From triathlons to trimesters: ex-2XU colleagues behind new maternity brand
More than three decades after launching underwear brand Davenport and 18 years after co-founding 2XU, veteran retailer and entrepreneur Clyde Davenport is back with a new venture centered around compression leggings. But instead of targeting elite athletes, TheRY (pronounced theory) is aimed at pregnant and postpartum women. The name is an acronym for “the reason why”, reflecting the fact that all of the brand’s products must have a clear purpose. “At 2XU we have
we had this saying, ‘The world doesn’t have to run out again.’ It has to be something different, something unique. TheRY is a similar concept,” Davenport told Inside Retail. “The products we make have a physiological benefit that other brands don’t have. If we couldn’t find that positioning we wouldn’t have because why waste your time?” TheRY launched online in April 2022 with a range of graduated compression socks and leggings that have been medically tested and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved to improve blood circulation, as well as breastfeeding-friendly bamboo tops. The products were developed by materials science expert Cindy Liu, who previously worked with Davenport at 2XU and is TheRY’s Chief Executive and Research Officer. Davenport is the chairman of the brand. Gap in Market The idea for TheRY came to Davenport a few years ago after watching his daughter struggle to find comfortable, effective and stylish pregnancy compression leggings. “Some tights looked good and were comfortable. Other tights offered physiological benefits with graduated compression but were uncomfortable. The third type of tights – fortunately, I don’t think there are too many of them – which had the compression graduated the wrong way round, so instead of letting the blood flow away from the ankles, they were actually pushing it down, and that’s not great at all,” said Davenport. He reached out to Liu, who quickly saw an opportunity to bring her insights from 2XU to the maternity wear market. “We knew we could get the proprietary fabrics, and we knew we could construct a compression garment that aided circulation, was comfortable and looked good,” said Davenport. The pair took longer than expected to hit the market due to Covid-19 slowing down product development and the sampling process.