The two-year-old, yoga-inspired clothing company created by brother and sister team Rishi and Tapasya Bali just finished raising money in a deal that’s set the brand’s value at a staggering $74 million, a sum that makes them a force to be reckoned with in the fitness fashion world.
Rishi Bali says they sorted through “a line out the door” of investors looking to back the business. “We’re building a foundation for a very strong company. We’ve shown that we’re executing in a very systematic way,” he says. “They know this is just a stop to this company becoming a billion dollar or multi-billion dollar company.”
It all started with launching a small e-commerce line in 2013, then Yogasmoga expanded the collection and opened retail stores in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Brentwood in Los Angeles last year. Now, a Beverly Hills location is set to debut this summer, and Bali says 10 more stores are slated before the end of the year, in markets all over the country.
What’s fueled the company’s success in an increasingly crowded activewear market? Bali says it’s the commitment to quality fabrics and products, responsible production, and a yoga-based ethos that resonates with consumers.
It also kind of seems like they’ve mastered the art of learning from Lululemon’s mistakes. During Lulu’s see-through pants debacle, Yogasmoga launched a “Sheer Difference” campaign, emphasizing its ultra-thick fabrics. While consumers have accused Lulu of not stocking larger sizes and Chip Wilson insulted women’s bodies, Yogasmoga rolled out plus sizes and promoted its policy of only showing un-retouched models.
“We don’t think ‘we’re making yoga pants, we’re selling yoga pants.’ It’s so much bigger than that,” Bali says. But, of course, they are definitely going to be making and selling a lot of yoga pants. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.yogasmoga.com