How sportswear is winning at NYFW

 

After four days of New York Fashion Week it’s fair to say the intersection of sportswear and high-end fashion has superseded everyone’s expectations. But herein lies the problem. There are still are handful of terms being thrown around to describe this emerging shift in fashion - think athleisure, streetwear, and sportswear – but none that really do it justice. The enigmatic, all-embracing trend invaded the fashion world many moons ago, but now it’s reached a level of mass-acceptance that is further fueling consumer demand.

 


The Baja East ready-to-wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York

 

This blurring of style and comfort was evident in collections such as Baja East who paraded an unlikely pairing of velvet tracksuit pants with open-toe Fila slides, or at Kanye West’s third season with adidas showing compression leggings with Yeezy boots. The examples are becoming more and more prevalent as each season rolls around, and even sportswear brands want a part of the action. Puma decided to return to their roots, acknowledging that they were once very successful with the female consumer, so tapped Rihanna to help reconnect with girls around the globe for their Fall/Winter 2016 Fenty collaboration. “I came to the brand two years ago and we sat down and agreed that the roots of Puma, if you go back 10 or 15 years ago, were very successful with the female consumer; shoes like Speed Cat, Future Cat, and Mostro,” says Björn Gulden, CEO of Puma. “And, for whatever reason, we lost the female consumer. When we talked about how to get her back again, we brainstormed about what we could do and it was pretty obvious that we needed both the creative help and the symbol that connects with the young female consumer. All the research we did came up with Rihanna as number one.

 


Rihanna at the Fenty X Puma ready to wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York

 

There’s no denying the sportswear industry has been very male dominant, tapping into athletic superstars to spread awareness and build hype, but Puma is strategically filling a gap of potential female hypebeasts. “I think that creatively you can play around a lot more on the female side than you can on the men’s side, and for us, when we launched the creeper with Rihanna, we had girls lining up in front of the store at five or six o’clock in the morning to buy them,” adds Gulden. “I’ve never seen that before with females. It shows how strongly that group is looking for something that is special. We needed someone like Rihanna to open those doors; both of course to open the door to the consumer because she’s known, but more importantly to open the door creatively.

 

Fenty X Puma ready to wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York

 

For Puma, this convergence of design and functionality is right where they want to be, ultimately creating a collection where the customer dictates whether it’s sportswear, streetwear, or athleisure. “That’s why for us this is spot on,” says Gulden. “We can take the direction of Rihanna and she can lead us from a fashion point of view. Then we can come behind that with technology and performance and merge them together. From there the consumer decides if she’s wearing it for performance or if she’s wearing it for leisure.

 


Felipe Oliveira Baptista at the Lacoste ready to wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York

 

Designers such as Lacoste’s Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista have been challenged with forever fusing active elements into an elevated aesthetic, for a customer who is firmly focused on both comfort and style. “We are a sportswear brand, not luxury, but definitely not a high street brand,” says Baptista. “We’ve been working on stretching the sport and weekend aspects into a daily experience. They (consumers) want a strong look, and they still love fashion, but they want clothes that are easy to live in.

 

Lacoste ready to wear Fall/Winter 2016 show, New-York

 

The future success of sportswear in the women’s high fashion arena will require a focused lens that truly mirrors the consumers’ aspirations – and commerciality is a big part of that. “I think the female customer wants more for herself,” adds Gulden. “If you look at concepts like Lululemon, that didn’t exist years ago but was very successful because they took the female consumer seriously. I think brands like our self need to focus on the female as the female consumer and not only do a collection that is unisex. You’ll see that this (collection) is very directional and not all of these pieces are saleable, but they will be inspirational for designs that trickle down in the more commercial collection.

 


Fenty X Puma ready to wear Fall/Winter 2016, New-York

 

DISCOVER THE LATEST IN NOWMAGAZINE HERE.

 

