19 Feb Analyzing Luxury Brands: Athleisure Going High End
Undoubtedly, high fashion brands are often misunderstood by the general public. Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and other fashion designer clothing lines are viewed as too luxurious for normal consumption, but things have certainly changed.
Aside from about a hundred other things that have changed in the past decade, the rising demand for a healthier lifestyle led several new trends that no one really expected. The general public now wanted to make time for the gym in spite of their hectic schedules but some discovered an issue that’s yet to be solved; workout clothes aren’t really that comfortable.
Originally, gym gear were made for high performance activities. Manufacturers made use of technical fabrics with sweat-wicking technology that can be pretty uncomfortable when used on a normal basis. A demand for casual-like workout clothes rose as the number of people who wanted to transition from work to the gym with ease increased. Soon enough, sportswear brands took notice of the newly carved niche.
Stylish luxury sportswear brand Lululemon has become widely related with the term athleisure. While it may be true that it wasn’t them who actually discovered yoga pants, they’re a pioneer in developing gym gear that can be used in all sorts of settings aside from going to the gym. The activewear brand made use of high quality performance fabrics and styled them in a way that consumers can easily wear them to work before hitting their fitness centers.
They were an immediate success! So much so that they came right next to sportswear giant Nike in last year’s overall market share in the athletic wear industry. Furthermore, experts claim that their popularity can be associated with the expansion of the athleisure movement. By the time the brand has reached skyrocketing growth, other comps like Outdoor Voices followed suit.
It wasn’t long until wellness developed to be the ultimate luxury. People started to become obsessed with leading a healthy lifestyle and the movement spread quickly through Instagram feeds and hashtags on Twitter. From professional athletes, models, down to your average joe — everyone was sporting athleisure clothes. No longer was it bizarre to see girls wearing sports bras outside the gym, it suddenly became a fashion statement.
This then resulted in a trend that no one really ever saw coming, sports beating fashion.
High Fashion And Athleisure
It’s pretty hard to believe, albeit impossible, to think that valuable luxury brands like Versace, Fendi and more can be beaten by new athleisure brands — but it almost happened. Its increasing popularity saw fast-fashion brands like H&M and Zara shut down stores and before it even hit the luxury companies, market leaders acted fast.
As they say, join them, if you can’t beat them. Several high-fashion brands worldwide have joined in on the fun, starting with capsule collections. Soon enough, almost every luxury brand in the world had their own sportswear line. As a matter of fact, fresh athletic-wear lines have debuted during both the New York and Paris Fashion week.
For instance, Italian heritage label FENDI gave athleisure their own luxury spin and released an activewear collection that includes leggings, tanks, tees, and bomber jackets embedded with their infamous logo. Another well-known brand that launched its own sportswear collection is Italian luxury brand Versace. The brand maintained its “more is more” philosophy by designing gym clothes with bold prints and color blocking.
But aside from high-fashion brands launching their own athletic wear, some well-known sports brands have partnered with fashion designers to create the coolest gym gear in the market!
High Value Collaborations
While it may be true that luxury brands and fashion designers have their own loyal following, sportswear giants have the technical expertise needed to launch a great sportswear line. With this in mind, major players in the athleticwear industry have collaborated with upcoming designers in launching fashionable luxury workout clothes!
Nike x Matthew Williams
1017 Alyx 9SM founder Matthew Williams is committed to creating clothes that works hard for those who wear it. That’s why his collaboration with Nike came as no surprise.
Upon the announcement of the collaboration, it immediately became one of the most hyped up sportswear releases in the fashion industry. Williams’ committed following were quick to embrace the line as it debuted during Paris Fashion Week. Aside from looking cool, Nike’s data on how athletes move and sweat made the design both fashionable and functional!
Robert Geller x Lululemon
Robert Geller made his return to the New York Fashion Week line up with a stellar collaboration with Lululemon. And under Geller’s vision, the collection turned the head of athleisure around.
The dusty-colored sweat-wicking jackets immediately attained grail-level. Geller claimed that the collection spoke to him personally while allowing him to stretch his capabilities as a designer. The capsule collection for men made use of the high performance fabrics Lululemon is well-known for but was designed to be stylish enough for lunch dates.
Admittedly, the sudden collaboration between sports and fashion caught some of us off-guard but taking a closer look at the phenomenon, there’s one key factor that made everything possible.
Athleisure, High Fashion, And Social Media
Frankly speaking, if the movement came during the time when the Internet and social media is yet to be a thing, it could not have experienced the immediate growth it did today. On the other hand, fashion wouldn’t have easily survived the transition from print advertising into digital marketing if it weren’t for social media and its influencers.
Without a doubt, online marketing has shaped — and continues to shape — the way people consume goods and the way manufacturers promote them. For instance, a large majority of luxury brands have used social media management to release exclusive content during launches and ad shoots. Additionally, market leaders have used it to keep themselves updated with the latest trends.
Luxury athletic brands are a great example of how two different industries can come together to create a new market where flexibility thrives!
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