cover_rad

Writing about RAD Polewear, a brand specializing in poledancing apparel sure does take me to strange grounds. Ah, good ole’ poledancing. I know that some of you might be giggling and thinking of strip clubs and other dodgy joints. Forget about what you think you know.

Pole dancing has, for the past ten or so years, been an up and coming vehicle of self expression for cool chicks ( and some dudes I would assume ). Pole dancing, beyond any doubt a demanding sport, is to my eyes like skateboarding for girls. I know that writing about gender and sport can be a sensitive issue, so before you get all mad on me allow me to explain. What I am saying is that looking super fit going up and down a pole can be more appealing to women, the same way that grinding banks and having plenty of scars to show for it can be more appealing to men. I am not saying this is right or wrong, I am just saying that for the average man/woman this is the status quo of self perception. OK that’s about enough with being all PC.

impossibru

Not a sport you say. Try this without breaking your back I say. IMPOSSIBRU!!11!!

I like RAD polewear. The brand is Athens based, run by high energy co-founders Evi Valavani and Amalia Roussou. Both being pole dancers, they take a super core approach at running Rad which I think is, if not the only way forward, then at least the right way forward. Let me dig in more.

As far as I’m concerned the brand’s most defining moment this far has been the first event that RAD sponsored/hosted, a sort of scene get-together. To my eyes during the aforementioned event, RAD not only sort of took aesthetic ownership of the Greek pole dancing scene but also produced original content that should help it better establish its online presence.

all_girls

All girl crowd. Feels core and the brand presence is super strong. Just great imagery.

RAD is a young brand with – for the time being – limited reach, in terms of production and distribution. I would not be able to comment on product quality not having tested the product myself, but what I know the brand possesses aplenty is soft power and charm as well as the ability to create very marketable products. Which is something obvious in the first place since its latest production batch got virtually sold out on preorder.

There’s no easy path to success for RAD, especially operating in a marginalized market segment in this very unstable Greek economy. However the brand is already selling abroad, certainly banking on its core image, and is building collaboration with international brand-ambassadors-to-be, both A++ in my books.

I’d love to see RAD do more of the same in the future, while of course developing their business basics that I have partly mentioned above. What I really find interesting, is to what extent a brand such as RAD would be able to push the sport’s boundaries and extend it to a more mainstream audience, who is not necessarily interested in pursuing pole dancing as a sport, but finds it aspirational and would use the products because of its cool factor.

Further demarginalizing pole dancing. Although this goal would be a few years down the road and a recipe for brand equity burnout if not managed appropriately, it would be the ultimate challenge and a much promising journey for RAD or any brand with similar tools. And the best thing about it is that the way to achieve all this would be investing back to the sport’s and the scene’s core.