How Fashion Brands Are Starting To Design Like Tech Companies

by MR Magazine Staff

Inside Lululemon Labs, the cultish activewear brand’s 11th New York City location that opened in March, there’s not a single $100 yoga pant in sight. Instead, slimming pencil skirts, crisp blazers, and creased trousers—all in a distinctly N.Y.C. palette of black, white, navy, and gray—line the walls. Catering to New Yorkers, the store sells clothing designed for professionals but constructed out of the brand’s high-performance materials. Behind the sales floor, the design team toils away in an office in the back. It’s the second store to come out of Lululemon’s Labs concept (the first opened in Vancouver in 2009), a division within the company that produces small batch pieces designed specifically for a city’s consumers, based on things such as weather, local style, and commuting patterns. Internally, Labs also functions as a kind of test run for the company’s experimental designs as Lululemon continues to expand its offerings beyond performance wear. Pieces sold at these stores are like beta versions of Lululemon mainstays: The products that sell particularly well, like their popular mesh leggings, make it into the company’s main line to be sold nationwide. Read more at Fast Company.