A Charlotte-based apparel brand has created your new favorite live-in leggings.
Ivy Citizens, an “experiential retail concept” featuring men’s and women’s tailored leisure wear, will open its flagship store in SouthPark Mall on Friday.
The brand has pivoted substantially since launching almost two years ago with a focus on body positive leggings for young girls and women.
Now, the line is designed for adults first with a range of sizing (0 – 12, XXS – XL) that can also accommodate a younger customer in a shared experience.
“It was much bigger than we anticipated,” said founder Lisa Thompson of the decision to expand the brand’s demographic focus based on consumer feedback.
The debut line features leggings, shorts, t-shirts and polos, but the brand isn’t necessarily trying to position itself as performance athletic wear.
Thompson partnered with Amanda Laird Cherry, a celebrated South African fashion designer, to create a sophisticated comfort wear collection that translates into everyday life.
“We’re avoiding the sport and athleisure space,” said Thompson. “We’re defining a new category.”
She calls it “flex living” — a tailored but casual look that can be polished or relaxed depending on how it’s styled. Others will probably still call it athleisure.
Most Ivy Citizens pieces will fall in the $40 – $80 price range, a competitive price point in the luxury legging space. Although Thompson says she doesn’t see them as direct competitors, Gap-owned Athleta’s leggings run $80 – $120 and athletic apparel giant lululemon sells theirs for $100 – $150.
A defining feature of the Ivy Citizens flagship location is a community coffee shop at the front of the store.
In partnership with The Suffolk Punch, the shop will serve coffee, tea, beer and wine to encourage guests to linger. (Collin Ricks and Glen Cherry, both partners in The Suffolk Punch / Hyde Brewing, are now partners in Ivy Citizens, as well. Impressive line up if you ask me.)
Thompson hopes the store’s location close to main entrances from Neiman Marcus and the parking deck will attract even non-mall shoppers to drop in and experience the space.
They’ll also feature local artists and host pop-up events to connect with the community.
Ivy Citizens is hosting a friends and family event tonight and will open to the public on Friday.
Thompson and her team have been relatively quiet ahead of their official launch and I think it is really going to catch people by surprise. I, for one, was floored.
We’re talking about an all-star team behind an exceptional product that is built to scale in an extremely hot apparel space. Plus, you know anyone moving in to the ritzy Neiman Marcus wing of SouthPark Mall to sell leggings a few doors down from lululemon is not here to play games.
You will see this brand around the country, and it carries a “designed in Charlotte” tag. I’ll cheer for that all day.