According to Retail-Insider, the now Vancouver-based multi-discipline performance training and fitness brand RYU (Respect Your Universe) with origins in the mixed martial arts, has substantial growth plans. Its first flagship is scheduled to open this fall, and the company has plans for more free-standing locations as well as shop-in-stores.
Founded in Portland, Oregon, RYU is an athletic tech-style apparel brand engineered for the fitness, training and performance of the multi-discipline athlete. In 2011, the son of the founders of Vancouver-based luxury retailer Leone, Marcello Leone, saw potential in the brand and stepped in as an investor to save the struggling company. In 2014, Mr. Leone took leadership of RYU and spearheaded an overhaul which saw its headquarters moved from the United States to Canada, choosing his hometown of Vancouver to be its new corporate address.
As part of RYU’s initial revitalization, Mr. Leone spearheaded the financial restructuring of the company and recruited top fashion industry talent and developed an enhanced corporate culture with a new long-term vision.
RYU will launch the flagship and e-commerce site together in September. The 3,300 square foot flagship will be located at in Kitsilano. This will be the first of several locations for RYU, with three planned locations for 2016 in Toronto as well as in California. By 2017 the brand intends to open roughly six locations with longterm plans including 30 free-standing stores internationally by 2019.
Mr. Leone mentioned that there were a number of ‘surprises’ in store for the brand, including a new footwear line created by a well-known company. A new spokesperson will also be announced, with details on both to be released shortly.