St. Louis Triathlon Apparel Startup Triflare Lands Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team Contract

By Christopher Reilly
In Culture

If there’s one thing we know about the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio, Brazil, it’s that the synchronized swimming team will look fabulous. That’s because St. Louis startup Triflare has landed the contract to provide the team with their suits and matching podium dresses. Triflare, the only all-female team to win an Arch Grant in 2013, is headed by former Mrs. America and Mrs. Missouri Andrea Robertson. Robertson first conceived of Triflare as a competitive triathlete who felt that as a representative of the Mrs. America brand, she should look better while competing without sacrificing performance.

Robertson is a 2014 ALIVE magazine Buzz Lister featured in the current February issue of ALIVE.

Andrea Robertson, Founder and CEO of Triflare Courtesy of Triflare

Andrea Robertson, Founder and CEO of Triflare
Courtesy of Triflare

Triflare creative director and lead designer Kim Mclean says she takes a very systematic approach to Triflare designs, which emphasize bold designs, femininity and high-performance. Before Triflare, female suits were usually plain black and not dissimilar to men’s suits.

Photo courtesy of Triflare

Photo courtesy of Triflare

Triflare suits have attracted the attention of professionals and are now represented by top level triathletes including Alicia Kaye, winner of the Lifetime Pro Triathlon Series and the Lifetime Triple Crown Series, both while wearing Triflare. Kaye believes Triflare is “more than a brand,” and says “the company is changing the way females see themselves on race day and as athletes.”

Photo courtesy of Triflare

Photo courtesy of Triflare

Since winning an Arch Grant, Triflare has grown to feature over 50 designs. The company has also introduced Apres Sport dresses—race afterwear that matches the competitor’s triathlon suit (for accepting medals on the podium) as well as GoMomGo dresses so young girls can “dress like mom” when cheering their mothers on to victory.

Robertson was reached for comment as she and Mclean boarded a plane in San Francisco after meeting the athletes and delivering the first designs, as well as seeing the suits in action as the athletes practiced their routines in the water. Although the contract states Triflare may not divulge financial details of the deal, Robertson says, “We are excited about the monetary value it will bring to Triflare.”

The contract with U.S. Synchro runs now through 2017. So in addition to the 2016 Olympics, the team will wear Triflare competition suits at championship and national competitions beginning immediately. The pictured designs (above) will be worn at the German Open and French Open in March.

“We are excited for the increased exposure Triflare will gain from this,” Robertson said. “It is a world stage that will display the Triflare brand and designs. In addition, we get the opportunity to produce performance attire that is both feminine and strong. We will also be producing swimwear inspired by our synchro performance designs.”

Triflare apparel is carried locally by Big Shark Bicycle Company and internationally at D’Ornellas in Canada. You may also purchase Triflare triathlon suits and matching apparel at the Triflare website.

Follow Christopher Reilly on Twitter @ChristoReilly

Article updated at 12:50pm Feb. 14 to include comments from Andrea Robertson.

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