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Fashion Brands are Opening Standalone Gyms

Fashion Brands are Opening Standalone Gyms

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Brands like Aviator Nation, Revolve, Hermès, and Alo Yoga are offering workout classes, pop-ups, and standalone studios to capitalize on their consumers’ desire for real-world experiences

Activewear brands like Aviator Nation, Revolve, Hermès, and Alo Yoga have entered the brick-and-mortar fitness space, demonstrating a new trend to combine fashion and fitness through real life experiences. Other fashion brands like Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, and Athleta have long offered workouts at gyms, but have yet to open a standalone fitness space. However, as consumers seek community, aspirational goals, and purpose in their pursuit of health and wellness, they are looking to real-life connections with their favorite activewear brands.

Alo Yoga, one of the trendiest athleisure brands, has incorporated fitness classes into its retail experience since 2016, with its “yoga sanctuary.” The retail experience has a yoga studio and a café, which creates a wellness community for consumers, and drives sales of its apparel collections. Alo has also opened Alo Wellness Clubs in Los Angeles and New York City, with personal trainers, facials, massages, and a green juice bar. Membership is “by invitation only,” and for those invited—everything is free.

Fitness and fashion, though, are far from being strangers. SoulCycle has long been known for its apparel, and in the late 2010s it expanded its direct-to-consumer fashion brand. In-house apparel brand Soul by SoulCycle was also in Nordstrom stores. A large part of SoulCycle’s business was driven by apparel sales, and other brands look to be following a similar playbook.

Brands like Revolve are re-entering the space now. Revolve re-launched the Revolve Social Club in March 2022, in Los Angeles, and opted for a consumer-facing six-week pop-up. From 2016 to 2019, Revolve had a members-only Social Club, but the new version is less exclusive, and is more focused on community. The initiative now includes a wellness center gym with workout classes offered by studios like Cityrow, and local fitness experts and trainers.

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Partnerships between studios and apparel brands are also growing. For RIDE, a standalone yoga and spin studio in Santa Monica, its partnership with Aviator Nation has been thriving. Aviator Nation sells soft sweats for $150-$200 per piece, and has high sales at RIDE’s studio. As more consumers return to brick-and-mortar experiences, apparel sales in-studio will likely only grow.

Will more fashion brands open dedicated gyms? As in-person workout experiences continue to grow, it is likely that other brands follow suit, and capitalize on the high potential sales offered by in-person apparel purchases.

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