By Rita Kokshanian
Feb 04, 2015 @ 7:44 am
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It seems that everywhere you look these days, sports and fashion are colliding. From the countless designer sportswear collaborations to the rise of the athleisure movement, the two worlds are slowly fusing together. And although it has become commonplace to see someone rocking Nikes with their designer threads front row at NYFW, it's less common to see fashion taking center stage at actual sporting events—which is why Maggie Vessey is such a breath of fresh air.

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Vessey, a track and field runner who has competed in the world championships, is turning the track into her own personal runway, one eye-catching outfit at a time. In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we caught up with the runner to talk about how she's fusing style and sport.

Since 2013, Vessey has been working with designer Merlin Castell on custom running outfits that range from tribal print two-pieces to bow-adorned leotards. The 33-year-old decided to branch out from the typical track and field outfits after her contract with New Balance ended. "I really felt like I had the opportunity to do something different and to do something that really reflects my personality," she tells InStyle. "One of the things that I’ve always been interested in is bringing sport and fashion together. I see them as being very, very interrelated."

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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But her striking uniforms aren't just about looking good—it's also about self expression. These races are big moments in Vessey's life, and she likes to look her best when she's competing. "It makes me feel very empowered when I'm wearing these outfits," Vessey says. "There’s such a power in fashion that I just don’t see that so much in sports." She sites Serena Williams as her inspiration and one of the standout athletes bringing fashion to their respective field.

In the future Vessey, who is currently training for her next big races in Australia, hopes to start her own activewear line. "I really think that women should be able to have both [fashion and function], and that, you know, you can do your workout and then head out in your day and then be very comfortable and functional but also look very, very chic." We can't wait! See more of her running outfits below.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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