Fierce + Regal founder Margi Gad has refined her approach to “ath-luxury” with the added muscle of New Balance veteran Kassia Davis.
Together they have amped up the line with a greater range of high-end, performance-oriented ath-leisure that can be worn all day and then subsequently to the gym, or vice versa. To that point, for a recent interview, Gad arrived street-smart in a gold tank top from the line with jeans, snakeskin heels and gold accessories, while Davis wore black leather-looking leggings from the label with a silk tunic, Gucci mules and a diamond necklace. Connected through a mutual acquaintance in Boston, the pair share a dedication to quality, women’s empowerment and making Fierce + Regal a uniform of sorts. With Gad focused on the creative side and Davis centered on the corporate side, they plan to expand the direct-to-consumer brand with wholesale and other initiatives.
Davis literally grew up in the New Balance business — her parents Anne and Jim Davis started the Boston-based company, and continue to serve as vice chairman and chairman respectively of what is now a $4 billion operation. The younger Davis worked at the company for nearly 10 years, starting in apparel development where she worked on collaborations including one with Heidi Klum and a partnership with J. Crew. She later became strategic account manager with Nordstrom, before taking on the role of director of global merchandising for flagships and e-commerce. Before linking with Gad, Davis considered other labels to invest in. Davis said of Fierce + Regal, “I truly believe in the notion of two women helping other women. We live our day-to-day with the Fierce + Regal outlook and we want to empower others to have the same approach every day.”
The label’s use of a seldom-seen, high-quality, fashion-forward fabric was another incentive to invest in Fierce + Regal, although Davis declined to specify the amount of the investment. Despite a 20-year age difference, they recognized lifestyle similarities that they are banking other women will appreciate, too. “Women today have so much to think about all the time. It’s really easy to throw on something [from the brand] that you know will make you look great and that will take you wherever you need to go,” Gad said.
They also have a shared sensibility about the brand’s direction, which is often not a sure thing in the venture capital world. “It’s really easy to raise money. It’s not so easy to find a good partner,” Gad said.
Davis continued, “You have the resources to be able to connect to venture capitalists and all these people who could invest. But you never know how they’re going to help the brand or what direction they want to take the brand in. You’re taking a huge risk by basically putting your brand in someone else’s hands, who is not as emotionally invested as you are.”
Fierce + Regal aims to line up select key retailers and is eyeing New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas, and the possibility of Chicago or Miami as key markets. With leggings averaging $98 and sheer tanks starting at $58, prices have been sharpened a bit to be competitive with brands like Alo Yoga, Koral and Terez. Using Italian-made fabrics, the collection is manufactured and assembled in New York and Boston, with each item designed to be worn, washed and dried without shrinking, according to Gad. Ombre pants in hot pink and orange, stretch denim, prints such as zebra, leopard and floral, and metallic ultralight jackets are among the more defining styles.
A recent run in a Boston pop-up called “The Current” far exceeded their expectations and the pair is now exploring opening one in Palm Beach. The business partners are based in Boston. Trunk shows and special appearances are in the works. The brand is counting on word-of-mouth marketing with help from domestic micro-influencers like Kick It By Eliza’s Eliza Shirazi, as well as other fitness specialists like Bethany C. Meyers and Katie Austin. Although they are not official brand ambassadors, they receive seeded product and consistently communicate with Gad and Davis.
Davis routinely talks shop with her parents. Her father has offered advice like, “Remember that anything is possible. It’s the hard days that you remember but they will make you stronger. Keep going and know that you will reap the benefits of all this.” She also shares her lineage with retailers and prospective other business associates. She said, “I think it is important for people to know that I do have such a broad understanding, background and history.”