A Chat with RYU Mastermind Marcello Leone

Published in Fashion

Recently, Park Royal welcomed RYU (#RespectYourUniverse) to our roster of amazing retailers.  As innovators in the athletic community, we wanted to share with you who RYU is, and how they envision changing the platform of retail in the fitness industry.  Who better to ask than the mastermind behind the brand, Marcello Leone. Have a read below to find out everything you need to know about RYU and Mr. Leone himself.

Name

Marcello Leone.

Day Job

President and CEO of Respect Your Universe.

HIIT or lifting? 

HIIT.

Indoor solo or outdoor group workouts?

Outdoor group led by our amazing RYU connectors.

Toronto or LA? (we hear you have plans to open in both cities):

New York – we’re opening there soon. (**UPDATE October 3rd, 2017.. Toronto has since opened. Location in Williamsburg, the fashion epicenter, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn to open in early 2018.)

Ocean or Mountains?

Mountains.

Best thing about Vancouver? 

The diversity.

What sets you apart from other retail stores? 
We don’t think of ourselves as a store, but as a movement. Our mission is to awaken one million athletes around the globe. We genuinely believe you are tougher than you think, more beautiful than you know, more courageous than you feel and more valuable than you have ever been told. And through this “awakening”, you will make a difference in the world in ways you have not yet begun to realize.

 

What’s in the name Respect Your Universe? How was this name chosen? 

Respect Your Universe is not only the name of our brand, it’s the directive behind everything we do and every decision we make. We define “respect” as our unwavering belief in human potential (your potential). We genuinely believe in you and your ability to achieve your dreams. How do we do that? By facilitating human performance. Our objective at RYU is to inspire, support and empower people to take ownership of their own breakthroughs in performance. We respect people by believing in them. Our values direct us to respect yourself, respect others and respect your universe.

Who is the RYU customer? 
Our customers are athletes. Even though many of them don’t call themselves that. They use terms to describe themselves like active and athletic, but don’t see themselves as legitimate “athletes” because of the misconception that they don’t compete. We see them differently. It does not matter if they workout or train 7 days a week or just remain active and healthy by walking their dog daily. Everyone’s body was built to be athletic if they desire. Our community of athletes are urban, love style, demand innovation and appreciate quality and performance.

How would you classify the clothing of RYU?
RYU is tailored innovation for the urban athlete. Our gear features proprietary TriLayr™ innovation built into every waistband. Comprised of an internal compression grid that’s layered for 360 core support, it will invisibly smooth and streamline your silhouette. Best of all they stay put when you put them on. No more readjusting or tugging up your pants or tights after every set, block or pose. We use durable fabrics to withstand abrasion, diamond gussets to expand range of movement and 30% Lycra to provide endless stretch. We also know that maintaining optimal body temperature is a key factor in higher performance. That’s why we include engineered mesh zones knit with seamless technology that creates better airflow. We use cross section nylon and polyester yarns to increase the surface area so sweat can wick and evaporate faster and treat them with Polygiene® to permanently control odor.

What kind of environment can a customer expect walking into an RYU store?

It’s not as much the environment as it is the experience.  People are treated with respect from the moment they walk through the door. We don’t employ sales people to flog clothing. Instead, we have Retail Connectors who are expected to connect athletes with whatever tool that will help them achieve their goals. That could be introducing them to a particular trainer or coach. It might be setting them up with resources to help them dial in a nutrition plan. Or it might be educating them on how our gear has been specifically engineered to elevate their performance.

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