There’s a rumor on the street that popular boxing-barre studio, Aerospace, is down for the count. But it’s emphatically open for business.
That is, until it’s not.
In October 2012, boxer-ballerina duo, Michael Olajide, Jr. and Leila Fazel, are shuttering their renowned equipment-free gym.
While fans will miss the cool Meatpacking District space, it’s probably not the last you’ll hear of its founders.
“We’ve had eight spectacular years,” Olajide said by phone earlier this week. With his business partner Fazel, Olajide turned Aerobox into an entire line of Aero-branded classes, like Aerosculpt, Aeroimpact, and Aerobarre.
The studio and its workouts became a go-to spot for lots of New York celebs over the last few years—from Victoria’s Secret models to actors like Hugh Jackman, Eva Mendes, and Liv Tyler.
Which is exactly why they’ve decided to close, says Olajide. While the success has been “amazing,” say Olajide and Fazel, it’s taking up too much of their time.
Their classes are routinely packed because clients come to the studio for one reason: specifically to train with them. So they haven’t groomed a roster of teachers in the Aero method to shoulder some of the burden.
“Teaching classes and sessions, from open to close, doesn’t allow us to really expand,” says Olajide. “We haven’t been able to spread our word and method at the pace we’d like.”
It’s a risky approach: Give up a New York flagship in order to grow a business? But Olajide and Fazel have a plan—a stronger internet presence, a television presence, licensing workshops, and new product lines—all of which the founders are reluctant to provide concrete details on.
“The Aerospace concept is going to be strong,” says Olajide. “It’ll be even stronger once we can pay more attention to developing it.” And once they’re not paying New York rent, for sure.
In the meantime, he encouraged New Yorkers to come “get a taste” of Aerospace before they go. Sounds like Olajide’s not quite ready to give up the long hours just yet. —Lisa Elaine Held
Any guesses on what Michael and Leila will do next? Tell us in the Comments, below!