Marcello Leone, RYU (Respect your Universe) CEO and president, talks about his love of tribes, both at work and at home in this interview from the November, 2018, issue of FPM.
FPM: How has the apparel market changed during your career?
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Leone: I started selling shoes when I was 14 years old so I’ve seen a number of trends. I’m 51 now, but back then, I was carrying my little Adidas bag and the only track pants we had were those cotton grey ones — no shape, no form, no tailoring, no nothing. We probably wore a suit six days of the week when we had to and then we went? home, took it off and put something comfortable on. That was our generation. This generation wants value, they want comfort, they want to feel good and they don’t want to wear a suit and tie all day. The old days are finished.
FPM: How can a brand be unique, but have broad appeal?
Leone: It goes without saying that all of the components of product — the proprietary patents that we’ve developed for our performance products to be functional, comfortable and completely different from everyone else — you have to have. Brands are built on tribes, communities, purpose and emotional connections, and everything has to be real, authentic, exciting and experiential.