Imagine, if you will, a time before Instagram. Back when Internet fashion meant #menswear, two Brooklyn commuters shaped the future from whole cloth.

Founded by Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens, hardcore performance brand OUTLIER launched in 2008 with a garment that would front-run both techwear and athleisure. A "10 Year Retrospective" held on New York City’s Canal Street this weekend celebrated OUTLIER’s past and present.

Highsnobiety caught up with the brand’s founders for a walk through its first decade.

“Abe and I met, and the original idea was that we could use these products to bike commute into our jobs from Brooklyn to Manhattan without having to change,” explains Clemens.

OUTLIER’s first product, 2008’s “OG Pants,” combined both functionality and formality into a single casual staple. “Hidden performance” may seem common in today’s athleisure world, but at the time, OUTLIER was breaking new ground. Word of the pants – first sold through a PayPal button embedded on the company’s blog – spread quickly. Burmeister and Clemens used the proceeds from that successful launch to fund more R&D, and ten years later, the rest is history.

“We started diving deep into the fabric supply chain and found materials we fell in love with, but that big companies just weren’t using due to price concerns,” Clemens explained.

Arguably the most famous of these price-agnostic wildcards was the Wurst, a prototype short in Swiss stretch fabric. Burmeister and Clemens sold them in collaboration with a Brooklyn deli: shorts for $129, or two sausages and the Wurst for just $10 more. That prototype would become the 3-Ways, a maxi-practical summer piece that set forums alight circa 2012.

In the years since, OUTLIER has become one of fashion’s quiet giants. While the New York-based workshop sells just a handful of products exclusively through its webstore, its high-function garments (and headline-stealing Experiments) have inspired a cult following worthy of the buzziest street brands. Supreme can sell out $200 logo hoodies, but an OUTLIER prototype in PolarTec’s ultra-weatherproof NeoShell can command a multiple of that price and evaporate stock all the same.

It’s that following – alongside the clothes themselves – that makes OUTLIER unique. Fans of all stripes wandered through the Canal Street space. Some came in Mars Yards and BAPE camo; others, with bike courier backpacks. A father with two young kids strolled the exhibit, pairing his brunch blazer with an Alpha-insulated OUTLIER jacket. While most modern brands claim “high-low” versatility, OUTLIER can claim something as future-facing as their OG pants: universality.

“Where we ended up with OUTLIER is a place all too relevant for today’s world,” muses Clemens. “It’s clothing made for uncertain times.”

The "10 Year Retrospective" concludes with a feature of the brand’s current halo product. The Prodigy - a lightweight, cut-for-movement trucker - offers the athlete’s alternative to a Levi’s jacket. Next to it, a 5.5lb duck cloth jacket nicknamed “Fortress” features PrimaLoft’s “Infinity 120” insulation for the ultimate in highly-breathable, down-free weatherproofing.

As the exhibit’s final punctuation, the two make quite a discordant pair. But perhaps that’s the point.

Ten years ago – when OUTLIER catalyzed some of today’s biggest trends with the first proper “hidden tech” pants – Burmeister and Clemens found creative inspiration by putting the wearer first. As brands like Mission Workshop have expanded OUTLIER’s traditional “active urbanwear” space, it’s that same user-centric approach to clothing design that will keep Brooklyn’s OG innovators on the bleeding edge.

“We didn’t want to put a zipper on the front pockets since you’d really feel it on your arms at rest, so we added a magnet to the pockets of our ‘Shelter from the Storm.’” Clemens motions to the jacket. “We then patterned it in a way so that if rain did somehow get in, it’d just funnel right back out.”

Anyone can stitch matte black GORE-TEX into dime-a-dozen fit pic fodder. Empathetic design and a commitment to innovation: that’s what makes an outlier.

To see how OUTLIER is reinventing the track jacket and pants be sure to check out the brand's Ultra Ultra line. 

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Raf Simons' SS23 Sneakers Are for Fans Craving the Ozweego

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    NOAH's Final adidas Collaboration Isn't for Superstars

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Is Walter Van Beirendonck SS23 a 'Jojo' Reference?

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Hiker Bros Dream of Dior Summer '23

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Bodega’s NB Collab Keeps Things Simple

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Who's Buying Rudy Giuliani's $75 YEEZY Knock-Offs?

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.