After the whole see-through leggings debacle, we got the feeling that women would welcome an alternative to Lululemon and its pricey athletic threads. And while on any given day we’d sooner spend our paycheck on a fifth pair of pointed toe pumps than any kind of yoga gear, we’re pretty excited that there is one. Enter Sweaty Betty, a $30 million U.K.-based activewear company that’s opening its first U.S. store just around the corner from us in SoHo.
Company founder, Tamara Hill Norton first got the idea to launch her own company at an athletic store when she was trying to find a sports bra and found herself frustrated with a male teenage sales associate. Because honestly, what could he possibly know? After opening up her own shop in Notting Hill and working the sales floor, she came up with a successful formula for getting to know their customer. So much so that they’ve already given their model patron a convenient name.
Brand manager Fleur Askey told WWD:
“We call our customer ‘Kate,’ not after Kate Middleton, just so we always have someone in mind when we are designing or talking about the customer.”
While we don’t exactly buy that they don’t bare the Kate of all Kates (except for Moss, of course) in mind, and are a little perplexed as to why they wouldn’t just call ‘her’ Betty, we kind of love this concept.
To ensure the authenticity of the Sweat Betty experience, the company has also given it’s U.K. store employees the option to relocate to the new American stores. We might be anglophiles, but Soho has enough foreign women traipsing around with exceptional physiques. Perhaps this is exactly what we need to lure us into running shoes.
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