prAna’s Boulder Flagship store opens in outdoor industry epicenter - SNEWS

prAna’s Boulder Flagship store opens in outdoor industry epicenter

Takes advantage of trend leader environmnent With Boulder-based Scapegoat®; Colorado location is a unique combination retail outlet and dealer showcase; opening February 13, 2008
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Boulder, Colo. - Only two weeks after the founders and management of prAna bought their company back from Liz Claiborne, they are ready to launch a fresh fusion of style and function in Boulder. Bridging the worlds – retail and wholesale – in a prime location on the Pearl Street mall, the prAna store's upper level will be dedicated to showcasing the brand and its latest products while the lower level will be a showroom for its regional dealers.

“We've long regarded Boulder as a natural home for the brand,” said prAna Living founder and CEO Beaver Theodosakis. “We are very fortunate to have, all at once, an incredible downtown location for our new store and new partners, Eric Lyon and Jason Olden—locals who are bringing exciting new designs to our business. They will continue to drive the Scapegoat® mens and womens outerwear brand from their Skunkworks Design Lab just down the street.”

Boulder as “spiritual center” for the brand, sustainable design and fresh fashion
When considering the new location, prAna founders looked to friends in the community as well as its own strong history of connecting with customers in this community through numerous premier retailers like Outdoor Divas, REI and Boulder Running Company.

“Boulder is our brand embodied,” Theodosakis continued. “Rarely do we find, in one place, such a reflection of prAna's own passions for the outdoors, yoga and sustainable lifestyle.”

New areas of design evolve into sustainability; first organic food, now organic fashion
The Boulder community will also be the most discerning group of customers for prAna—a no-nonsense market demanding performance, technical proficiency and a sharp focus on sustainable materials and practices. As clothing for the outdoor industry continues to trend into mainstream lifestyle wear, fashion has increased its importance for customers. This plays perfectly to the prAna's youthful positioning and a 15-year commitment to designing styles, and developing proprietary fabrics and features, that can successfully cross over from sport to the lifestyles influenced by the activities.

There is also a shift in awareness about how clothing is made and where it originates, much like the shift and demand for organic food in the mainstream.

“Ten years ago, textile technology added radical new shifts introducing lightweight fibers and materials with better performance for outdoor garments. Soon after, women's fashion made significant inroads and influenced design to become ‘on trend.' Today, textile technology and fashion are alive and well in the outdoor industry. We're now taking it to the next level by blending fashion and technical performance with sophisticated ideas in producing environmentally sustainable/recyclable garments with a fresh urban feel. We hope the women and men attracted to prAna will take comfort in the knowledge of the responsibility of their buying decision,” said Theodosakis.

A unique benefit of retail and wholesale showrooms; prAna's first is in the heart of Boulder

“We have an amazing network of local and regional dealers; this area has our brand's highest concentration. The 3,200 square-foot upper level of the store is here to support them as a showcase for buying and merchandising. Downstairs, a 1,000 square-foot showroom will provide retailers a more frequent and personal connection to our products. In these four walls our customers will get a full dose of what prAna represents and understand our message of health, wellness and sustainability. When they see prAna in our other dealers around town they will have a more complete picture of the brand. We hope to grow awareness and increase business in all of our local retailers,” said Theodosakis.

The store's co-existence is meant to bring dual benefits. “The idea is that ‘the rising tide raises all boats',” Theodosakis continued. “We believe—and we've seen great examples with other brands—if we can deliver a complete and excellent example of brand and product presentation to the market, the resulting awareness will benefit neighboring retailers who already have their own loyal niche clientele, like nearby Outdoor Divas,” said Theodosakis.

Store opening February 13 with active and fun participation throughout the week; wind energy benefits for employees

Kathryn Guay, the store's manager and longtime Boulder resident, has hired a new team of 10 full- and part-time staff and is excited to significantly increase the community's awareness of the prAna message. “Boulder will get to see the line and brand story in its entirety,” said Guay.

prAna has purchased wind energy carbon offsets for each of the store employees; the store utilizes wind energy and has incorporated a number of environmentally sustainable features in its architecture, feature design and operations.

The morning of February 13th, “we'll have refreshing sun salutations, and enjoy some traditional events with a fun twist on the Pearl St. Mall before officially opening the doors and expect a line outside. Beaver will lead everyone in sun salutations at 9:30 a.m.,” added Guay.

Other events scheduled during the week include visits by world-class rock climbers, Chris Sharma and Dean Potter; both will be in town for autograph signings and other events. They will be signing posters at the February 13 10 a.m. store opening.

The Boulder International Film Festival will feature Sharma in his latest film, “King Lines,” 10 a.m. February 15 at the Boulder Theatre. A complete event schedule will be posted on www.prana.com/Boulder; visit this website for ongoing information updated regularly after store opening.

About prAna Living LLC
With deep roots in rock climbing and yoga, prAna manufactures and markets performance and active lifestyle apparel for men and women. Now carried by dealers in 42 countries, prAna's reach extends from yoga and climbing enthusiasts to active, healthy people who are environmentally conscious.The design signature of prAna and Scapegoat blend contemporary style with technical features and detailing and is grounded in ideals of sustainability. www.prana.com. prAna – Born from the Experience® with Scapegoat, technically correct; always appropriate®.
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