RYU breaks athletic apparel norm with new Kitsilano store

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      Vancouver will soon welcome a new addition to its growing list of athletic apparel retailers—one that’s determined to set a new industry standard for stylish, high-performance gear.

      But don’t worry; if the story sounds familiar, the brand certainly isn’t.

      “Our intention was to not be like lululemon at all,” says Marcello Leone, a luxury fashion veteran in Vancouver and CEO of athletic tech apparel brand Respect Your Universe. “We’ve created a category within a category.”

      Once RYU opens its first retail space in Vancouver this Friday (November 27), that category will be clear: a lineup of exceptional, technically advanced products designed for today’s multi-disciplined athlete.

      In layman's terms, it’s not stuff that’s restricted to the gym.

      “Athletic could simply mean going for a walk,” Leone tells the Straight, noting a visible effort from more and more people to lead active lifestyles.

      Although RYU’s product lineup is expertly engineered to withstand even the toughest of workouts, items in the line also have the looks to shift seamlessly from the office to the gym to happy hour, and everywhere in between.

      Think men’s and women’s training tops cut in sleek, streamlined silhouettes; ultra-comfy, pill-proof tights; and monochromatic backpacks made from a scuff- and water-resistant material.

      “With RYU, the product is timeless,” says Leone. “It makes a beautiful transition into your daytime and evening wear and it doesn’t look like you’re wearing athletic type of gear.”

      RYU’s 5,600-square-foot Kitsilano store will feature men’s and women’s tees, shorts, outerwear, accessories, and more—each priced at an average of $72—plus a nutrition bar, patio seating, and an upper-level workout space that will play host to fitness classes.

      The RYU store opens November 27 at 1745 West 4th Avenue.

      Check out some of our favourite picks from the brand in the gallery above.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.