Vancouver-based athleticwear label RYU expanding south to California, New York

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      Vancouver-based athleticwear label RYU has announced that it will open three new stores in the United States, signalling the start of a North American expansion for the locally born and bred brand.

      The company, which produces a range of stylish urban-athletic apparel and accessories for men and women, will launch locations in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and New York City before the end of the year. It will also open a second Toronto outpost within this timeframe.

      “The tailored fit of RYU combines function with fashion and I’m determined to introduce the world to urban athletic apparel,” Marcello Leone, CEO of RYU, said in a news release. “Whereas athleisure takes you from the gym to the coffee shop, RYU takes you from a workout to more sophisticated urban environments.”

      RYU—an acronym for Respect Your Universe—was founded in 2011 as a mixed martial-arts brand. Leone, a fashion entrepreneur whose parents own local luxury retailer Leone, took hold of the business in 2014, shaping the brand into the technical sportswear producer it is today.

      The company opened its first brick-and-mortar store—a Kitsilano flagship—in 2015, following that up with locations on Robson Street, at Park Royal, and at Metropolis at Metrotown. An outpost in Toronto was unveiled last year.

      To celebrate its North American expansion, RYU has launched #YourUniverse, a creative campaign featuring New York City–based dancer Jess 2 Sick, Toronto-born photographer Cory Vanderploeg, and former Gorillaz member Pauli Lovejoy, among others, that aims to “encourage and celebrate individuality” while exploring different motivations for fitness. The campaign will be rolled out digitally, on social media, and in RYU stores in the coming weeks.