Fitness meets underwear in co-branded pop-up

Guests can join a BodyLove workout class on the main floor, and then browse Knixwear intimates upstairs.

Women’s intimates brand Knixwear has opened its first retail pop-up in Toronto through a partnership with BodyLove (or “BOLO”), a fitness class and workout program.

The “#Boloknixhouse” launched on Nov. 21 and will run for the next three months. It functions as a multi-purpose space where guests can join a BOLO fitness class (which include things like boxing and high-intensity training) on the main floor, then head upstairs to enjoy a coffee or power drink while shopping Knixwear products. The space will also feature weekly panels covering topics ranging from paleo diets to pelvic floor exercises to professional development.

Joanna Griffiths, Knixwear’s founder and CEO, says that as the online-only brand has grown, customers have been wanting to try on its products and interact with it in store. “It was becoming apparent that that was something that we needed to try,” she says. “We really had no idea if it was going to be successful or not successful, but at the very least, we knew we needed to test it.”

Originally, Griffiths says she was going to try a more traditional pop-up on a street like Queen, one of the city’s most popular shopping areas. But when she started discussing the plan with her trainer and fitness coach, BOLO founder Caleigh Rykiss, the pair realized how well their brands aligned.

Griffiths says the BOLO classes are intended to help draw visitors during a key time of year, when people are starting to think about their health and fitness resolutions. To further encourage customers to visit the store, Knixwear invited muralist Kelsey Montague to paint wings on the exterior of the building, a symbol often associated with lingerie brand Victoria Secret’s annual fashion show. But in order to promote body-positive thinking, Knixwear held a fashion show celebrating the idea that “every woman is an angel” on the street outside the pop-up.

It released a video of the event ahead of Victoria Secret’s own fashion show on Nov. 28. It featured 22 women, age 25 to 60 and from the Toronto area, who form a diverse group representing different ethnicities, ages and body types. Griffiths calls it “basically the anti-traditional lingerie fashion show,” one intended to communicate the “inclusivity message that is a common bond between us and BOLO.”

The brand will also be testing out localized ads on social media and inviting corporate groups to participate in classes at the “#Boloknixhouse.”

Knixwear managed creative and media buy internally, which also includes the brand’s first out-of-home buy in the area of Toronto near the pop-up, and is working with HypePR on public relations.