Lululemon's gorgeous new flagship store on a high-profile corner of downtown Vancouver is a "dream come true," says Chip Wilson, founder of the global yoga wear giant.
The company hosted a cocktail party Tuesday night to celebrate the gleaming location's opening on the corner of Robson and Burrard streets. The 4,500 sq.-ft. store is the brand's largest to date and will be used to test many of Lululemon's "retail innovations."
Wilson has been dreaming of a flagship store for years, he told The Huffington Post B.C. The boutique stocks a full range of Lululemon products, but he pointed to a specific focus on menswear as something that distinguishes this location. A section in the back called The Joinery offers custom-made shorts for men.
"Women want to look good working out and now men do too," Wilson said.
Wilson recently sold half of his 27 per cent stake in Lululemon to a private equity firm for $845 million in an attempt to quell a dispute with the company's board of directors.
"It feels like a cast has come off," Wilson said of the lengthy process. "Now I can move on."
Wilson was joined by many fit and glowing local personalities at the jovial Tuesday event, including Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin, new Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, and recently retired Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit and his Olympic gold medallist wife Ashley McIvor.
Check out photos of the party and the store below. Story continues after slideshow:
The flagship store reflects Lululemon's West Coast roots; the curled design of the mobile fitting rooms was actually inspired by the shavings of First Nations wood carvers.
And Vancouver artist Colin Moore was commissioned to create five limited-edition tops reflecting the city's neighbourhoods and cycling culture. They'll be available at the 970 Robson St. store while supplies last.
An official grand opening takes place Thursday with giveaways and live DJs. Robson Street will be shut down between Hornby and Burrard from 6 to 10 p.m. for a 500-person yoga session led by renowned teachers Eoin and Insiya Finn.