Carbon38 is launching its own brand of activewear.
The two-year-old site was among the first in the e-commerce space to cater exclusively to activewear, carrying brands such as Michi, Koral Activewear, Vimmia and Vie Active. But now, founders Katie Warner Johnson and Caroline Gogolak are introducing an in-house designed line of basics to correspond with their assortment, which is heavy on prints, color, cutouts and mesh panels.
“Our customer has been asking for a standard black legging. It’s a staple in her workout wardrobe,” Gogolak said of the collection, named C38 Basics, which hits carbon38.com Monday.
The six all-black styles range from $40 to just under $100 and include a black, full-length legging, a black capri pant, a low-impact sports bra, a high-impact sports bra, a racer-back tank and a fitted tank. Gogolak said they “thought a lot about fabric,” carefully selected a lightweight compression material with a slight sheen that “feels a little dressier” than Lululemon’s Wonder Under pant.
“We will always be a retailer first and foremost, but we do see an opportunity to build the Carbon38 brand. We believe it starts with basics,” Gogolak said.
She contended that the “sweet spot” is around $99, but there is a large range. Leggings priced at $60 are consistently high performers on the site, but so are versions from the U.K.-based Lucas Hugh, which can retail for more than $400. Gogolak said retailer’s top 10 brands currently make up 25 percent of sales.
“We try to not have a lot of overlap. For example, Michi does a very consistent mesh legging business, which our customer loves, but then we won’t carry a competitive brand that looks like Michi,” Gogolak added.
The two have raised $5 million to date project sales of $10 million this year.