When you think of a Lululemon customer, it’s a woman, often on a yoga mat, typically with a ponytail. (Or is that just us?) But now, the company wants to strike a more masculine pose.
On Black Friday, the fitness apparel giant will open its very first men’s store, on Prince Street in Soho, and the debut is part of a bigger plan.
“Lululemon Men’s is a key part of the growth and evolution of our brand globally,” says SVP and head of men’s design Felix Del Toro. “You will be seeing how this growth and evolution is showing up in our increased product offerings and with tailored shopping experiences for both stand-alone men’s stores and hybrid men’s and women’s stores.”
In Soho, the 1,600-square-foot store will be directly across the street from the new women’s-only store, expected to open in late winter 2015 (the current Soho store on Broadway at Broome will relocate there). It will feature manly industrial design elements like metal and obscured glass, a digital sound and projection system, and a section called “The Joinery,” where men can have shorts custom-made. (Um, why nothing custom for the ladies?) “Soho offers a very specific shopping experience tailored to the male guest’s activities, needs, and preferences—from increased product to store design,” Del Toro explains.
In terms of the company rolling out more dudes-only locations, Del Toro says “we are excited to share more information about future stores when the time is right,” and in the meantime, Lulu is also doing more to give men’s apparel more pride of place in stores that offer clothes for both genders.
“Several of our new stores opening in Miami, Santa Monica, and Vancouver, which opened this summer, offer what we call a ‘hybrid’ experience, with dedicated men’s and women’s spaces identified through their own visual language, and some with separate entrances while remaining co-located within the same location.” Because who wants to share a door with a sweaty guy? —Lisa Elaine Held
Lululemon, 127 Prince St., at Wooster St., Soho, www.lululemon.com