Transitional Wear Gym To Day To Night
Women’s athletic infused leisurewear “Athleisure” is taking a bite out of the woman’s apparel pie. With sales in North America reported to be in the $35bn range with the prediction that this market will enjoy a rapid and steady climb to dizzying heights in the next few years. This has many of the big brands, including performance giant Nike (who were initially slow out of the box in reading the shift and this consumer) refocusing.
What The Brands Should Know.
The key will be getting the design and performance balance right. Brands will need to invest in design talent and refocus their marketing dollars if they want to be players in the Athleisure market. It will not do to simply slap a few performance trims and a bit of neon onto a sportswear garment nor will colouring-up a true performance garment in lifestyle colours make the cut. Athleisure is a finely tuned combination, pulling its colour from the streets, its cut from sportswear and its material, well that’s where it gets exciting! The key will be to deliver a garment in a material that is high on performance punch but low on performance look. Shine should be low and sophisticated if present; hand should be dry, soft in its cut and perfect in its fit. Material and Trim application will all need to be consider carefully. Designers will need to work at developing, along with the mills, a new material offering that speaks to the very different sensibilities found in the various design disciplines
Performance brands and their designers will need to develop a real understanding of the world of design that falls outside of their very specific abilities and denim / sportswear brands and their designers will need to grasp the key performance attributes that go into making athleisure. If it looks like performance or yoga wear it will not resound with consumers who are not runners, gym rats or yoga devotees, and if it looks too much like sportswear, it will lack that special something they are looking, that special something is a combination of street, sports and performance, a hybrid that needs to be just right to work…