Rhone has tapped Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor, surfer Garrett McNamara, NFL trainer Tareq Azim and wakeboarder Steel Lafferty to be the faces of its inaugural Outliers campaign. Nate Checketts, Rhone’s cofounder and chief executive officer, said the company has been hesitant to take the route of many other brands that zero in on an athlete, pay him or her a fee and then hope that person connects with the consumer they’re trying to attract. “We wanted to focus instead on making the best product we could,” he said. “But we found that people want a representation of the embodiment of a brand.” So he sought out men that he believed excelled at their craft and stood out in their fields. Rather than calling them ambassadors, Rhone opted to borrow a title from the Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers” about high achievers. The men will be featured in marketing materials for the brand on its web site as well as through social media and e-mails outreach. They will contribute to the brand’s blog, The Pursuit, where they will share tips and advice to encourage others. McNamara said he’s been “a longtime fan of Rhone and am honored to partner with a brand that I
Rhone is taking the plunge into retail.
After testing the waters with a series of pop-ups the past several years, the buzzy men’s activewear brand will open its first permanent location at Hudson Yards next month.
Nate Checketts, Rhone’s cofounder and chief executive officer, said the 943-square-foot location on the second floor of Hudson Yards’ retail complex, will be located near M.Gemi and Mack Weldon and will “showcase a modern, sleek and streamlined design.”
Checketts said the company chose Hudson Yards for its first permanent location because he believes the location “is an incredibly unique opportunity for retailers. It is shifting the way Manhattan moves and works in a real way that hasn’t happened for some time in New York. With more than 1 million square feet of retail and mixed-use space, and more than 100 luxury and specialty retailers, Hudson Yard’s urban development allows us to showcase the Rhone brand on an unparalleled platform.”
But to whet its retail appetite until Hudson Yards opens, Rhone this week opened its latest temporary location, a pop-up at 1585 Broadway that it is calling the Midtown Manhattan Retail Experience.
The location in Times Square is intended to service the Rhone customers who “work in and around the
Rhone is taking its show on the road.
The men’s activewear brand, which received an investment from L Catterton earlier this year, has created Walden House, a mobile house that will embark on a multicity tour later this month where it will unveil product launches and partnerships.
“As we further explore our direct-to-consumer retail efforts, pop-up executions allow Rhone to gain deeper insight by immersing the brand in our key markets,” said Nate Checketts, Rhone cofounder and chief executive officer.
Walden House was created in partnership with New Frontier, a design firm that is a leader in the tiny house field. The 192-square-foot space features “garage doors” made of glass, organic shiplap walls, barn wood, walnut custom boxes and black plumbing pipe.
Walden House will make its debut at Domain in Austin, Tex., on Oct. 15 and will remain there through Jan. 15 before traveling to Las Vegas for the Project show Feb. 12-14. It will then move on to the Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie, Ill., from March 1-May 31. The Walden House will also travel throughout the summer in locations still to be determined.
The Connecticut-based Rhone said Walden House was inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s novel “Walden” and “created as a reminder
Equinox is extending its relationship with Rhone.
The fitness company has selected the men’s activewear brand for its first pop-up retail concept. On Monday, April 24, Equinox will open 11 Rhone shops around the country, offering an expanded assortment of apparel and accessories. A special online link has also been created that went live on Wednesday night.
The shops will be added to three Equinox clubs in New York, four in Los Angeles and one each in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Miami.
“At Equinox, we push the limit and commit to high-performance living,” said Frank Rappa, senior director of retail for Equinox. “Rhone provides men’s premium performance apparel, combining cutting-edge technology and design. Together, we are creating an assortment of styles that work and wear well, representative of both brands, and are taking our members to the highest levels of their personal performance.”
Cortney Ansel, senior vice president of sales for Rhone, added: “We have been working with Equinox since our launch and value the company not only as a retail partner, but also as a fellow disruptive brand in the active industry. We are looking forward to increased exposure with our target customer through this elevated partnership.”
To promote the partnership, Equinox
L Catterton, which was formed in 2016 as a partnership between Catterton, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Groupe Arnault, is extending its reach in the active arena with a “significant growth investment” in Rhone, a men’s activewear brand.
The size of the investment from L Catterton’s Growth Fund was not disclosed.
L Catterton is the largest consumer-focused private-equity firm in the world, with 17 offices across five continents. It has investments in Peloton, CorePower Yoga, Sweaty Betty, 2XU, Gant, Pepe Jeans, Sandro and Maje, Hackett and Emperor Watch and Jewellery, among others.
“Rhone represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a differentiated and on-trend concept within men’s activewear, a large and growing category,” said Jon Owsley, co-managing partner of L Catterton Growth Fund. “We seek companies in great trend areas with consumer appeal. Rhone is very well positioned to ride the wave of what’s happening in men’s apparel. It has all the technical aspects of fitness wear but designed with an eye for regular wear.”
He pointed to the company’s commuter pant as an example, saying that while a man may wear it to ride a bike to work, it looks good enough to keep on all day.
The Rhone commuter pant.
The brand’s GoldFusion technology, which it
Rhone is partnering with Chelsea Piers.
The men’s activewear brand will open a pop-up shop next week at the sports club’s Connecticut location at 1 Blachley Road in Stamford. The 600-square-foot space will open to the public on Nov. 15 and remain in place through the spring.
The shop, which will be located at the front of the club, will offer Rhone’s best-selling styles as well as seasonal collections. The brand will also host a number of in-store events during the run of the pop-up.
“This is the perfect opportunity to interact with our customers and local community, and understand how we can best serve them,” said Nate Checketts, cofounder and chief executive officer of Rhone.
Rhone has partnered with Michelle Barone, a visual director whose background includes J. Crew, Loft and Vineyard Vines, to design the shop. She created an industrial, modern design that includes vintage locker baskets and an old wooden bar that functions as a checkout counter. Custom fixtures by Stand and Build are blackened steel with a diamond pattern metal mesh.
In addition to the shop, Rhone will also outfit the male staff at the club.
“Rhone shares many of our principle values including the desire to push to be better every day,”
Rhone Apparel, which dubs itself a men’s active wear and lifestyle brand, has closed on a $ 5 million Series A round of financing.
Rhone has raised an aggregate of $ 6.2 million. Its last raise was $ 1.2 million in seed financing in late 2013.
The Series A round includes as investors: Steve Bornstein, former president and chief executive officer for the NFL Network and former chairman, president and ceo of ESPN; David Stern, NBA Commissioner Emeritus; Ryen Russillo, host of ESPN Radio’s Russillo & Kannell; Shane Battier, former NBA player, and M3 Ventures, an investment fund managed by former CAA executive Martin Dolfi.
Rhone plans to use the financing to expand on its R&D capabilities, increase distribution and invest in marketing opportunities. Rhone plans to expand into a 4,000-square-foot retail storefront and office in Stamford, Conn., early next year. The company said it has secured the rhone.com domain name for a relaunch of its e-commerce site.
Nate Checketts, cofounder and ceo, said that the brand in the fall would be “available in 20 Bloomingdale’s locations, 15 Equinox locations and 2 Nordstrom locations, as well as over 12 Core Power Yoga and 20 additional gyms and specialty stores.”
Rhone has been growing its position in the men’s