Los Angeles-based shoe brand APL, or Athletic Propulsion Labs, is stepping into retail.
After a decade of building APL’s foundation through the direct-to-consumer model, the brand’s founders Ryan and Adam Goldston are moving into brick-and-mortar, with plans to open their first store at The Grove in Los Angeles later this year.
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“We’ve always had the grand vision of having our own flagships, but wanted to wait until what we felt was the perfect time to open our first one,” the founders said in a statement. “It was important that we created a deep connection with our customers via our own e-commerce site and gained a critical mass and loyal following so that when we opened our first store, it was something our customers were eager to come experience. This store is in the one place we knew we always wanted to be in Los Angeles, The Grove and it will be the physical embodiment of APL as a brand.”
Twin brothers and former University of Southern California athletes, the Goldstons cofounded the company in 2009, developing an 8-spring Load ‘N Launch Technology for a shoe that made headlines when it was banned by the National Basketball Association. Since then they have rolled out shoes with performance-enhancing features in a range of different colors and materials, including a lightweight woven mesh.
Last year APL partnered with The Woolmark Co. on the first technical-knit shoe to hit the global market with the wool certification trademark. Launched in December, the TechLoom Breeze Merino Wool collection included APL’s most sustainable and lightest running shoe to date, made with 80 percent Australian merino wool and knitted with APL’s patented, stretch-rebound TechLoom upper to deliver strength, greater elasticity and maximum support during performance and sports lifestyle activities. It was the first launch in a series of long-term certified wool product collaborations between APL and The Woolmark Co.
While other popular brands such as Allbirds and Rothy’s also offer knitted sneakers and shoes, APL has taken a more “luxury performance” stance in the market. In recent months, the brand has also launched TechLoom comfort slides, mesh booties and a collaboration with “Star Wars.”
Set to open in late 2019, the store will be near the center of The Grove, the highly foot-trafficked outdoor shopping mall owned by Rick Caruso.
APL also sells through its own e-commerce platform in addition to wholesale accounts, which include Barneys New York, Harvey Nichols and Harrods in London, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Le Bon Marché in Paris and Level Shoes in Dubai.