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Mari Matsumoto Tibbetts '97

Mari ‘97 is currently a director of design at ASICS America. Mari worked for many athletic brands in the past and the timing of working at Athleisure couldn’t have come at a better time--right when the company was preparing for the summer Olympic games in Rio. Right away, Mari started working with world class athletes, including track star Candace Hill, hurdler Queen Harrison, and triathlete Gwen Jorgenson. Soon thereafter, Mari was charged with designing the bikini for three time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, an American icon in beach volleyball.

“Working side by side with high caliber athletes to me is such an inspiring and unique experience. It is something that I love and want to continue to do in the future.” Mari believes that the most important part of her job is to “create not only a functional high performance garment, but also having the ability to create something beautiful so that athletes feel great, comfortable, and proud of what they are wearing.”

Mari also believes that she is making an important contribution, when she stops to reflect for a moment. “Hearing athletes’ stories and their goals only inspire me to do a better job and become a better designer everyday.” She knows that at the end of the day, she is “simply an artist, and my canvas, or my tool is fabric. I try to express and create something that’s not only pretty, but also has high functionality to it. People always say ‘find something that you like so your work doesn’t feel like work’, and it’s true. My daily life consists of lots of traveling and many countless hours of work, but at the end of the day, seeing your work on a stage as grand as the Olympic Games, it just feels right.”

With a very busy daily life juggling work and two small children at home, Mari makes time to be reflective. “cheering for these athletes...words can’t express how precious and gratifying these moments are for me. I want to do more and bigger projects in the future, and I want to share this with my family, that continues to support me every day.”

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