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Mega trend thanks to pandemic

Athleisure Wear: How promising is the hype for the fitness and fashion industry?

On the way to lunch, to the gym or to the next business meeting? You can no longer tell by looking at someone's outfit. Stylish activewear like running tights, hoodies or sneakers are socially accepted in almost every situation. For a good five years now, the fitness and fashion industries have benefited equally from the rising growth rates of sports-inspired fashion, which has finally become a mega-trend in the course of the pandemic.

What is Athleisure Wear?

The fashionable word creation combines the English terms Athletics and Leisure in sporty leisure looks. Cycling shorts with an oversized blouse or crop tops and sneakers with a summer skirt - for athletic outfits, activewear and everyday wear are combined or merge in new it-pieces like cool sweat suits and flared leggings.

The first high-fashion brands already discovered the great potential of athleisure wear in 2017 and cooperated with sports brands for new capsule collections. Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld or Gucci succeeded in rejuvenating their image and increasing their sales with luxury streetwear by collaborating with Supreme, Vans or The North Face. At the same time, more and more sports brands also reacted to the increasing demand. Labels such as Reebok or Adidas brought in hip fashion designers such as Victoria Beckham or Stella McCartney in order to win over the young generation with their fashion statement pieces.

Athleisure wear wins in the pandemic

With his latest sports-inspired collections, even fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has undone one of his most famous statements: sweatpants no longer indicate a loss of control, certainly not since the coronavirus pandemic turned our everyday lives upside down. With the move to working from home, requirements for work clothing have changed. Not only did the time-consuming commute disappear, but so did the dress code in the office. The fact that the pandemic has also awakened the sporting spirit in many to create a healthy balance inevitably benefits the athleisure hype.

Home office but make it fashion: Athleisure hype in the social networks

The hype is particularly evident on social media: Instead of wanderlust-inducing selfies from the Bali beach or the balcony of a fancy pop-up hotel in Cape Town, the focus in the Corona year has shifted to selfies at home. With recipes for vegan banana bread, digital yoga sessions and home workouts, millennials and GenZers have come up with creative ideas to survive the pandemic. This didn't affect the style factor, quite the opposite: in sweatpants, track pants and vintage hoodies, the influencers fired up the trend for athleisure wear.

Athleisure collections as a sales driver for the fitness and fashion industry

"Millennials and GenZers want fashionable activewear to stay active all day. While relaxing, working and all other activities," says trend expert Claire Conner of fashion label Bella+Canvas. Like many others, the brand launched its own athleisure line to meet the growing demand of the young target group for comfortable outfits. Ultra-soft materials, futuristic graphics and the silhouettes and colours of the 90s are particularly in vogue, explains Conner in the Trend Report. They are based on pop culture trends in the social networks that have emerged through the content of influencers and celebrities on TikTok and Instagram.

According to studies, a large part of the working population wants flexible home office arrangements even after the pandemic and it can be strongly assumed that this will also keep the fitness trend alive. Promising prospects for the fashion and sports industries, which can push each other like never before if they manage to pick up the young target group in the social networks.

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