STRETCH, RUN, SWEAT, REPEAT.
Healthy living may be on the rise, but ACTIVEWEAR has become an institution.
You may not work out, but you sure as heck own a pair of yoga pants, even if you’re lacking in the muscle tone department.
Fashion fitness is fashionable; it’s everywhere. Even retail brands that may have historically offered one type of garment are now dipping into the pool by releasing activewear collections for the rising demand.
We see sought-after A-listers paving the flag for stylish fitness gear everywhere, with the likes of Rita Ora, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner rocking the famous Nike swoosh or Adidas logo for Instagram promotion. In reality, whoever looks that good working out?!
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With so many brands getting the participation medal, what makes other brands come first place in terms of their marketing and sales? How have unknown companies and big brands maintained a higher rank in the race, even without celebrity endorsements?
Here’s our break down…
Activewear isn’t ugly wear. Activewear in fact is more flattering than a lot of clothing you can find these days. It makes booties pop and transforms curves. There’s also something about it that makes you feel a little more confident.
The flattering sartorial style of activewear is definitely at the heart of its appeal. You wouldn’t be caught dead at barre class in an old t-shirt and board-shorts in this day and age. Everything out there is bespoke, and people love that.
A vanguard brand that effectively pairs fashion with fitness is Adidas. One of the biggest names around. While they do dabble in some celebrity endorsements from time to time, their success comes from their urban street style sensibilities. Their designs have become iconic making fitness even more fashionable. Once you see those three stripes, you know who made that particular piece.
The more brands are conscious of making flattering and fashionable clothes, the better their results.
See? Regular people like you and me can rock the 3 stripes, too.
Celebration of the “Everyman”:
Unlike its haute couture counterpart, fitness gear is oftentimes more affordable than big-name designer garments. With this in mind, there’s no real divide between subclasses when it comes to activewear. You don’t have to be rich, you just have to be fit, and anyone can achieve personal fitness, leveling the proverbial playing field. Fitness wear is thus so popular because it celebrates the achievements of the “everyman” and brands who showcase this often perform better.
These brands often promote the mantra of being one’s best self or beating your personal best, inspiring whole generations of people to achieve their physical goals in a world that often promotes unhealthy comparison.
One brand that does this particularly well is Nike. Sure, they also use big names to supplement their marketing campaigns, but their best work showcases ads that show everyday humans as real-life winners.
Here’s our top pick of the “Find your greatness” ads that inspire and encourage the “everyman” to discover the greatness within.
When we say “everyman”, we mean EVERYONE. Fitness brands that offer more options for marginalized groups are doing themselves a favor in the long run. One particular market that’s causing waves is the plus-size market, with brands like Fabletics and Lululemon championing designs for all shapes and sizes.
There’s also an increase in activewear designed for Muslim women seeking modesty wear that not only allows them to stay cool whilst exercising but also practice a crucial component of their religion without compromise.
Here we see how fitness brands are empowering different types of women to make decisions for their health while still maintaining their unique lifestyles. A triumph for women and niche groups everywhere.
Last but not least, activewear brands are also showcasing that they’re socially and environmentally conscious. This is something refreshing in an industry that capitalizes on synthetic materials that aren’t good for the planet.
That’s why brands that support sustainable practices and keep their business practices out of sweatshops are killing it when it comes to sales, instead of killing their integrity.
Patagonia uses recycled polyesters, while brands like Teeki take it one step further and make their clothes out of recycled plastic bottles.
We’re also seeing fewer companies build their factories in third-world nations (thus, not exploiting the vulnerable). More and more companies are manufacturing in the USA, while businesses with a presence overseas are reassessing their practices in the face of scrutiny.
Activewear brands like these have a very unique and POWERFUL position compared to their negligent counterparts, assisting sales in a way that will help the long-term career of their brand and inspire trust amongst their target market.
2021 is seeing a continued rise in the success of micro – and nano – influencers. They’re those online figures with a modest following that actually might have a greater impact on their following than celebrities do. They’re more like us; it’s like we’re taking buying advice from a friend, rather than say, Rihanna.
To delve deeper into what brands will do on social media in 2021, listen to our podcast. We’ve covered the updated use of data and getting the most out of micro-influencers in your niche.
You Can Just Do It, too
These brands vary in terms of renown and practice, but they’re all riding the fitness-wear wave and riding it WELL. The modern fitness brand of the future will likely continue to showcase on-trend designs to suit market tastes HOWEVER, longevity will be assured through sustainability practices that actually make a difference to the planet.
Activewear brands can gain a wealth of knowledge by studying these brands inside out. Emulating these same qualities is a sure-fire way to get your activewear brand ahead of the game. The game, after all, is all about being fit for the race.