Adanola new CEO, Ex gymshark

Chana, Ex-Gymshark Exec, Named New Adanola CEO

Adanola, a Manchester-based athleisure brand, has appointed Niran Chana, the former chief commercial officer at Gymshark, as its new Chief Executive Officer, with the appointment taking effect on June 20th.

After an 8-year tenure, Niran Chana has parted ways with Gymshark, where he served as the chief commercial officer.

After an 8-year tenure, Niran Chana has parted ways with Gymshark

Taking Over UK Cities

If you’ve strolled through London’s Sloane Square or Manchester’s Market Street recently, chances are you’ve spotted millennials and Gen Z’ers wearing Adanola’s stylish athleisure wear. This Manchester-based brand, renowned for its Ultimate Leggings and minimalist sweats, has captured the booming “clean girl” aesthetic popularised on TikTok. Its meteoric rise is staggering – sales skyrocketed 311% from 2022 to 2023, with revenues soaring into the eight-figure range. And the growth shows no signs of stopping, with sales projected to double again in 2024.

Adanola has enlisted the support of lifestyle influencer Stephanie Suganami (@steph_shep) in an effort to increase brand recognition within the United States market.

Adanola has enlisted the support of lifestyle influencer Stephanie Suganami (@steph_shep) in an effort to increase brand recognition within the United States market

Introducing the New CEO

To fuel this explosive trajectory, Adanola is undergoing a leadership revamp. Founder Hyrum Cook, 31, is transitioning from the CEO role to focus on brand, product, and community building. Stepping into the CEO position is Niran Chana, the former chief commercial officer of UK sportswear unicorn Gymshark. Officially joining in June, Chana will spearhead Adanola’s strategy, growth initiatives, and team expansion for this electrifying next phase.

“Niran’s been there, done that, bought the T-shirt,” quips Hyrum Cook, Adanola’s founder, speaking from the brand’s new 13,000-square-foot headquarters that just welcomed its 87 employees. He’s referring to Niran Chana, the former Gymshark chief commercial officer who helped skyrocket that brand’s revenue from £5 million to a staggering £500 million alongside founder Ben Francis. “He’s learned invaluable lessons from that experience. The timing was perfect to bring him on as our new CEO,” Cook adds.

Notably, Gymshark’s Francis also transitioned away from the CEO role during a pivotal growth phase from 2017 to 2021. “Niran is well-versed in that delicate founder-C-suite dynamic,” notes Cook. This deft leadership transition aims to replicate Gymshark’s stratospheric success as Adanola accelerates its expansion in the thriving athleisure market.

Hyrum Cook, Jordana LawtonAdanola NYFW Pop-Up Showroom, Soho, NYC, Manhattan, New York, United States - 07 Sep 2023

Adanola NYFW Pop-Up Showroom, Soho, NYC, Manhattan, New York – 07 Sep 2023

Sportswear Market

As the athleisure and sportswear market becomes saturated, Adanola has worked hard to set itself apart from more sports-focused competitors such as Lululemon or Gymshark, with lower price points and a bigger focus on activities around a session at the gym, such as brunch. “Young consumers are investing more than ever in how they look at the gym or at brunch, because they’re prioritising wellness over going out,” Cook says. “In our office there are 20 to 30-year-olds who are not going out at the weekend — they’re going to classes on a Sunday morning and then to brunch. We want to facilitate looking good and going [for brunch] after a class or before a class. That’s what feeds our ecosystem.”

Despite its spectacular recent growth, the brand has “ample headroom” to scale across all its current categories, territories and channels, according to Chana, including expanding its US business and exploring the potential of outerwear and swim. “Candidly, we’re barely scratching the surface,” he says.

Adanola appoints Gymshark veteran Niran Chana to CEO

Niran Chana, GymShark

Early Days Of Adanola

While Adanola may seem like an overnight sensation, founder Hyrum Cook’s journey is a tale of perseverance and patience. In 2015, inspired by his love for Scandinavian style and a vision to create affordable yet stylish gym leggings, Cook co-founded the brand with his brother Josh. Their timing coincided with Lululemon’s launch of the now iconic Align leggings. However, the path wasn’t smooth. In 2017, the brothers’ visions diverged, with Josh favoring mainstream sportswear while Hyrum preferred a fashion-forward athleisure approach. This led to a professional split and three grueling years for Adanola. “Our best monthly sales were just £10,000. I was in debt, unable to pay myself,” Cook recalls, nearly shuttering the brand.

The turning point came when Cook zeroed in on leggings, drawing inspiration from Lululemon’s Aligns. During the 2020 Covid lockdown, he debuted the Ultimate Leggings at £40 – igniting a viral craze among consumers obsessed with at-home workouts. This bold pivot transformed Adanola into the athleisure phenomenon it is today. The Ultimate Leggings in sleek black quickly became – and remain – Adanola’s bestselling hero product. “It just blew up,” recalls founder Hyrum Cook. In the era of pandemic lockdowns, the stars aligned: consumers flooded social media, following influencers rocking the must-have leggings. With everyone shopping online and exercising outdoors, the £40 Ultimate Leggings were the perfect blend of style and performance.

