Vancouver-based multi-discipline performance training and fitness brand RYU has substantial growth plans, with a goal of becoming the top brand of its kind in the world. Its first flagship is scheduled to open this fall, and the company has plans for more free-standing locations as well as shop-in-stores. It also plans to see substantial wholesale growth worldwide. We spoke with the company’s President and CEO, Marcello Leone, to learn more.
Founded in Portland, Oregon, RYU or ‘Respect Your Universe’ has origins in the performance and philosophy of martial arts. It is an athletic tech-style apparel brand engineered for the fitness, training and performance of the multi-discipline athlete. In 2011, the son of the founders of Vancouver-based luxury retailer Leone, Marcello Leone, saw potential, and stepped in as an investor. At the time, RYU was struggling — inefficient logistics, a long supply chain, and an ill-suited Portland lease contributed to RYU financial woes. In 2014, Mr. Leone took leadership of RYU and spearheaded an overhaul which saw its headquarters moved from the United States to Canada, choosing his hometown of Vancouver to be its new corporate address.