Local Vuori activewear brand keeps moving forward
Encinitas-born activewear brand Vuori continues to strengthen its retail operations with plans for further expansion and the addition of former Lululemon executive Catherine Pike as the new senior director of retail.
Drawing its inspiration from an active coastal California lifestyle, Vuori has five retail store locations including the new Del Mar Highlands Town Center shop in Carmel Valley that opened in November last year. In addition to the Encinitas flagship, there are stores in Manhattan Beach, San Francisco and Newport Beach.
The Vuori brand was born out of founder Joe Kudla’s desire for activewear that fit his versatile Encinitas lifestyle: a comfortable product that could perform well without sacrificing style. He was frustrated that all of the men’s yoga products were made by women’s brands and that the traditional athletic brands didn’t feel fresh or modern.
With Vuori, he aimed to design activewear that didn’t look like activewear: performance tops, shorts, pants and boardshorts that are built to move in yet allow for a smooth and stylish transition to life outside the gym.
From its humble beginnings in his garage in 2015, the brand has gone on to open five stores, launch a women’s line in 2019 and partner with stores such as Nordstrom, Fred Segal and REI. Most importantly, the brand has resonated with athletes across multiple disciplines—a peek at their Instagram feed shows Vuori gear twisted in yoga poses, enduring a tough workout, off on outdoor adventures, keeping up with kids, as well as lounging in the occasional beach-adjacent hammock.
Last year, Vuori received a $45 million investment from Norwest Venture Partners, a leading growth equity firm which the brand has put toward initiatives that support its evolution and expansion.
Vuori considers the addition of Catherine Pike to be a testament to the growth the brand has experienced. Pike brings more than a decade in sales and marketing experience, including nine years with the Lululemon brand, advancing through leadership roles. One of her final roles at the company was director of southwest territory where she managed more than 50 stores and drove brand awareness and engagement.
“We are thrilled to welcome Catherine to the Vuori family and know that she will play a major role in continuing to build on the incredible success that has been experienced thus far through our unique retail store strategy,” said Kudla in a release. “This includes enabling the brand to connect directly with customers and their communities, which is an experience that we are confident Catherine will help us elevate to new heights.”
This year Vuori continues to set its sights on expansion—the brand is looking to open an Orange County flagship, an additional Los Angeles store and two more stores in the Bay Area in 2020. Other markets on the brand’s radar include Scottsdale, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and New York City.
“Throughout my career, I have had the honor of working with brands that are not only major players, but that are completely changing the game in their respective markets,” said Pike in a release. “This tradition continues as I join the Vuori team, where I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the continued success of this rapidly growing brand.”
For more, check out vuoriclothing.com or visit the flagship store at 625 S. Coast Highway 101 or the Del Mar Highlands location at 12843 El Camino Real.
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