Once upon a time it was considered a fashion faux pas to wear fitness clothing beyond the confines of the gym. But todays time-pressed and health conscious individuals, particularly of the millennial generation, think nothing of going to a post-workout brunch without changing. In fact, it’s become a modern way of life.
Lululemon experienced success by being one of the first to recognize there lacked high-tech workout clothing that people would actually want to wear as they go about their day. And naturally, it wasn’t long before brands like Nike and Adidas started creating lifestyle apparel of their own, and boom — the market was saturated. So what does Cory Vines, an activewear e-commerce startup have that these behemoths don’t? Quite a bit actually.
We spoke with founder Daniel Lieberman, who told us he started the Canada-based label after recognizing the number of Generation Y consumers interested in living a healthy and active lifestyle was big and growing, but existing brands weren’t meeting certain needs, beginning with price.
Whereas the starting cost for a women’s tank at Lululemon is $42, and $72 for cropped leggings, at Cory Vines they’re $25 and $45, respectively. Similar to Warby Parker and Everlane, the brand relays on an online-only business model which allows them to keep prices down by eliminating a slew of costs. That said, Lieberman places just as much importance on delivering a premium quality product as he does on offering an accessible price point.
“Things at this price point are usually not good quality, the material is stiff, so we want to provide something super-soft, super-comfortable and versatile at a fair price point,” he said.
Ensuring the items have a great fit and can be seamlessly transitioned from the fitness studio to the street is also key for the fourth-generation clothing entrepreneur who resides in Montreal, where many of the garments are manufactured.
As a member of Gen-Y himself, the 25-year-old was adamant about keeping Cory Vines logo-free—a feature he says helps distinguish the label from the competition. “People don’t want to be a billboard anymore. They don’t want to wear a Nike check across their chests, they want something that looks good, something that’s almost like an American Apparel for fitness,” said Lieberman.
Given that the company only launched in April, the product line is small, selling basic tees and long-sleeve tops for both men and women, and leggings and shorts for women only. However, while Lieberman hopes to add more items and colors in the future, part of Cory Vines’ ethos is to offer a pared-down shopping experience so as to avoid overwhelming the consumer.
Lieberman also plans on eventually partnering with gyms and fitness studio who are looking for retail solutions. The company is currently considering its options, but one thing Leiberman is certain of is that Cory Vines doesn’t want to “attack [retail] in a traditional way, we want to be very disruptive about it.”
Disruptive seems to be paying off for the startup, which can barely keep its leggings and tanks in stock.
Check out Cory Vines now, and let us know what you think of the affordable, stylish and versatile activewear label!