Tory Burch Blends Fashion and Sport with Athleisure Flagship

Tory Burch Blends Fashion and Sport with Athleisure Flagship

Tory Burch Blends Fashion and Sport with Athleisure Flagship 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

While retail as a whole seems to be falling flat, the Athleisure category is still heating up. Morgan Stanley predicts that, by 2020, activewear will represent $83 billion in sales, “stealing market share from non-athletic apparel.” Consumers’ continued focus on health and wellness, advancements in apparel design, and the influence of a more relaxed office dress code, have major athletic brands, like Adidas, Under Armour, and Nike, all clamoring to get a piece of the pie. With consumers spending almost 3x more on activewear than on everyday apparel, it’s no surprise that major fashion focused brands are now creating functional collections to transition from working out to the workplace.

In 2015 preppy fashion brand Tory Burch, known for its bright colors and prints, branched out with the launch of an athleisure line Tory Sport. Making it the brand’s first standalone collection since its launch in 2004. The “Coming and Going” collection of tennis ensembles, swimwear, running gear, and tracksuits pays homage to a retro 60’s and 70’s vibe. As a longtime tennis player herself, designer Tory Burch took inspiration from The Royal Tenenbaums to create the athleisure line.

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In an effort to connect consumers with this new brand, Burch launched its first ever Tory Sport flagship in NYC’s Flatiron District. The quant 5,000 square foot space joins the company of Lululemon, Athleta, and Outdoor Voices all vying for the attention of patrons of the nearby Equinoix and Soul Cycle Studios in the landmarked “Ladies’ Mile Historic District.”

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While distinctly different in design, customers will feel the same colorful preppy feel from the original Burch brand. Bright blue awnings create an immediate pop of energy as customers enter the seventies inspired surf lodge. High gloss white stripes reflect the energy of the Tory Sport logo, while the geometric fixtures feel familiar to the brand. The bold elements throughout the space are softened with natural wood accents.

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Striped flooring meant to look like pool lap lanes and leather handrails reflecting the grip of a tennis racquet show subtle nods to sport thoughout the space. Vintage sports magazines and mod artwork decorate the shelves while black and white retro prints create a wall collage.

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In the back of the space, customers can lounge in classic Jean Royère chairs seated in front of a fireplace where pics from the brand’s lookbook are projected. Store associates are equipped with iPads to handle customer transactions and access purchasing information from their profiles.

As brands continue to look for new portfolio extensions, its critical to evaluate what role brick-and-mortar plays into the retail model. Apparel is a tactile product and even more so activewear, so creating a physical space that can expose consumers to the brand, educate about a point of differentiation, and build a community connection is essential to stay competitive.

Photo Credit: Tory Sport | Chute Gerdeman

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