Varley activewear

Activewear brand Varley doesn’t want to be known for just leggings and sports bras with pretty prints.

The company, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is making moves to distinguish itself from the competition with the release of its Collection 2, or C2, by playing up its technical fabrications and its line’s wide-ranging uses for workouts or everyday life. Like many in the space, it’s hoping to not get pigeonholed in what is now a crowded ath-leisure and activewear space.

“I think when we started here the marketplace was much narrower. There weren’t as many brands out there doing or offering what we were doing,” Varley chief executive officer and founder Lara Mead said. “All of a sudden we had the ath-leisure boom and Varley kind of got washed up in that.”

To remain competitive, the company is looking to hammer home the point to consumers that its offering isn’t just workout gear and can be for everything from walking the dog or running a marathon, with its technical fabrics that offer moisture wicking, compression and four-way stretch.

“We were just worried that people weren’t aware of that,” Mead said.

C2’s launch now categorizes the offering into four buckets it’s calling Performance for intense workouts, Surf for water sports, Flow for pilates and yoga, and Revive for pre- or post-workouts.

The company has still managed growth even with increased competition.

Sales for Varley, self-funded and wholly owned by Mead and her husband, are expected to about double in 2017 from the prior year to more than $7 million. That projection is led by an increase in accounts, order sizes from existing retail partners and more business on the Varley online site.

About six months ago the company reworked the web site’s backend functionality to make it easier for consumers to shop the site as well as adding more content. It has helped that the brand has been seen on celebrities such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Joan Smalls, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kylie Jenner and Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian.

Varley is in more than 500 stores globally.

The company, with about 15 workers, could see opening its own stores in the future. But for now, it’s focused on monitoring the extent to which sales grow online.

Up next for the brand is expansion into what Mead said is a whole “new product category” that would make the company “a true lifestyle brand.” That launch is timed for a November release.

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