Lemonheads, start your engines. Lululemon Athletica, the fitness clothing store with legions of devotees around the country, has landed in Cincinnati. Founded in Vancouver by surfer/snowboarder-turned-yogi Chip Wilson, Lululemon is more than a store. “As a showroom, we’re open limited hours,” explains manager Jenny Basa (Thursdays 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m.–6 p.m.). “The rest of the time we’re out in the community letting people know who we are.”
You can do more than just buy clothes at Lulu’s new boutique in Hyde Park. Curious about moksha yoga or kettlebells? Want to know just how sore you’ll be after a Crossfit Nasti class? The team at Lululemon can clue you in. Want to know what Crossfit is? They can explain that too. Lululemon also partners with local fitness studios, bringing in instructors for complimentary in-store classes on Saturdays from 9 to 10 am.
The idea to eschew the mall for Hyde Park’s former Sassy Boutique site was Basa’s. “I picked this location and I hired my team,” she says. Since then, Lululemon’s performance apparel has developed a loyal local following. “Our signature fabric is Luon. It’s designed to withstand five years of physical abuse,” says Basa. Everything is thoughtfully designed: caps with ponytail openings, jackets with earbud clips on the collar, silver element in the metal vent shirts (which makes the fabric antimicrobial, therefore anti-stink). Because if you’re going to sweat like a pig, you might as well look good doing it.
Lululemon, 3437 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 321-2358, www.lululemon.com/cincinnati
Photograph by Chris SmithOriginally published in the February 2011 issue.
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