Oro Sports co-founder, Luanne DiBernardo, started her cooling journey in 2008 with her brother Van DiBernardo, a former DKNY designer.
Van left New York in 2000 to return home to Buffalo in 2000 due to the side effects of Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic condition that put a halt to his career and lifestyle. Luanne returned to Buffalo in 2000 after closing a 15-year chapter in Sarasota, Florida, where she worked in advertising.
After a few summers of watching her brother become debilitated whenever he became overheated, Luanne urged Van to purchase an industrial cooling vest to better manage his side effects. The vest made a noticeable difference, but it also presented challenges: the vest was heavy, it became wet, and it was unattractive by anyone's standards.
Noticing Van's frustration, Luanne challenged him to design a "lifestyle" cooling vest; one he could wear anywhere without embarassment or discomfort. She could not have known that Van's design would become the launch of a new career. Pioneering the "lifestyle cooling vest" niche was something neither had planned. In 2010, their company was launched as Coolture, and their aim was on the 133 million Americans challenged by one or more chronic conditions.
With Van on full disability, Luanne was sole operator of Coolture until its close in December 2019, ten years later.
In January of 2020, Luanne joined forces with Tom Burns, CEO of QSG Technologies, the Buffalo cut-and-sew facility where every Coolture cooling vest was stitched. Like Luanne, Tom believes that personal cooling solutions are fast-becoming a need versus an option. A lot has changed since 2010, with increasing heat waves topping the list.
The dynamics of this working partnership puts design, manufacturing, and customer service under one roof. This advantage finds Oro Sports ahead of the curve in product develpment, quality control, and private label opportunities.
Van may not be involved in the day-to-day of Oro Sports, but he remains the inspiration and talent behind every Oro design.