Interview with OZONE’s Vice President of Design, Lea Brown — Presented by OZONE Leotards

Interview with OZONE’s Vice President of Design, Lea Brown — Presented by OZONE Leotards

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Over the next year, we’ll be celebrating innovation and excellence in gymnastics, presented by OZONE Leotards.

OZONE is now a global company! Their top-quality products are perfect for gymnasts at every level.

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This month, we chatted with OZONE’s Vice President of Design, Lea Brown.

Tell us a little about your background and your role at OZONE…

I have been with OZONE since the company started in 2011. I graduated from college with a graphic design degree and have always been involved in gymnastics. I started at the age of 3 and competed all the way through level 10 and into college. After college, I started coaching and loved designing the team leotards. So, when OZONE came to life, I was able to combine my love for gymnastics with my love for design. It was a dream come true! I currently am the VP of Design and also a sales advisor for our high-profile gyms. Helping gyms create their leotards for their teams, USA Championships, and the Olympic games is such an honor. I love helping people bring their vision to life for their athletes.

What are some of the sources of your design inspiration?

We have such an amazing group of designers on our team. We are all constantly pulling ideas from dresses, bathing suits, ice skating uniforms, clothing, even wallpaper! Anytime we see something we like we always send pictures to each other. We also have some pretty amazing customers that come to us with exactly what they want. We receive pictures of multiple ideas and combine them into one amazing concept sketch. It truly is so fun to watch it all come to together.

What are some of the trends that have been hot for this current season?

One current hot trend this year is bold color leotards with the same-colored rhinestones. Last year Pacific Reign did an all-blue leotard with blue stones, and it was incredible. That leotard is referenced frequently as in inspiration piece. Another thing that is on trend is designs using geometric lines versus swirls. Swirls were very popular in the past, but everything seems to be moving away from that and to straight lines. We always try to stay ahead of the curve and bring the next cutting-edge idea to the market instead of following what everyone else is doing.

The last few years, the design of the back of leotards has really evolved as well. Talk a little about that…

The back design is something that we really focus on . You can completely change up the look of the leotard with the same art and stones, but a different back. Last year we introduced a zipper back and people have had a huge interest in it. We weren’t sure how the market would take to it, but due to so many people inquiring about it we added a new pattern with it this year. Our goal every year is to introduce 4-5 new back patterns to give our customers a unique variety.

You have an exclusive crystal. How is it unique and different?

The OZONE rhinestone is known worldwide. OZONE has a premium exclusive stone that has an incredible amount of sparkle, and the best part about this stone is the price point which is equally as impressive. We are able to put twice as many – if not three times more – stones on our leotards for the same cost as other companies. If you haven’t seen this stone in person, check out our website at for a video showing our leotards in action!

When working with club owners, what’s the process like combining their ideas and inspiration into designs?

Honestly, this is one of my favorite parts of my job! Sometimes customers come to us without any ideas; they just want us to send them some proofs mocked up in their colors. At other times they know exactly what they want and will send over inspiration ideas. Either way we have an amazing team of sales advisors and designers that create exactly what the customer is looking for.

OZONE outfits the Brazilian National Team. What is that process like and how does the process flow when you work with international clients versus those in the United States?

Working with Brazil is such an honor and honestly so fun! They are such nice people and have a very distinct style. They are very active in the design process and will send a lot of sketches or images of inspiration to us. We will go back and forth on design for months before we nail down the perfect leotards for them to showcase. I can’t wait for the world to see their Olympic leotards in Paris. I believe they are the best collection Brazil has worn yet! Luckily, the design process for international and domestic really runs through the same steps. With technology being as advanced as it is today, we are able to call, text, and video chat to ensure we are always on track with their vision.

Domestically, you all have also outfitted a number of NCAA programs. How has that been and what’s that process like working with collegiate coaches?

Working with college coaches is much different than working with club gymnastics. Most of the time the colleges need multiple new leotards each season where a club only needs one. We typically design for them in sets of 3-4 custom leotards to make sure they are all different. We also will do a design call with them which is a live call where the customer can see the artist designing on their computer. They can see them add each pattern piece, change colors, and move rhinestones! That way if they want something changed, they can see it in real time. It is a really cool process to watch.

You’re part of a gymnastics family yourself – how does that affect your approach to design?

Yes! My 9 year old daughter is a competitive gymnast and she also loves to draw and design. She is always bringing me new ideas that she and her friends come up with. I think being around that age group as well as being in the gym and at meets is important so that you are always listening and seeing what kids are into. Trends and fashion change so quickly, and gymnastics tends to always have its own trend that is organic to its community. If you are not completely involved in the sport it is very hard to know which design direction to pivot towards next.

What are some of the design trends on the horizon for this next season?

Well, that is a secret we can not tell, but I can promise you won’t be disappointed!

For a club owner or coach interested in finding out more about OZONE, how do they get started?

Visit our website to see our amazing catalog that just dropped! Also, we have a “find my advisor” link at the bottom of the homepage that will guide you to your personal advisor in your territory. You will be able to call, text, or email them personally to get your designs started.

International customers can contact for more information!

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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