Sarah Owen is an Editor at trend forecasting agency WGSN reporting on youth trends from a runway, retail, street, and cultural point of view. 
SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
The Rubchinskiy Perspective
By Gianluca Cantaro
In the same year of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Iron...
By Gianluca Cantaro
By Gianluca Cantaro
In the same year of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Iron Curtain, Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and Vetements (actually headed by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia), two of the most impactful brands in recent fashion history, and both from the former...
In the same year of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Iron Curtain, Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and Vetements (actually headed by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia), two of the most impactful brands in recent fashion history, and both from the former Soviet Union, unexpectedly reshuffled their successful plans to start new and challenging ventures that...
Kawakubo's Opera Debut
By NOWFASHION
Rei Kawakubo’s “Transformation and Liberation” project will finally come to life at Vienna's...
By NOWFASHION
By NOWFASHION
Rei Kawakubo’s “Transformation and Liberation” project will finally come to life at Vienna's State Opera in all its majestic, abstract splendour, Sunday, Dec. 8, in the world premiere of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.This modern-day portrayal of Orlando is a marriage of great minds: Woolf, Kawakubo...
Rei Kawakubo’s “Transformation and Liberation” project will finally come to life at Vienna's State Opera in all its majestic, abstract splendour, Sunday, Dec. 8, in the world premiere of Virginia Woolf's Orlando.This modern-day portrayal of Orlando is a marriage of great minds: Woolf, Kawakubo and composer Olga Neuwirth, one of the most forward-thinking figures in opera today and the first...
A Slow Start for Italy’s Independent Beauty Market
By Elisa Carassai
What’s happening in the Italian beauty industry? In an ever-expanding international beauty...
By Elisa Carassai
What’s happening in the Italian beauty industry? In an ever-expanding international beauty market, where new options are emerging continuously, the Italian market seems to be lacking something that is already mainstream abroad.According to a report by market research agency Mordor...
What’s happening in the Italian beauty industry? In an ever-expanding international beauty market, where new options are emerging continuously, the Italian market seems to be lacking something that is already mainstream abroad.According to a report by market research agency Mordor Intelligence, this is a result of a highly fragmented competitive landscape made up of numerous regional and...
London's First Clean Beauty Tradeshow
By Elisabeta Tudor
With the organic beauty sector on the rise, London will host the first-ever international Clean...
By Elisabeta Tudor
With the organic beauty sector on the rise, London will host the first-ever international Clean Beauty show at The Brewery event space in the city’s Barbican district.The two-day tradeshow will be held October 12th and 13th, 2020,  will gather experts and brands of the clean and organic beauty...
With the organic beauty sector on the rise, London will host the first-ever international Clean Beauty show at The Brewery event space in the city’s Barbican district.The two-day tradeshow will be held October 12th and 13th, 2020,  will gather experts and brands of the clean and organic beauty sector and feature facial skincare, bodycare, haircare, and makeup brands that work with sustainably...
Why Fashion Needs Cultural Cred
By Elisabeta Tudor
The way brands connect with their customers — established and potential ones — has changed...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
The way brands connect with their customers — established and potential ones — has changed drastically over the years and has redefined the way luxury and fashion brands interact with society as a whole.“Cultural cred is intangible. It transcends geography and demographics and isn’t created by...
The way brands connect with their customers — established and potential ones — has changed drastically over the years and has redefined the way luxury and fashion brands interact with society as a whole.“Cultural cred is intangible. It transcends geography and demographics and isn’t created by one group alone. It’s ambiguous and imbued with nuance, making it hard to define and put into...
Dover Street Market's 15 Years of Innovation
By Elisa Carassai
Can brick and mortar survive in the age of online shopping? As many shops and concept stores shut...
By Elisa Carassai
Can brick and mortar survive in the age of online shopping? As many shops and concept stores shut their doors, once again, Dover Street Market, the brainchild of Comme Des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, stands out by celebrating its 15th anniversary.The concept store, which initially opened in...
Can brick and mortar survive in the age of online shopping? As many shops and concept stores shut their doors, once again, Dover Street Market, the brainchild of Comme Des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, stands out by celebrating its 15th anniversary.The concept store, which initially opened in September 2004, on Dover Street in London's Mayfair district, was open for almost twelve years, until...
The Suit That Will Get Us to Mars
By Sofia Celeste
Getting the first human to Mars in the 2030s hinges more on the relationship between science and...
By Sofia Celeste
Getting the first human to Mars in the 2030s hinges more on the relationship between science and the textiles industry than one might think.“We will have people on the moon, hopefully by the mid 2020s. I hope we don’t get stuck on the Moon. I hope we can push further and get people to Mars....
Getting the first human to Mars in the 2030s hinges more on the relationship between science and the textiles industry than one might think.“We will have people on the moon, hopefully by the mid 2020s. I hope we don’t get stuck on the Moon. I hope we can push further and get people to Mars. That’s my job,” said Dr. Dava Newman, the former Deputy Administrator of NASA and a leading MIT Professor...
Italy’s Fashion Chamber Promotes Inclusion
By Elisa Carassai
Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda outlined the path towards diversity across the industry and...
By Elisa Carassai
Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda outlined the path towards diversity across the industry and how inclusion can be implemented throughout the fashion system, at a summit Tuesday, held at Milan’s historic Gerolamo children’s theater.Named “Including Diversity” the event coincided with World...
Italy’s Camera Nazionale Della Moda outlined the path towards diversity across the industry and how inclusion can be implemented throughout the fashion system, at a summit Tuesday, held at Milan’s historic Gerolamo children’s theater.Named “Including Diversity” the event coincided with World Disability Day, in an attempt to further underscore the chamber’s commitment, paving the way for a more...