“It was the ideal product at the perfect moment,” Cook shares. “But I also created my own luck. Those five years of perseverance positioned me for this viral success when the time was right.” From humble roots to capturing the lockdown athleisure boom, the Ultimate Leggings catalysed Adanola’s meteoric rise as a formidable force in fashionable activewear.

Market Positioning

Adanola positions itself as a premium athleisure label, yet remains more affordable than titans like Lululemon and Sweaty Betty. Remarkably, it hasn’t raised prices since launch. Alongside the cult-favorite Ultimate Leggings, a classic sweater retails for £50, while a three-pack of socks is just £8. “You don’t need £100 leggings for exceptional quality,” asserts founder Hyrum Cook. “We achieve healthy margins at £40 by producing at massive scale. We could likely increase prices, perhaps in the next year, but there’s no urgent need.”

This pricing strategy resonates with Adanola’s core millennial and Gen Z clientele seeking premium activewear without the premium markup. By manufacturing high volumes efficiently, the brand democratizes athleisure luxury – fueling its meteoric growth by making covetable apparel accessible to the masses. With demand surging, Adanola is primed to captivate even more value-conscious trendsetters.

While logomania may be waning in broader streetwear, Adanola’s branded apparel flies off the shelves. The label’s logo sweats are consistent bestsellers, with non-logo styles seeing lower sell-through. On average, Adanola sells a staggering 45 branded sweatshirts every hour – totaling over 200,000 units in just the past six months, largely driven by logo designs.

“Some customers start with our socks, just to rock the iconic logo,” shares founder Hyrum Cook. “It’s cultivated this cult-like following. People want to visibly flaunt they’re wearing Adanola.” In an era where subtle branding reigns supreme across streetwear, Adanola bucks the trend. The bold logo has become a must-have statement piece, captivating trend-conscious consumers. This logomania frenzy propels Adanola’s rapid ascent as a bonafide “It” label coveted by the fashion-forward athleisure set.

Gym & Workout Clothes for Women | Adanola Activewear

Gym & Workout Clothes for Women | Adanola Activewear

Chana’s Mission

A priority for Chana will be to improve the digital customer experience, particularly when demand surges. “We’re in a fortunate position that the product and brand propositions have generated lots of success for us to date. Now it’s time to invest in the operational side of the business to ensure we have a solid foundation to build upon,” he says. “Customer experience was my first area of focus when I joined Gymshark in 2015, and I have tangibly seen the benefits over time in investing across the touchpoints; from digital experience through to service and aftersales.”

On the wholesale side, Adanola is stocked at Selfridges, Harrods and Middle East retailer Ounass, important accounts for brand awareness and “acceptance”, says Cook. “We turn down a lot of retail partner requests and a lot of orders. And if one of our retail partners wants to order 10,000 of something, we won’t do it.” This follows the model of other direct-to-consumer (DTC) players in the athleisure-DTC space, from Tala to Represent, which have built strong online communities as well as high-demand drop models before venturing into wholesale for brand awareness.

Gym & Workout Clothes for Women | Adanola Activewear

Gym & Workout Clothes for Women | Adanola Activewear

Social Media’s Part

According to founder Hyrum Cook, social media is the core driving force behind Adanola’s meteoric rise. The brand invests heavily in paid marketing while curating an aspirational Instagram feed – a masterclass in lifestyle branding. Influencers, models, and celebrities don Adanola’s sleek athleisure wear for yoga sessions, matcha runs, and stylish city exploration.

But Adanola doesn’t just rely on influencer clout. It cleverly leverages user-generated content, spotlighting its community organically rocking Adanola outfits. This peer-to-peer social proof shows potential customers how “regular” people style the brand’s pieces – a crucial research phase in Gen Z’s path to purchase. By merging aspirational paid content with authentic user-generated visibility, Adanola has cracked the code of social media marketing mastery. This multi-pronged approach resonates with the digital-native athleisure consumer, accelerating Adanola’s explosive growth as a trendsetting lifestyle brand beyond traditional activewear.

Influencer Marketing

In the realm of celebrity endorsements, Adanola counts model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley among its many high-profile ambassadors. Two years ago, the style icon reached out to founder Hyrum Cook after discovering the brand’s cult following on social media. This organic interest paved the way for their 2023 collaboration – a partnership that skyrocketed Adanola’s reach and conversions.

By organically captivating tastemakers like Huntington-Whiteley, Adanola reinforces its status as an “It” athleisure label adored by fashion’s elite. These coveted celebrity co-signs validate the brand’s aesthetic and elevate its visibility among discerning, style-conscious consumers. As Adanola’s A-list following grows, its desirability soars – turbocharging the momentum of this meteoric activewear phenomenon.

@emmablaz not me literally gasping at the pilates mum jacket 🙃 such good staples for autumn/winter and I can’t explain how soft these longsleeves are!!! #adanola #adanolahaul #tryonhaul ♬ The Hills x I Was Never There – TikTok Remix – TommyMuzzic & ZeddMusique

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