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Under Armour, the Baltimore-based athleticwear success story, built its brand on clothing grunty, sweaty man types. But UA executives have quickly come to realize that there's a second group of consumers out there likely to spend lots of money on gym gear: women.
As WWD reports, the new catchphrase at Under Armour HQ is "womanifesto," with founder and CEO Kevin Plank hoping that women's will "equal or surpass our men's business in the future." Plank has been interested in womenswear practically since the company's inception, but admits that there's been a learning curve.
The company's first attempt in 2003 involved "nine guys sitting around a conference room table" and the decision was made to "shrink it and pink it." Very soon after, he "learned how wrong that was" and the move was made to "bury" that embarrassing first collection, which was never shipped to stores. Soon after, Plank began hiring women to help produce its women's line, which now rakes in $500 million a year and represents 30% of Under Armour's business. The brand is kicking things up a notch, though, with designs set to appeal to the class-minded lady who enjoys things like Pilates, yoga and SoulCycle.
It will share its new approach in a series of ads set to debut on TV and in mags like Glamour and People.
· Under Armour Seeks to Explode Women's Business [WWD, sub req]
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· Long Live Yoga Pants: Why Gym Apparel's Bound to Stick [Racked]