I’ve been to a few of these before, and they never seem to disappoint: a Lululemon Athletica grand opening party. This one, which happened on October 1st, was to welcome Lululemon Cumberland to the brand’s roster of more than 200 stores worldwide.
All photos by: Nicole ShabadaEach store opening seems to turn out the industry’s most community-oriented, connected fitness and yoga professionals, which is a great opportunity to network, talk shop and catch up with old friends in the industry (which I dove right into myself.)
One yoga teacher in particular at the party, Simon Park, who was recently named one of Yoga Journals top 21 teachers under 40, generated a fun amount of buzz, mainly for his trip to Toronto to teach at popular and posh 889 Yonge yoga studio and spa in nearby Rosehill.
Simon and 889’s Yoga Community Leader, Nicky Poole, led master classes for the weekend (an increasingly popular program at the studio), turning out yoga teachers and students alike to enjoy some of Park’s techniques.
The other star of the show that night – not just the new styled space at 155 Cumberland or Simon Park – was the party itself. Pure style.
There were complimentary flutes of champagne passed around and the usual faces I see wearing yoga gear and running shoes, were now decked it cocktail dresses and neckties. An unexpected surprise, which didn’t go unnoticed.
Janice Chan, regional community manager for lululemon, says that that, lately, stores in her region (it’s slowly spreading throughout the company) are trying to pull off a different feel at their events – one that’s a departure from it’s usual sports apparel feel. Chan adds that it’s the brand’s way of staying fresh and continuing their penchant to try new things when it comes to engaging the community in their business. So far, the brand’s new take on events has been a success.
“People really seem to love the new vibe,” adds Chan.
The next event is set to happen next month – a glitz- and luxe-inspired evening to honor the local athletes, community leaders teachers that support lululemon. Although we’re not sure if the event will be open to local media (like the Cumberland launch party) HUG will be sure to track down the all post-party details and share them on the blog.