with a simple realization: Performance apparel that flies in the workplace doesn’t need to be exclusively for men.

Pivotte is here to do more than just bring gender equality to fashion. But co-founder Yehua Yang, who spoke on the 25th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, said that she and co-founder Evelyn Frison struggled to find outfits that complemented their active lifestyle. 

“I would love to run around in my yoga pants all day, but we’re professional women. Evelyn has always worked in advertising and marketing and I’ve always been in fashion and design.” Yang said. “We wanted this for ourselves and the options weren’t there.”

Built on the reality that women don’t have the same access to high-quality performance wear as men, Yang’s fashion line acknowledges that women might not have the time to maintain and pair these outfits every day. Simplicity and low-maintenance are common threads throughout clothes designed by Pivotte.

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Yang says it’s difficult to talk about the company’s mission without making everything about gender, but she has tried to take advantage of the obvious discrepancies in how clothes are designed for men and women.

“All our guy friends…buy their clothes and their willing to spend a lot of money on their clothes. But they talk about it in the same way they talk about their techy gear,” Yang said. “I think women want the same things, but they just don’t care about all the little details in the same way that guys do.” 

Pivotte operates at an upmarket price point. Most pants available on the website retail at $220, with cardigans at $180 and combo packs that include both items offered at a discount. Yang said the idea is that clothing from Pivotte will offer consumers the durability and style to replace several outfits that might cost even more to purchase and maintain.  

“I know that not everyone’s going to able to shell out $200 for a pair of pants, but the hope is that you make a pair of pants that people really want,” Yang said. “And they go 'Oh, this can replace 10 pairs of my Zara pants and then it is a better value.'”

That combination of simplicity and low-maintenance puts Pivotte at the forefront of a fashion movement that brings women the same kind of straightforward style previously reserved for men.  

“I’ve met a lot of women who work in the tech industry and in the entrepreneurial space and it’s actually a really easy sell because it’s not about what you wear,” Yang said. “You want to look professional, so that your clothes are the last thing people remember about you. You want to look good but it’s not something you want to spend an hour thinking about.”

This is the second edition of our Spotlight Series, which profiles emerging brands and companies in a slightly shorter interview.