Dish and Duer builds indoor playground in Gastown flagship

Canadian athleisure brand Dish and Du/er recently opened its unique flagship store in Vancouver’s Gastown shopping district, and it’ll have you wanting to hang around in denim.

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To reflect the core performance component of the denim brand, the interactive retail space encourages movement complete with a gym floor, monkey bars, and a swing set.

“Launching an indoor playground in a retail shop is far from typical, but we’ve never been a brand that draws within the lines,” said Gary Lenett, founder of Dish and Duer.

During a pop-up store last summer, Lenett saw that people wanted to test the jeans by squatting, stretching, and even doing high kicks, so the in-store playground gives customers an outlet to see how well the product will live up to an active lifestyle before purchasing.

Dish and Du/er DESIGNED in Vancouver

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The brand is Vancouver based, raised more then $280,000 via Kickstarter, and has ‘reinvented’ denim by leveraging two proprietary fabrics, L2X (Leisure to Extreme) and Nature2X. The fabrics are infused with coolmax and tencel fibres for quick dry and temperature control properties.

“Until now, denim hasn’t been a key category of the rapidly growing athleisure market,” said Lenett. “In order to launch a performance denim, we had to develop a cotton rich fabric blend that would withstand aspects of an active lifestyle with super stretch, dry wicking and antibacterial attributes.”

The highly competitive athleisure market, recently valued at $323 billion by research group NPD, demands retailers to get creative in order to be noticed. Lenett, who has worked with the likes of Levi’s, Nike, Wrangler, and Guess, among other notable brands, wanted the flagship space to be as innovative as the product.

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Based on the brand’s performance features, it made sense to create an interactive space for customers to properly test the product.

The company plans to expand into the U.S. this fall.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published in VancityBuzz.com)

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