When did sportswear leave the realm of the gym and hit the catwalks? When sportswear became fashionable , You only have to look at the latest lines, emerging from Fashion Week, to see that sportswear is not just having a moment, but it is here to stay. Of course this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, why should fashion be uncomfortable?
From field to FROW
Fred Perry, the tennis star of the 1930’s, brought tennis wear, often associated with country clubs and high society individuals to the masses. When it became intertwined with British Mod Subculture, the brand firmly established its place off the tennis courts and on the high street.
Sportswear in fashion could, in all honesty, be attributed to the good ol’ US of A. In the 1920’s the term ‘sportswear’ was used to describe the comfortable and casual clothing worn by women, who went to watch sports events.
With the advent of lycra and other stretchy materials, the manufacturers of sportswear were able to create more and more pieces of clothing such as shorts, tee-shirts, jackets and the plethora of clothing that we associate with sporting activity. They quickly realised that they could coordinate items of clothing, such as the now infamous tracksuit of the 1960’s. But it took Bruce Lee, in the mid 70’s, to introduce the tracksuit into mainstream fashion.
The New Age of Sportswear
Suddenly it became acceptable to wear sportswear away from any physical activity, and the category has been growing ever since.
Just look at the average high street on a Saturday morning and witness the number of women who have chosen to wear athleisure clothing: yoga inspired clothing or bright coloured lycra trousers, to run their errands in.
In the words of Trevor Edwards, President of Nike “tights are the new denim”.
Fashion designers have taken up the mantle, designing pieces of clothing that flatter, with built in control panels that allow the wearer to wear it outside of the gym.
Adidas and the fashion world
But why have the major sportswear brands, companies with their roots so firmly established in athletic performance, decided that breaking into fashion is the right move for their company?
Because of us women. Why should we settle with working out in baggy shorts and oversized t-shirts, when the rest of our wardrobes are designed to
flatter and suit? We no longer want to have to chose between highly functional workout wear and a fashionable product. Fashion blog
We want, no, demand, a seamless transition across fitness, workout, and lifestyle. Of course the product has to still be able to perform, but that isn’t the only requirement asked of it. It has to look good, feel good and provide the wearer with a memorable experience, as well as move, stretch, wick away sweat, support, keep warm and the other multitude of demands placed upon it.
Adidas have realised this need and have embraced the challenge admirably. Collaborations are how the company is expanding its footprint and working consumers up into a frenzy of excitement. Their partnerships with key power houses have secured their future in fashion Adidas by Stella McCartney, Raf Simons and Yohji Yamamoto to name but a few.
Fashion is changing and it has never been so comfortable.
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