RYU Apparel Inc. has hired three new designers for its recently opened BETA 37.5 development lab in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

The development lab is key to the product design, development and innovation behind RYU Apparel and its goal of creating game-changing gear for the multi-discipline athlete.

Treya Klassen, RYU's VP Product and Brand, will lead the team, which includes three new designers: Tony Richardson, Trina Thompson and Nathan Kukathas. These three new designers have over 40 years' collective industry experience in product development, white space research, and innovative design process. They all have proven track records working for successful brands that have created breakthroughs in their industries, including extensive experience at Arc'teryx, a leading technical high-performance outerwear and equipment company.

Tony Richardson has worked in the outdoor industry for 18 years. He completed a diploma in Adventure Tourism from Thompson Rivers University in 2000. He has had many jobs as an instructor, guide (ACMG Assistant Rock) and ski patroller. From 2004-2008, he earned a Degree in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University and in his final year interned at Arc'teryx where he was hired upon graduation. Over the course of his 8 years with Arc'teryx, he worked on many categories including climbing harnesses, packs, apparel, LEAF, gloves, accessories and footwear. He is an avid adventurer having been on many expeditions to such places as Baffin Island, Patagonia and the Coast Mountains of BC. He recently left Arc'teryx and is now working with RYU to design and create technical athletic apparel and bags.

Trina Thompson is a graduate of the Apparel Design program from the University of the Fraser Valley. She has spent the last 10 years working as a Colour Designer at Arc'teryx. She was integral to creating and innovating the colour aesthetic of this world-class brand. As Arc'teryx grew, she applied this look to many categories including Whiteline (snowsports), Accent and Travers (out-door technical), Veilance (mens high-end urban wear) and 24 (city/life-style). Her role was broad; from palette conception, servicing a world-wide market (North America, Europe and Asia), down to selecting trims and thread colours for up to 500 SKUs per season, while maintaining the highest quality standards. She combines creativity with attention to detail. She will apply her design training to make technical sports apparel and bags for RYU.

Nathan Kukathas has led Design, Manufacturing, and Marketing projects over the past 17 years for Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, Sea To Summit, Cascade Designs, High Rock, Cathay Consolidated and Jet Boil. He has generated many original ideas, carrying them from concept to retail, and winning top industry awards in 8 consecutive years. These include: Outdoor Show Gold Awards for best product, Gear Junkie awards for innovation, and Outdoor Magazine Editor's Choice Awards. At Acr'teryx, Nathan's design team created a collection of clean, sophisticated, functional travel bags that are arguably the simplest, most understated, discreet and sophisticated bags ever tested, according to Outdoor Magazine. In regards to manufacturing, in one 5-year period he spent more than 1,500 days in factories all over Asia, gaining extensive experience sourcing from over 100 vendors and applying technical materials and sewing knowledge to negotiate pricing, terms and conditions.