June 25, 2014

Fashionable Incentives

In January at Invista, we spoke of how performance fabrics are crucial to the fashion industry as well as what all the present athletic hype is about. Just a few months later and activewear has made some significant leaps specifically concerning wearable technology and how we apply these innovations to our high energy lifestyles. It's all about getting healthy and fit, causing sports apparel to be fully integrated into our entire wardrobes.

photo via WWD

We're seeing so many unexpected brands branch out into activewear. Urban Outfitters has unveiled an in-house apparel and accessories line called Without Walls and Net-A-Porter looks to introduce a new department featuring brands that target yoga, running, and spin classes. Aimed at customers 18 to 28, Without Walls indulges in edgy designs, bright colours and vibrant patterns to be anything but basic workout gear. Currently allocated in more high-profile stores throughout New York, California, and the cities of Portland and Seattle, these casual in-store shops combine UO's new collection with a variety of other third party labels both big and small, including the likes of Vans, Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, Onzie, and Newline, among many others.

photo via fashionista.com

Also with fitness on the brain, Betsey Johnson has launched a fall collection inspired by performance focused pieces including high-stretch nylon spandex leggings, moisture wicking t's and heat sustaining fleece lined jackets. The designer hopes to "liven up other people's workout routines" with fishnet details, jacquard patterns, open exposures, peplum shapes, piping, and bows. The new line will be available at Nordstrom, Macy's, and Betsey's website later this year.

photo via Quartz

Then there is Gap who is directing it's current strategy towards the art of soft dressing. Already deeming fitness oriented clothing "the new denim," CEO Glenn Murphy has decided to move Gap Body's athletic wear straight to the front of store. With the success of Athleta blowing Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap sales out of the water, Murphy explained how so many of us are not just working out in our comfy sweatpants and yoga pants, but wearing them throughout the day to run errands, work from home, and even commute to work in. Hence, the success of Lululemon and all the fuss about looking fashion friendly while working out.

photo via WWD

Sending warning signals to all retailers, Amazon has embarked on the wearable technology movement. Just this spring, the online powerhouse debuted a wearable technology focused storefront promoting things like fitness and wellness trackers, smart watches, health care devices, and wearable cameras. John Nemeth, the director of wireless and mobile electronics at Amazon, foresees rapid expansion of this category which includes brands like Jawbone, GoPro, Polar, Garmin, and Nike.

photo via Naked Sports Gear

Summer is upon us and lucky for you, founders Reilly Star and Katie Sue Nicklos have perfected a range of sun-friendly apparel. Made in NYC of moisture wicking, tan through fabrics, Naked Sports Gear is a collection of sports bras, shirts and tanks that erase the fate of tan lines forever.

If it's not obvious yet, fashion and fitness pretty much go hand in hand and with athletic wear being classified just as essential to our wardrobes as denim, this is just likely the beginning. In the early 2000's the leggings fad surged and since then we've only grown to adopt more casual pieces into our everyday attire. Not to mention, we've already seen the shift among high and low brands like H&M, Uniqlo, Forever 21, and Lululemon 's sportswear pieces to Chanel and Dior sneakers and Tory Burch who will launch a line in 2015. With denim being the only category that has grown remotely similar to activewear, it will be interesting to see if it has the same long lasting success as the premium denim market. 

video via springwise.com

Today we'd like to leave you with this inspiring video explaining a new revolutionary concept initiated by the Alfa-Bank in Russia granting higher interest rates based on how much you exercise. It's trendy to be fit and just as important to look it as well. Right now, with such a spotlight on being healthy and so many companies getting active, will you? 

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