Emily Oberg moved from her native Vancouver, Canada to NYC in 2014 to work as an editorial producer at Complex, while also gigging as a DJ and model. The 21-year-old transplant quickly became famous among hype beasts and sneaker heads for her distinctly minimalist look, love of classic kicks, and Instagram feed full of artfully curated selfies. Before long, Oberg had turned her internet notoriety and low-key style into a full-fledged brand, coining the term Sporty & Rich. "Sporty & Rich started as a way of describing my aesthetic," says Oberg. "I started tagging it on social media. People started responding really well, and would always write back to me and make up their own iterations." This past winter, Oberg launched the first physical manifestation of her brand, a limited-edition run of sweatshirts and crewnecks embroidered with her sleek logo. For a line that essentially ceased production after an initial offering of just 30 units, it's easy to see that what Oberg is truly selling is a lifestyle—in other words, way more than cozy clothes. We asked Oberg to share with us the crucial tenets of the Sporty & Rich life.
Invest in your wellness
I'd say sobriety and wellness are definitely a part of being Sporty & Rich. You literally are what you eat. So what you put into your body and how you treat it is everything. I go to the gym at 7AM, five days a week. I hate all the machines, but right now, I love jumping rope. It really makes me sweat. The Stairmaster is okay, but I just get so bored. SoulCycle's fun too.
Be rich, but not literally
When people hear the term "rich," it can be kind of off-putting. To some, the term has a negative connotation, but when I say "rich," I don't mean money. I mean rich in quality—I'm really into well-made things. And rich in your life, in happiness and health. Everyone thinks of it differently. I've made sure to explain to my social media followers what it means to me, and I haven't really gotten a lot of hate, which is nice.
Keep your vibes posi at all times
I definitely have this saying that I live by, which is that being nice is cool. I feel like you get ahead by being nice. Some people say you have to be cutthroat and ruthless. I think a lot of New Yorkers are, but I believe people will always remember how you treat them. Living in NYC actually makes me more positive. Just seeing everyone else be negative makes me want to be the opposite. Like I know, people are always so miserable on Mondays, but I love them. Every Sunday night, I get super excited for Monday. There's this quote that says, "Monday's don't suck; it's your job you hate."
Bulk up on cozy wardrobe basics
Sporty & Rich style is all about comfort, solid wardrobe staples, and simplicity. For jeans, a light-colored pair of baggy vintage Levi 501s is definitely a staple. And also a rotation of good white t-shirts—I found the best-fitting one in Modell's youth department. I only wear sneakers, nothing else. When I want to dress up, I'll wear a nice pair of trousers and an all-white sneaker with like a dress shirt or turtleneck. Suits and sneakers are a good, grown-up look. But remember, Sporty & Rich is 100% not Normcore. I absolutely hate that term: people use it to describe a certain style that's been around for forever that they just caught onto.
And cop Sporty & Rich merch, if you can
For Sporty & Rich, I chose to make sweatshirts, because it just seemed like the easiest thing to do. A lot of my followers are male, so I wanted to appeal to them with something that was unisex. A few of my friends do merch, and I was inspired by that. I feel like my favorite brands are so successful because they keep it exclusive and limited. I stopped selling the Sporty & Rich sweatshirts after 30 pieces. I didn't do it for profit. I accomplished what I wanted. The brand is still going, but there will be no restock.
Lead Image: Emily Oberg/Martina Kiridzija