Everlast counts on Royer for the next round
The Royer group is bringing change to Everlast, hoping to redefine the American boxing brand. Royer has licensed Everlast’s apparel for the next five years, having already licensed its footwear line in 2018. Although some products are in stores now, the collaboration will concretely be hitting the market during the next fall-winter season. Everlast is hoping to change its image, as attested to by the recent Saint Laurent collaboration.
“With our previous partner, the brand had a presence everywhere… even in gas stations. We hope that we can reposition the brand again, with the international owner,” explained Raphaël Koné, who formerly worked at Nike and is now in charge of Everlast at Royer.
“We’ve decided to work across four sectors. The brand had a presence in major groups, and we don’t intend to end that relationship, but that will be via Special Make Up (SMU). We also want to maintain the relationship we currently have with sport specialists, offering 20-euro T-shirts that go back to the brand’s basics. We are also targeting stores that tend to be a bit more fashionable, like Citadium, that appeal to lifestyle specialists and jean-wearers. Our collection will offer them a different variety of pieces, with remarkable craftsmanship and cotton-weight from Turkey. We want to reach the concept store network,” continued Koné.
French company 4C has worked on this collection, and has played with expectations of both premium streetwear and boxing. One of the key pieces of the collection is a golden silk bomber, reminiscent of the material used for boxing robes, with embroidery on the back. It strongly references the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are taking place this year. A sleeveless hoodie will also be featured, along with t-shirts and a pair of 7/8 pants. All of this will be Portuguese-made.
This strategy is intended to create a coordinated image for all of Europe, elevating Everlast to a higher-quality, premium brand in the eyes of its consumers. Italy is the only country excluded from the Royer license, but conversations to change this are underway, hoping to harmonize the approach and obtain an offer. At the ISPO trade show in Munich, a boxing ring was set up in order to show the brand’s potential to international buyers. Apparel and footwear was also emphasized, along with gloves and protective training gear.
It will be a considerable challenge to coordinate the different markets. The brand has been very widely distributed in the past couple years, with t-shirts selling for as little as 10 euros. However, Royer’s team is establishing connections and partnerships with a different market. The t-shirts are still available, but the logo has since been reworked. The brand is also playing with an essential boxing item: the sleeveless hoodie. Leggings and sports bras will be featured for the women’s side of the collection, offering various well-thought layering options.
“The brand has an incredibly rich history. What's really crazy is that it was first founded in 1910 as a swimwear brand by Jacob Golomb, a New York immigrant whose father was a tailor. A few years later in 1917, it was contacted by the boxer Jack Dempsey who asked it to make training gear. Dempsey went on to become a champion,” explained Koné.
“For the last 110 years, the brand has been a part of the history of boxing. The photo used in the Saint Laurent campaign, with Basquiat and Warhol, is only one of the images that we have in our possession. There is currently a great deal of momentum with boxing. We are presented with a great opportunity, just waiting to be seized,” commented Koné.
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