When Kevin Plank founded Under Armour in 1996, his focus was on performance. That focus has not changed, and it was on display in New York at the recent launch of a new spacewear line designed in collaboration with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.
The collection shown at the New York unveiling included the spacesuit, footwear, a training suit, and a limited edition jacket. The pieces are blue and boast a sporty design, which came about from input by a variety of professionals ranging from stylists to doctors.
The pieces were in keeping with Under Armour’s approach to sportswear. Kevin Plank had founded the company with a t-shirt designed for athletes, and the new spacewear pieces reflect the Baltimore-based company’s history and focus.
Among the pieces on display at the unveiling was a spacesuit designed for Kevin Plank. Richard Branson modeled his own suit- complete his national flag on the arm and name tag on the leg as will be the case for each spacesuit Under Armour makes.
When Virgin Galactic begins commercial spaceflights in 2020, the spacesuit will be included in the approximately $250,000 ticket price. That ticket price has not proven a deterrent for the determined; there is actually a backlog of several hundred people waiting for a chance to embark on the remarkable journey that will take tourists to the very edge of space.
The unveiling came right before major news for both companies. At the end of October, Kevin Plank announced that he would be turning the CEO position over to COO Patrik Frisk; he will assume other duties at the company, and the new CEO will continue to report to him.
As for Virgin Galactic, there was also significant news. Richard Branson took the company public. It is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbpol SPCE. It has the distinction of being the first such company to do so.