Look Inside Philly’s New Pop-Up Athletic Wear Boutique Before It’s All Over Your Instagram Feed
Founded in 2015, Endeavor Athletic is experimenting with a brick-and-mortar shop for the first time.
“This is cool,” were some of the first words I uttered upon entering Endeavor Athletic’s new pop-up boutique in Rittenhouse.
Normally, I try to avoid blurting out my inner thoughts and feelings to no one in particular, but on this occasion I couldn’t help it. I was surrounded on every side with red. Red gym foam floors. Red walls. Red ceilings. Red clothing racks. Red, red, red.
The only thing in sight that wasn’t red was the merchandise — performance leggings, tops, and jackets make up a minimalistic display that’s jarring black and heather grey against the blood-red surroundings. This may be Philadelphia-based Endeavor Athletic’s first stab at a brick-and-mortar concept, but they’re killing it.
The concept of creating a retail store “experience” has been a buzzy one for a while now. For one thing, in a world where everything can be ordered online, retail shops with creative designs can actually get people in the door — just look at Glossier’s moody red showroom or Warby Parker’s library-themed storefronts.
Colby Cohen, a native Philadelphian and former NHL athlete who played for the Boston Bruins during their 2011 Stanley Cup win, is the CEO and founder of Endeavor. As a professional athlete, Cohen has tried just about every sports clothing brand out there — but he saw quality gaps in the performance of these clothes, such as moisture-wicking material that didn’t keep him dry or pockets that didn’t make sense or cheap fabrics.
When Cohen founded Endeavor in 2015, the focus wasn’t on strappy, Instagram-friendly sports bras or trendy mesh leggings. Rather, it was on combining the best fit, function, and fabrics for athletic apparel that actually aids performance.
The brand’s obsession with high-performing athletic wear comes to life in their pop-up shop. Inside the store, which was designed by James Mills Studio, there’s a stationary bike, dumbbells, yoga mats, a weight bench, boxing heavy bags — all red, of course, and all functional. (To turn the weight bench and bike red, Endeavor had them dismantled, hand-dipped by a company in Brooklyn, New York, and reassembled).
The purpose of all this gear in the store is to give customers the chance to test drive Endeavor apparel before they buy it. It’s one thing to see how leggings look in the mirror. It’s another thing to see how they feel while deadlifting 100 pounds.
Following that same logic, the Endeavor pop-up shop — which is currently scheduled to run for three months — has a second-floor studio space, where they plan to host different workout events. At these events, attendees can first put on an Endeavor outfit, which they’ll then wear throughout the class. If they like it — Cohen is gambling they will — they can purchase it and take it home.
Of course, every athletic apparel brand says they have the most well-designed, performance-boosting clothing. What really sets Endeavor apart from other brands is the use of Trizar, a heat-moderating technology that’s Space Certified to reflect heat, and Dryforce, which draws moisture away from the skin and speeds up evaporation (leading to less butt sweat, or “swass,” according to Cosmopolitan).
You can now check out the tech-enhanced products — and take them for a test drive — at the Endeavor pop-up shop. The shop sells both men’s and women’s apparel, including women’s leggings (which run around $100), men’s shorts ($42 to $72), and tanks and tees ($28 to $68). The pop-up shop is located at 121 South 18th Street.
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