The rumors are true: ivivva, lululemon’s kid sister brand, is expanding its Twin Cites presence beyond Mall of America with a new showroom set to open this summer in Excelsior. It's not the most obvious spot for a national brand—especially considering ivivva is going to be located in the carriage house behind new store Golden Rule, which you’d have to strain to see from Water Street. But this is a showroom, not a store, and the goal is to build community, not to sell yoga pants. Although as lululemon has proven, building community generally leads to the sale of yoga pants. Lots and lots of yoga pants.
Indeed, before lululemon had stores at the malls, it had showrooms (remember 50th & Penn in Minneapolis?) that were destinations for yoga classes, more than yoga gear. Likewise, the new ivivva showroom will host yoga and dance classes, running clinics, and provide meeting space for a variety of girls’ sports teams and activities. While lululemon has grown past showrooms in the U.S., they are now part of a national brand-building strategy for ivivva.
Showroom manager Molly Wengler, who opened the ivivva store at MOA and spent the last year in leadership development for the brand in Vancouver, says Excelsior felt right for the Twin Cities’ first ivivva showroom. “Everywhere I went, there were young, active girls,” Wengler says. She’s already meeting some of them, for input on an opening party for the showroom. “Once we have relationships, we want them to tell us what they want—it can inform design descisions for the brand.”
Ivivva sells active and casual apparel for girls, sizes 4 to 14. The showroom will stock a sampling of the latest styles.