Sportswear Chic

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Sportswear Chic

Sportswear keeps moving on, leaving stadiums and gyms behind; and today every designer is using the look to create their own preppy or upmarket versions. Sportswear is now a core part of wardrobes, since it’s perfect for facing bad weather and meeting the requirements of getting around a city. What’s the goal of sportswear? To satisfy the need for comfort while being even more on trend.

To put it simply, soft, fleecy shapes are no longer in. Consumers want comfort, of course, but they also want a certain style.

In the last few years, sportswear has taken its place as the new uniform. Sweatpants, hoodies, tennis shoes, bodysuits, parkas … so many elements from an athlete’s technical wardrobe have become key pieces in our modern closets. The pandemic, quarantines, and the intense interest in cocooning have only accentuated this already established trend. But though the sporty appeal has won hearts and bodies, these days it’s got a new ambition: to become more chic. It’s time to go from sportswear to “sportsoir” (a play on words from Vincent Grégoire, Insights Director with the NellyRodi strategic consulting agency). To put it simply, soft, fleecy shapes are no longer in. Consumers want comfort, of course, but they also want a certain style. And that’s what fashion houses present when they collaborate on a project with a sports equipment brand. In recent years, we’ve benefited from the unexpected partnerships of Gucci and Adidas, Jacquemus and Nike, Vuitton menswear with the NBA, Fendi and Fila, and Balmain and Puma, to name only the most prestigious. These liaisons would have been unimaginable in the past – the luxury sector seemed so unwilling to leave its ivory tower. But those days are definitely over.

In the ready-to-wear world, many designers are creating looks that pair fluidity with tailoring and cool with structure. One example is Maison Labiche with its embroidered sweatshirts, and then there’s Patine, Roseanna, Balzac Paris, and Avnier. Maison Château Rouge recently presented soccer jerseys inspired by the big teams in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and they immediately sold out. And since its beginnings, Maison Kitsuné has explored the preppy theme, with all its references to American high school looks, such as sleeveless sweaters, jerseys, and baseball jackets.

This new stylistic vocabulary is a perfect response to today’s lifestyles. The era of being confined, corseted, and “suffering to be beautiful” is over. Fashion has to adapt to new bodies moulded by new habits. That means fashion has to be ready to move in the purest sense of the word – to adapt to getting around a city and to riding a bike, scooter or hoverboard. Fashion has to make it possible to be completely comfortable while walking. And it has to be reliable in extreme weather such as heat waves, rainstorms, or severe cold. Finally, it has to let us show up at the office, the gym, and even a party without having to change clothes a thousand times and feel like we’re leading two or three lives. This upmarket sportswear is, quite simply, a reflection of today’s world of challenges.

+ Vincent Grégoire, Insights Director with the NellyRodi strategic consulting agency, shares his thoughts.

“Sportswear has taken over as the new standard. Yes, initially it was the choice of a generation who refused to make too much of an effort. But the truth is that it affects every age: it’s also very popular with boomers who ignore traditional codes and want to stay up to date. Sportswear’s success is, above all, tied to the fact that it’s very inclusive: the fluid fabrics work for everyone, no matter their age, size, or weight. The arrival of sportswear also degenders wardrobes: both boys and girls wear sweatpants, sweatshirts, fanny packs, etc. The sector is showing enormous ingenuity with very interesting technical treatments of fabrics, cuts, and prints.”

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© Balzac Paris

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© Avnier

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© Maison Château Rouge

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© Maison Labiche

all editorials

Sportswear Chic

Sportswear keeps moving on, leaving stadiums and gyms behind; and today every designer is using the look to create their own preppy or upmarket versions. Sportswear is now a core part of wardrobes, since it’s perfect for facing bad weather and meeting the requirements of getting around a city. What’s the goal of sportswear? To satisfy the need for comfort while being even more on trend.

To put it simply, soft, fleecy shapes are no longer in. Consumers want comfort, of course, but they also want a certain style.

In the last few years, sportswear has taken its place as the new uniform. Sweatpants, hoodies, tennis shoes, bodysuits, parkas … so many elements from an athlete’s technical wardrobe have become key pieces in our modern closets. The pandemic, quarantines, and the intense interest in cocooning have only accentuated this already established trend. But though the sporty appeal has won hearts and bodies, these days it’s got a new ambition: to become more chic. It’s time to go from sportswear to “sportsoir” (a play on words from Vincent Grégoire, Insights Director with the NellyRodi strategic consulting agency). To put it simply, soft, fleecy shapes are no longer in. Consumers want comfort, of course, but they also want a certain style. And that’s what fashion houses present when they collaborate on a project with a sports equipment brand. In recent years, we’ve benefited from the unexpected partnerships of Gucci and Adidas, Jacquemus and Nike, Vuitton menswear with the NBA, Fendi and Fila, and Balmain and Puma, to name only the most prestigious. These liaisons would have been unimaginable in the past – the luxury sector seemed so unwilling to leave its ivory tower. But those days are definitely over.

In the ready-to-wear world, many designers are creating looks that pair fluidity with tailoring and cool with structure. One example is Maison Labiche with its embroidered sweatshirts, and then there’s Patine, Roseanna, Balzac Paris, and Avnier. Maison Château Rouge recently presented soccer jerseys inspired by the big teams in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and they immediately sold out. And since its beginnings, Maison Kitsuné has explored the preppy theme, with all its references to American high school looks, such as sleeveless sweaters, jerseys, and baseball jackets.

This new stylistic vocabulary is a perfect response to today’s lifestyles. The era of being confined, corseted, and “suffering to be beautiful” is over. Fashion has to adapt to new bodies moulded by new habits. That means fashion has to be ready to move in the purest sense of the word – to adapt to getting around a city and to riding a bike, scooter or hoverboard. Fashion has to make it possible to be completely comfortable while walking. And it has to be reliable in extreme weather such as heat waves, rainstorms, or severe cold. Finally, it has to let us show up at the office, the gym, and even a party without having to change clothes a thousand times and feel like we’re leading two or three lives. This upmarket sportswear is, quite simply, a reflection of today’s world of challenges.

+ Vincent Grégoire, Insights Director with the NellyRodi strategic consulting agency, shares his thoughts.

“Sportswear has taken over as the new standard. Yes, initially it was the choice of a generation who refused to make too much of an effort. But the truth is that it affects every age: it’s also very popular with boomers who ignore traditional codes and want to stay up to date. Sportswear’s success is, above all, tied to the fact that it’s very inclusive: the fluid fabrics work for everyone, no matter their age, size, or weight. The arrival of sportswear also degenders wardrobes: both boys and girls wear sweatpants, sweatshirts, fanny packs, etc. The sector is showing enormous ingenuity with very interesting technical treatments of fabrics, cuts, and prints.”

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