NEW YORK — Reebok opened its first Reebok Fitness Hub in the U.S. last week at 420 Fifth Avenue here with lots of fanfare.
A block-long line of people stood outside the 2,500-square-foot concept store, which sits atop a 10,000-square-foot Reebok CrossFit Box gym. A party atmosphere with a DJ enveloped the store as well as the Box downstairs where Reebok staff — who also are cross fitness experts — prepared for a series of workouts with pull-up rings, floor-to-ceiling ropes and body weight exercises.
Motivational speakers included Chris Spealler of CrossFit Park City, the only CrossFit athlete to have competed in all of the CrossFit Games, most recently ranking third in the worldwide competition; Rich Froning (Fittest Man on Earth after winning the CrossFit Games in 2011 and 2012) and Annie Thorisdottir (Fittest Woman on Earth after winning the CrossFit Games in 2011 and 2012).
The idea of Reebok’s retail-fitness format is to motivate consumers not only to buy Reebok merchandise but to also have a “full Reebok fitness experience that is intended to inspire people to move, train, get fit and have fun doing it,” said Reebok’s chief executive officer Uli Becker. “We see this not as a transactional store but as an experience with the Box.”
Becker said Reebok is poised for retail growth.
“Apple was really in a dirt hole and it took them 10 years to get where they are today. They’ve done it because they have a purpose to the brand....We believe we’ve found our mission in the sporting goods industry. We believe fitness is the sport of the future,” said Becker.
Reebok introduced its Fitness Hub concept at the end of 2011 in Russia and Korea and opened a third location in Dubai earlier this month.
Regarding expansion of Reebok Fitness Hubs in the future, Becker said, “Obviously, we will monitor this over the next couple of months, and we obviously have projects in the pipeline. I believe this concept will play a much bigger role in the future.”
Becker pointed out that experienced cross-fitness-trained staff at the store and gym will be important to the success of the new initiative.
“We have our own wear-testers at Reebok headquarters, but consumers can come to our cross-fit experts at the store for guidance on activity level and advise on fitness and training products,” said Becker, noting that the merchandise mix is skewed to “more fashion for New York City” with a balance of 55 percent women’s products and 45 percent men’s.
The retail range of fitness apparel for men and women averages $25 to $150, while athletic footwear is $80 to $130.
Meanwhile, the look of the store can be described as a raw, creative space with a whiteboard promoting upcoming events and a “Fit” desk that anchors the center of the store where cross-fit enthusiasts can learn about Reebok’s newest product technology, or discuss their favorite achievements and training techniques.
The store’s designers are Peter Quagge and Charles Gates of Reebok’s global environmental design division and Mick Glenn, environment design director of Ziba, a design firm in Portland, Ore.
Reebok’s partners and owners of the Reebok CrossFit Box gym are Nathan Forster and Michael Alfaro. The Box features a state-of-the-art 130-foot pull-up rig, with a complete offering of CrossFit equipment to cater to a growing member base. Box amenities also include a full locker room and a “recovery center” with a hyperbaric chamber. The sign-up registration fee is $250. Annual or monthly membership fees vary.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast