Image credit:
Trade show Munich
Image credit:
Trade show Munich

Sports fashion trends 2024: Quiet outdoor & nostalgia

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After the strong inspirations around the themes of Mountaincore and Gorpcore, we present the trends for 2024: Quiet Outdoor and classic nostalgia. These new trends are inspired by luxury and outdoor tradition. How are the codes of fashion and sportswear being used to create new genres?

High culture of sport

You might think that sport and fashion are two separate areas, one emphasizing performance and the other elegance. But these two worlds have always collided in phases. First in the "Roaring Twenties" with the use of jersey-style cotton knitwear for Chanel™ and piquet for Lacoste™. Then the casual wear trends of Calvin Klein™ or Tommy Hilfiger™ in the 1990s. Finally, the serious influence of streetwear on luxury by Louis Vuitton™ in the Virgil Abloh era.

Haute couture has always been inspired by sport and the outdoor sports practiced in resorts and ski resorts. The Jacquemus™ brand has just opened its first store in Courchevel. In view of the 2024 Olympic Games, sponsor brands such as Le Coq Sportif and Louis Vuitton are planning limited-edition collections or collections themed around Paris 2024. To mark the occasion, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is dedicating an exhibition to the theme of "Fashion and sport: from one catwalk to another". The exhibition shows how fashion has transformed the specific purpose of sportswear and integrated it into the everyday wardrobe. The focus is on comfort and innovation, and it becomes clear why tracksuits and sneakers have taken a firm place in the fashion world, both in everyday life and in haute couture, with examples from Balenciaga to Off-White.

Marketing for sport and luxury

The report by "The Business of Fashion" entitled "The new rules of fashion in sports marketing" published in November 2023, which is aligned with the codes of the fashion and especially the luxury industry, states: "The increasing commercial and cultural relevance of sport is becoming a priority for fashion brands." Analysing the intersection of sport and luxury in fashion is an exercise that sheds light on the dynamic relationship between these two sectors. The report highlights the profound impact of sport on luxury: it is a fusion that fuels both sectors, as sport influences the narrative of luxury brands and vice versa. This cultural resonance offers brands new opportunities to connect directly with different consumers across borders. Beyond glitz and glamour, the report also emphasizes the increasing importance of sustainability.

The blending of genres and codes from sport and luxury are the trademark of designer Stéphane Ashpool, who was also a guest at ISPO Munich 2023. In collaboration with Le Coq Sportif, he will design the clothing for the French national team's Olympic and Paralympic athletes. There are other notable examples of collaborations such as the Suprême™ Louis Vuitton™ bags for the French skateboard team at the Tokyo Olympics.

"Influencer fatigue among consumers is evident: 68% say they are unhappy with the amount of sponsored content on social media, and 65% trust influencers less than in previous years." from "The New Rules of Fashion in Sports Marketing", The Business of Fashion

Quiet Outdoor

This trend is inspired by the "quiet luxury" trend and the idea of optimizing basics through innovation and material engineering. Its aesthetic attempts to merge functionality and style. She is guided by the discreet codes of luxury and is characterized by a subtle and minimalist approach to outdoor clothing. It focuses on clean designs, understated colours, minimalist details and high-quality technical materials. In short, "Quiet Outdoor" embodies a casual elegance. Confidential brands such as Hopaal™ or CircleSportwear™ have a design DNA based on this idea. Iconic brands do not hesitate to launch new lines. Arc'teryx Veillance transforms timeless basics into must-have pieces that are half urban, half outdoor. Fear of God Athletics has collaborated with Adidas™ to create a sleek and conceptual streetwear style. Asics™ from Japan has launched the unisex Asics Novalis™ brand of streetwear pieces with outdoor performance.

Iconic label 66°North welcomed Kei Toyoshima, formerly of Louis Vuitton, as creative director. On the luxury side, Dover Street Market stores in London and e-commerce store SDM have collaborated with The North Face™ for their exclusive SOUKUU line. Layers and mid-layers are not neglected either, with technical products from Nosc™ and Falkesport™. The Tomoclothing™ brand has just launched a trenchcoat-inspired raincoat that is modular and suitable for cycling as a means of urban transportation.

Running with style

The Quiet Outdoor concept is also very present in high-performance shoes. An example that already focuses on low-profile in its name: Nnormal™, the trail running equipment brand founded by Kilian Jornet and Camper, presents Kboix, an innovative, modular and eco-friendly running shoe. With technologies such as Vibrams™ soles and an upper knitted with Kalvar™ yarn, this shoe offers three functions tailored to the desired running sensation and type of running. Ecoalf™ collaborated with Michelin™ and Cordura™ to develop the Gredos and Abantos sneakers.

Circle Sportwear launched a running shoe in 2023 that is 100% recyclable, contains no synthetic materials and is made in Europe in collaboration with dedicated suppliers: The Woolmark company™, Lenzing™ and Arkema™. Swiss brand ON, meanwhile, has teamed up with leading Spanish luxury company Loewe to design the Cloudtilt sneaker, which is 25% circularly sourced and uses Cloudtec cushioning technology developed in-house by ON. And the Hoka™ brand has collaborated with designer Nicole Mc Laughlin on a running/trail sneaker, the result is stunningly inventive and stylish.

Classic nostalgia

This trend is being driven by established mountain sports brands such as Moncler™, Fusalp™, Rossignol™, Spiridon™, Salomon™ and Kway™. Inspired by abstract prints, recognizable logos with bold colors and modernized traditional jacquards in contemporary hues, we are once again immersed in the era of sweaters with geometric patterns, as found at Napapirji™. With innovative materials, bonding or more environmentally friendly membranes, the Terrex collections from Adidas™ or the 1885 from Oxbow are perfect illustrations of this trend. These looks, which were also very present in the last Barbie film, combine the mountains with the California of the 1990s. From surfing to snowboarding, these classics can be worn again thanks to the reuse of materials, as brilliantly realized by the English designer Jaimus Tailor with his brand greater goods.

On the collaboration side, Uggs™ & Palace™, The North Face™ and Smithoptics™ hit the mark. In the luxury segment, the North Face-Gucci collaboration is only available to pre-order in Gucci boutiques. When it comes to accessories, the hottest product is the wide glasses with polarized lenses, as found at Moken™ or in the Moncler Grenoble collection. For its 100th anniversary, the Italian brand Colmar commissioned Californian designer Joshua Vides to create a unisex collection with a very graphic style. Finally, you can find the multi-purpose hats passe montage multi usages or the gloves and mittens by Elmer™ for example. Finally, multifunctional fit hoods or gloves and mittens can be found from brands such as Elmer™. Brands like Merrell are also reinventing themselves. For their Agility Peak 5 shoe, winner of an ISPO Award, they have developed a GORE-TEX™ protective layer and a versatile construction that makes the product comfortable and customizable by adapting the classics to current trends.

Metamorphosis and authenticity

These trends not only reflect changing consumer values, but also set a promising precedent for the industry. In this changing landscape, authenticity appears to be a key factor. Looking to the future: As we navigate a changing fashion landscape, the fusion of sport and luxury is not just a trend, but a paradigm shift. This presents an exciting opportunity for brands to remain relevant, but also to be at the forefront of cultural and sustainable change. In these cultural metamorphoses, the trend does not matter as long as it is authentic. Those that integrate sustainable practices that promote a new era where fashion and sport live together responsibly have a future. Naturalness and sincerity are firmly established codes in the outdoor sports sector. Outdoor brands can rely on look, innovation and eco-design. They are often one step ahead of visions that involve changes and adaptations to new trends.

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