TAKE A BOW: Fashion-forward activewear brand Carbon38 has made its West Coast, in-real-life debut.
The digital brand, which carries a mix of trendy activewear brands along with its own growing line of product, today holds a grand opening for its temporary shop on Robertson Boulevard. The 1,400-square-foot store soft opened over the past weekend and is a follow-up to the company’s first pop-up in the Hamptons over the summer, which cofounder Caroline Gogolak called a “positive experience” that let the company gauge the market and obtain customer feedback.
The space is stocked with a mix of lines as well as Carbon38-branded product, which the company launched late last year. The line has proven successful online, Gogolak said, and the store shows the fuller range with dresses culottes, bomber jackets and anoraks that go beyond simply leggings and sports bras.
“We’re seeing this shift of true activewear into what a lot of people refer to as active fashion,” Warner Johnson said. “In the three years we’ve been around, we’ve seen this new category of ready-to-wear.”
She’s referring to the prevalence of merchandising in stores with easy, grab-and-go pieces that are true hybrids between gym attire and items that can be worn throughout the day. That transition is what prompted the company to “push more of a section of active fashion beyond the hour at the gym,” Warner Johnson said.
A collaboration between Carbon38 and artist Curtis Kulig launches in-store and on the company’s online shop Dec. 8, with Kulig expected to paint a wall in the store with his well known “Love Me” message, which has appeared in a number of mediums.
Whether the company decides to make Robertson a permanent store after its four-month run remains to be seen and would be considered, said cofounder Katie Warner Johnson.
The fashion-forward activewear brand takes up space on a section of the southern portion of Robertson Boulevard aiming for a resurgence with new retail concepts coming in, such as Kitross, Therapy and Reservoir. Even more recent newcomers to the street include a pop-up shop open through January for the high-end loungewear brand Sleepy Jones and the first store for designer Nicole Sassaman. About a block up the street, IDD opened in October with a European boutique concept from Peri Arenas, who owns the store Veri Peri at the Parker Palm Springs hotel, set to open following tenant improvement work.
Carbon38 hopes to be a part of what store owners hope is a continued upward trajectory for the street.
“I’ve been here [in L.A.] for almost six years and when I first moved here, Robertson was the staple shopping place,” Warner Johnson said. “[People would] shop at Kitson and eat at The Ivy and it’s definitely kind of faded in its glory and I am personally a sucker for a good story. I owe so much to L.A. for where my life is and where Carbon38 is and I just felt what a perfect Carbon38 love story be opening on such an iconic street….I really think it’s coming back.”