Fitness boutiques are finding strong demand for their branded merchandise, reports Courtney Rubin in The New York Times (2/8/13). “If you have a place where you like to sweat and lay your heart on the line, wearing their stuff is like, ‘Yeah, I work out hard and this is what makes me feel good about myself’,” says Lara Jarmon. Half of Lara’s wardrobe consists of apparel from Sweat Shoppe, a North Hollywood spinning studio. “Where you work out is an extension of your identity and your social circle,” says Charity Gonzalez of Chicago-based Urbanfitclubs.
In New York, SoulCycle “now introduces a new retail collection each month, with offerings such as an $18 bright yellow nail polish, a venture with the soignee manicure salon, Tenoverten. The fitness boutique also merchandises scarves, iPhone cases as well as a “$42 grapefruit-scented candle,” that perfumes its studios. “When you love something, you want to have it with you in some way all the time,” says Jaime Gleicher, who takes the candle with her when she travels.
Gillian Casten of Rate Your Burn says fitness boutiques are the “new fashion,” commenting: “Once you find a studio that engages you and gets you to change your body, you trust their judgment about everything. Wendy Maitland, a real-estate agent, believes a SoulCycle branded bicycle she borrowed for showings at a $25 million Upper East Side townhouse, helped generate an offer. “The message speaks to a sophisticated, mindful, successful individual who appreciates that human beings are stronger in numbers than individually,” she says, suggesting that the bike “was “a key component in communicating the lifestyle of the house.”