Called “Take the Moment,” the 12-piece capsule “explores the life of Robert Geller over a 96-hour period, built to move seamlessly from early morning workouts to urban life and international travel in comfort and style,” according to Lululemon.
Geller laughed when read the description, but acknowledged that the collection allows him to not only stretch his design wings but speaks to him personally. Geller is an avid soccer player and also does “quite a bit of yoga” and other exercises to ensure he stays healthy. “This whole world of wellness is very interesting and important to me,” he said. “My life is taking the kids to school, exercising an hour and then going to work.”
Ben Stubbington, Lululemon’s senior vice president of men’s design, worked with Geller to create the collection, which includes short-sleeve shirts, tanks and shorts with breathability functions and a full range of motion. The capsule also includes pants, collared shirts, half-zip hoodies and jackets.
The design of the pieces features Geller’s signature unique fabrics, linear taping and tie-dye washes. They will retail from $68 to $398 and can be worn by either gender, Stubbington said.
Geller said the collaboration uses the high-tech performance fabrics that Lululemon has become famous for so the pieces can be used for working out, but also “look stylish enough to wear to meet your wife for lunch. They’re super versatile — and that’s what people want now.”
He said he’s known Stubbington for a while — he was formerly creative director of men’s for Theory — and when he joined Lululemon at the end of 2016, they started talking about doing something together.
Stubbington called Geller “an influential force in men’s fashion, his active lifestyle and deep-rooted personal values inspired this collaboration. This gave us the runway to seamlessly blend Lululemon’s values mixed with technical performance fabrics, innovation and high attention to functionality with Robby’s signature attitude.”
He said Lululemon has collaborated in the past with elite athletes such as Francesca Hayward, principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, as well as Central Saint Martens to create specialized prints and Parisian feather artist Janaïna Milheiro.
The Robert Geller x Lululemon collection will be available at select Lululemon stores and online beginning on May 6.
The Hamburg, Germany-born Geller has a solid fashion résumé centered around a romantic European aesthetic. During his time at the Rhode Island School of Design, he started his career at Marc Jacobs as an intern. It was there that he met Alexandre Plokhov, who was working as a patternmaker, and together they started a brand called Cloak. The label attracted a strong following, winning the the Ecco Domani award in 2003 as well as the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund grant in 2004.
After that collaboration came to an end, Geller struck out on his own with a women’s line called Harald. The collection was another success and caught the attention of the Japanese company So Inc., which offered to bankroll the designer to create a men’s wear brand under his own name. The Robert Geller collection launched in fall 2007 and two years later Geller won the GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer award followed in 2011 by the Swarovski Award for top men’s designer. Today, Onward Global Fashion is Geller’s partner.
Lululemon introduced men’s wear in 2014 and Stubbington said that it “remains a key growth driver, posting some of our highest overall category increases and is ahead of schedule to reach $1 billion sales goal by 2020.”
Geller said that despite its size, the men’s collection at Lululemon is still “under the radar, but growing incredibly fast” and he plans to continue to work with the company in future seasons. The collection will debut during his show on Feb. 5 during the runway return for his main Robert Geller line. A younger-skewed, more casual line called Gustav von Achenbach collection that debuted in 2017 has been discontinued, he said.
The companies are undoubtedly hoping the Robert Geller x Lululemon collaboration will have a longer life than the much-hyped Under Armour’s UAS Collection which was designed by Tim Coppens. That collection of men’s and women’s wear blended performance features with fashion-forward silhouettes. The line — which was much larger with 110 pieces in the launch collection in 2017 with some hefty retail prices — only lasted two seasons and was shuttered as Under Armour overall struggled with declining sales.