Owners of warehouse district space The Duce Andi and Steve Rosenstein are not afraid to multi-task. After leaving Chicago, selling their casual clothing business Fitigues, and seeking a mellow Valley retirement, the duo scrapped relaxing and instead opened the bar, eatery, gym, and shop in 2010.
With the launch of a new summer collection from their threeish-year-old label R&R Surplus (formerly composed of reclaimed athletic pieces and vintage items) they've returned to their fashion-focused roots and expanded the brand's availability to Neiman Marcus' On The Go department (where you'll find R&R alongside brands like Stella McCartney for Adidas), Nordstrom, Equinox, and a few spas and boutiques across the country -- as well as at The Duce.
To some the expansion might seem like it came out of left field, but Steve explains, "When we got The Duce up and running, we had the R&R Shop where we'd reclaim retro American sporting goods like Champion. Then we decided to start producing [clothing] again. So we went back to people we worked with before [selling Fitigues] and they all flipped out."
Andi says that when she and Steve first discussed producing new pieces they called an old friend and buyer at Nordstrom, who, coincidentally, said she'd been searching for something like Fitigues to offer at the department store. "She convinced us it was our time again in the fall of 2011," Andi says.
From there Andi began the design process by first selecting supersoft fabrics, then drawing up the silhouettes and choosing colors. The idea was to create a collection of pieces that are comfortable, but not schlubby, and casual, but with a keen eye for detail.
The result? "It's the kind of stuff you want to live in when you're just hanging out," Andi says of the loungewear line (priced between $68 and $138) of tank tops, leggings, sweat pants, a hooded dress, and more.
Now that she's back to designing, she says she's got the bug. In fact, she's already plotting pieces for a fall collection, including a covetable cashmere hoodie and pieces made with leather and thermal.