The retailer, which has six freestanding stores, e-commerce and a wholesale business with retailers such as Shopbop, Revolve and Net-a-porter, will introduce tennis and golf apparel this month under private label, as well as a third collaboration with New Balance. The New Balance collaboration, which is inspired by a vintage ad that read “Women are Different,” includes 12 styles.
Under its private label called All Access, Bandier will serve up a tennis collection this month such as a sports bra, skorts, biker shorts, sport rib dress, leggings, tanks and cropped bras. It will also introduce All Access Golf, which includes a golf pant, golf short, and tanks. Prices range from $58 to $148.
The company carries about 50 to 60 brands, and 40 percent of Bandier’s merchandise is private label.
Among the tennis brands it carries are Lacoste, Michi, All Access, the Upside and Varley.
Focusing on elevated and fashionable activewear, Bandier has stores in New York (two units), Manhasset, Southampton, Dallas and Los Angeles. It closed its store on Broadway and Bond in Manhattan during the pandemic, but the retailer is always on the lookout for more locations. Bandier also has a fitness studio, Studio B, attached to the Melrose store in Los Angeles, along with a second-floor cafe as a way to foster community around the shop. Among its instructors are Amanda Kloots, Simone de la Rue of Body by Simone, Morgan Willett, Marnie Alton and Kelsey Heenan.
The expansion of Bandier comes after a $25 million raise backed by Eurazeo Brands in 2019.
“I haven’t dreamed of having a store in every mall. I want to go where our customer is. It has to have the right people to help us and support us,” said Bandier. Among some of the places she’s interested in opening stores are Florida, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Chicago.
Bandier, who started out in the music business, decided to open a multibrand activewear store after suffering a serious foot injury and during recuperation she couldn’t find the sort of elevated fitness apparel she was interested in.
“I said I was going to open a multibrand store in Southampton, and everyone said it was a bad idea and don’t do it. I didn’t have retail experience,” she explained. “I knew I needed help in buying and I had the most incredible person,” Jayne Harkness. “She helped me with everything from the beginning. She’s still involved and I talk to her every day. She’s always at the store with me,” she said.
Bandier’s husband, Neil Boyarsky, who previously worked in finance and his family business, is cofounder and chief executive officer.
Over the years Bandier has been successful with its collaborations, starting with its first one with Cushnie et Ochs, followed by Love Shack Fancy, Sincerely Jules, Veronica Beard, Solid and Striped, and New Balance, among others.
“We always like collaborations,” said Bandier. “We want you to find something you can’t find at other places.”
She said women are wearing active clothing all the time and she’s not a fan of the word “athleisure.” It reminds her of people playing shuffleboard. Instead, she likes the word ‘athluxe.’
“That’s the theme we discuss in the office,” she said. She also believes women like to mix their activewear pieces and wear various brands at the same time.
Bandier said the staff scours the market and wear tests everything to make sure, for example, that the leggings aren’t too sheer and that the shoes are comfortable. She’s trying to introduce essential pieces that don’t sacrifice style for function. She’s also getting deeper into skiwear, and carried skiwear in the store this past winter.
“Old school brands are having a moment,” she said. They carry such skiwear lines as Holden, Perfect Moment, Bogner Fire & Ice, and Halfdays.
Discussing opportunities, she said, “I think in general between tennis and golf and ski, for us, we’re continuing to collaborate. I always have to do everything differently,” she said.
While several of Bandier’s stores were closed on and off during the pandemic, she said the Dallas store has remained open throughout. During that time the company, like others, faced supply chain blips. The e-commerce part did well and is the largest segment of the business today.
“Women have sacrificed their comfort for so many years. Now they’re saying, ‘I’m wearing sneakers, I’m going to look cool. I’m going to wear comfortable pants,'” she said, noting popular looks are All Access flare leggings and Harmony black pants.
Bandier said it was important to her when she started that it be an inclusive store, and her offerings go up to XXXL.
Among some of the vendors she does very well with are Varley, Beyond Yoga, Year of Ours, Splits 59, PE Nation, New Balance, Nike and On.
While she primarily carries women’s apparel, Bandier does carry some men’s items around Father’s Day, and she’s definitely considering the men’s category as an opportunity for the business someday.
“A men’s Bandier collection is definitely in our future and we are focused on nailing the launch, and that’s all we can share right now,” said Bandier.
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