Over the last year, the athleisure effect has become much more apparent. After the debut of Fashion Week Spring 2017, it sure seems like this fashion trend has not only penetrated the luxury industry, but will also be staying. Although recent data showcases that growth in the athleisure market is expected to plateau soon, brands need to continuously innovate the technical performance for their activewear lines or find other creative ways to integrate this fashion trend within their collections. Below are three updates for the athleisure market and how this fashion trend is affecting the overall fashion industry.
1. Luxury Designers Take on Athleisure
In the luxury industry, activewear pieces are reinvented to make them acceptable to wear everyday. Designers like Balenciaga utilized spandex to create luxe-looking boots, Balmain styled leggings under shorts and mini skirts, and Fendi introduced technical knits into this season’s collection.
While these pieces aren’t necessarily gym-friendly, it does show how versatile high-performance fabrics are and how the trend has taken on a high-fashion approach.
2. Celebrity Designer Collaborations
Although major sportswear brands already dominate the market, many have also paired with celebrity designers to create collaboration collections. Some of the most popular brand collaborations include: Adidas x Kanye West, Puma x Rihanna, Under Armour x Tim Coppens, and Beyoncé with Ivy Park.
These collaborations focus mainly on transitional pieces and are built for moments like cooling down after a workout or entering a heated room after walking in the cold weather, suggesting how multifunctional these collection pieces are.
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3. Growth in the Athleisure Industry
According to Slice Intelligence, sales of leggings grew by 41% within the last year. Founder of Bandier, Jennifer Bandier, correlated the rise in this particular fashion trend to consumers becoming more active and making their workouts an integral part of their life. Another influencing factor is that active fashion can be multi-purposed and it offers both comfort and style. The relaxed standard for dress code has greatly paved the way for the athleisure market; consumers can not only wear their trendy activewear to the gym, but they can also layer it for work or style it for the evening.
With many brands and designers riding the athleisure wave and the market becoming more saturated, it suggests that brands need to become more competitive and develop the technical skills to deliver high-quality and high-performance merchandise. Apart from the technical aspect, brands also need to start embodying the athleisure culture and lifestyle, similar to what the successful athleisure pioneer, Lululemon, has done.