NEW YORK — With a dozen stores under its Supplex and Lycra waistband, YogaSmoga is taking on Manhattan with a 3,400-square-foot flagship at 10 Bond Street and the corner of Lafayette Street that’s scheduled to open in May.
YogaSmoga plans to unveil 25 to 30 stores this year, according to Rishi Bali, chief executive officer. The company expects to raise $25 million to $30 million through a Series C funding round that will support YogaSmoga’s next stage of growth.
The previous round, almost a year ago, raised $6.5 million in a deal that valued YogaSmoga at $74 million. Ravi Singh, a retired partner of Goldman Sachs, is the lead investor, along with other Goldman partners.
Bali’s goal is to operate 125 stores by 2018. “When we get those stores up and firing, we’ll generate $250 million in revenue,” he predicted. “That’s when we’ll do an initial public offering.”
With stores in northern and southern California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, Bali is eyeing Colorado, Arizona and Florida next. Bali this week signed a lease to open a store at the International Market Place in Waikiki, a new project that will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue.
YogaSmoga is carving a niche for itself at the high end of the athletic wear market. Its proprietary fiber technology and Made in the U.S. production allow YogaSmoga to charge a premium — $280 for a reversible pullover with air built in between two layers of fabric, and $185 for leggings with breathable mesh fabric inserts.
Tapasya Bali, YogaSmoga’s cofounder and Rishi’s sister, said the company has similarly exacting standards for color. For example, Carbon 6 Black, a trademarked shade of deep black, is achieved by first combining two fibers and then dyeing them, rather than dyeing each fiber separately as is the norm. The result is not only a very dark but also a very opaque fabric.
For a long time, YogaSmoga refused to use printed fabrics because of concerns about fading. Then it developed Aurum Augusta, which has superior color retention, Tapasya said. The brand has an exacting printing technique that ensures garments are patterned with a design that highlights the musculature of the female body.
YogaSmoga stores are located in affluent communities such as Greenwhich, Conn., and Beverly Hills, Calif., and high end shopping centers such as the Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, N.J., and Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach, Calif.
Bali said the company plans to open stores in Canada and Australia as it continues its rollout in the U.S. Sales per square foot for existing units range from $600 to $1,200, he said.
The Bond Street flagship will feature YogaSmoga fabrics throughout the interior, which will be designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, who also designed the building, a new construction.
On the lower level of the two-level space will be a YogaSmoga Next Door, the company’s yoga lounges, which are used for classes and community events. Not every YogaSmoga location has a Next Door component; they exist where square footage allows. The La Jolla and Malibu County Mart locations, both in California, feature Next Doors.