Following on the heels of Whole Foods, Equinox, Flywheel, and other aspirational bourgeois health brands that have planted their flags in once-edgy Williamsburg, Lululemon today unveiled its first North Brooklyn location.
Why Williamsburg? “We knew there was an opportunity to bring another lifestyle brand into the community,” explained a gentlehearted Lululemon PR rep. “What’s beautiful about Williamsburg is the diversity,” she added. “From millennials to families to moms it is really a community that welcomes all.”
My editor, perhaps as an oblique act of punishment for an unspecified transgression, ordered me to Williamsburg to tour the new store and obtain photos. I had never been in a Lululemon store before — my beefy frame is capable of only two positions, standing and sitting, and therefore categorically unsuited to yoga — but I undertook the assignment with the gritty determination of a Jesuit missionary dispatched to a strange and barbarian land.
Across from the coincidentally named and unrelated “LuLu Lounge” on N. 6th St., I found a large, brightly lit storefront emblazoned with the sleek Lululemon logo. Inside were a great many racks of slippery, amphibian clothing, tended by oppressively cheerful salespeople. Although it is sometimes difficult to tell, the store sells both men and women’s clothing; from the immaculately professional salespeople’s strained smiles I suspect that they were mentally sizing me against their inventory and coming up short. No doubt I would require some kind of rubbery custom job the size and texture of a discarded walrus hide.
Anyway, in addition to its more banal function as a clothing store, I learned that the new Lululemon will be “a space to foster community with experiences,” including fitness classes (“sweat experiences”), and a slate of programs with local partners will be advertised on an in-store “digital community board” (a floor-length mirror with overlaid electronic text). In the back of the store there is also an area of counter-space for the hosting of kombucha parties, with synergy-maximizing sessions, book clubs, and ritual cult sacrifices presumably in the works. Local social media “influencers” have been hired as sirens to lure sailors to the rocks.
This is Lululemon’s second location in Brooklyn, after Cobble Hill, and the chain is also opening a new 5th Ave. Manhattan location today. Located at 129 N. 6th St., Lululemon Williamsburg will be open Mondays to Saturdays 10-8 and Sundays 11-7.