How Sportswear Became a Part of the Fashion Industry
Sportswear is building up its place in the design industry. Wearing workout clothes as part of a daily outfit, leggings with heels, or yoga pants at work — it is becoming rapidly common now. Global marketers and brands are addressing a different form of customer that values a more modern lifestyle.
The combination of sport and fashion is more than a trend; it represents a change in the ideals of culture. Everywhere you look, people are more involved in topics like fitness, recycling and social issues such as climate change. Global brands have replied by merging their required and conventional developments in technological features and fashion with a modern way of thinking with regards to sports aesthetics. This trend has become athleisure — a cross between athletics and leisure.
Sportswear and athletic equipment brands have begun to shift to this modern fact. Today, in addition to testing and product growth, the focus is also on emerging consumer tastes and needs. Brands are learning to discern between what their products — especially technological ones — are intended for and what customers really use for. This business must recognize who their clients are and concentrate not just on the supply of sports equipment and accessories, but rather on the possibility — and profitability — of other applications. More and more items initially built for rivalry are beginning to feature on the red carpet in the Oscars.
This move from athletic accessories to apparel pieces originated with American women taking yoga classes. The trend is for men’s and women ‘s clothes to look more alike, so what seems insane now might turn out not to be. Jeans would soon be substituted by leggings — in any color, to match every ensemble. Layer is key, because it needs to be interchangeable and matchable.
When tracksuits have been comfort suits
Sportswear may be considered America’s apparel contribution. In the 1920s, if you can believe it, sportswear was the word used to define the fashionable and informal apparel women wore to watch professional sports. [do you have a source for this? -please link]
The invention of stretch fabrics encouraged the design of nylon athletic shorts, zip-up windbreakers and anoraks. Manufacturers started manufacturing color-coordinated cotton and nylon fabric tracksuits in the 1960s, in the emblematic blues, reds and grays now synonymous with traditional sportswear.
In the mid-1970s, Bruce Lee was credited with taking the iconic stretch tracksuit into popular fashion. Suddenly, it was fashionable to wear athletic tracksuits in polyester, cotton, terrycloth and silk for events that were not even slightly athletic.
Same traditions, same principles
Sport has been a feature of culture. Sportswear businesses need to understand this in order to be able to match their market with these emerging principles. Another significant aspect is that the gap is becoming shorter. Athletics is not only for women: expect more and more men in places of authority to see the combination of athletics and fashion. And citizens of old age are sporting trainers, too. This is an unstoppable fact that affects any company.
Sportswear companies still ought to keep an eye on millennials, who would account for about 50 % of the population in five years. The next big trend is green juice, a healthier diet, a clean-cut look. This aesthetics is strongly related to the ideals of our modern world, but it might not be a movement, but a true transition.
Sports brands continue to confront the task of retaining their place. It is really necessary to know who is wearing a specific piece, since this aspect will pull down a company. It is a huge struggle for a prestigious company to retain its identity, since the aim is to keep doing business for several years to come. Technology is the second main component. Sportswear must be creative and fabrics must change, so fashion is no longer just a matter of colour.
Sports has been a feature of culture. Sportswear businesses need to understand this in order to be able to match their market with these emerging principles.
Sportswear companies like to make limited versions of sneakers — people obsessed with collecting unique styles of athletic shoes, particularly those made for basketball or skateboarding. This pattern, which began in the United States in the 1980s and has since expanded around the globe, has been effectively utilized by the sportswear industry by introducing collections tailored to feed demand. Small supply is pushing up costs. Top labels have also launched shops specializing in limited-edition items.
Limited editions are critical because they symbolize prestige and exclusivity, and the sportswear industry must learn to handle this growing phenomena. In reality, this is a resale business: in certain instances, particularly with basketball brands, limited-edition sneakers can be resold for €1,000. At the market stage, these shoes have had an influence because they are all over social media and favoured by rappers, musicians and models.
Sporting goods brands must be vigilant about their segmentation, dividing each category of consumers about order to deliver the best products to satisfy the demand. Nowadays, it is important to realize what is sold at each point of sale by utilizing a model through which each institution offers goods related to its customer profile.
Here’s a question: in what sector are sportswear brands? Brands need to be very vigilant to ensure the longevity of their brand. The trend in athletics is big and costs are really large, but is it really sustainable? Is it well managed? What is obvious is that brands must be really attentive to demand, but without sacrificing their origin. Customers are hungry for quality, and historic companies have tales to share.
As for the product — i.e. fabrics and technology — brands can continue the theme in sports when paying particular attention to segmentation. At ASICS, we will continue to produce the best shoes we can, while segmenting the business, identifying emerging patterns and customers, and adapting our goods accordingly. Sports and apparel should be sold at the same time without losing reputation. Customers will determine if they like strictly functional sportswear or clothes that can be mixed and matched to a fashionable look.