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#46 The Rise Of Athleisure In The Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is huge. In some countries like the UK, it is the biggest in the creative industry worth £26 billion and adding 800,000 jobs to the economy. It also has a huge impact on our world today as lots of new fashion trends are becoming a lifestyle or source of income for some people.

"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contact is so quick. Fashion is instant language." – Miuccia Prada

Have you ever heard of any words like sportswear, activewear, athletic wear or athleisure wear? We bet many of you have come across that kind of wear category when shopping for new legging pants. They might have some similarities which are related to sports but some of them are fashion trends that have turned into a lifestyle. It is called athleisure.

Where did The Athleisure Trend Start?

New fashion trends keep coming day by day, year by year, so it is tough to pinpoint the exact year where they started. All types of sports fashion trends probably started in the 1970s when fitness popularity came to the surface.

As for the athleisure trend, it has been an ongoing trend for two-decade already since it was founded in the early 2000s. But only for half a decade, the athleisure trend became the talk of the town. Lots of sports brands are also in line with producing these types of athleisure wear. But what exactly is athleisure?

What is Athleisure?

In a simple summary, just like how it was sounded and spelled, it is a combination of two words. Athletic + Leisure = Athleisure.

Athleisure is a definition of casual clothing designed to be worn for exercising or daily wear comfortably. It is likely what happens when a healthy lifestyle or sportswear meets fashion. Athleisure wear usually would have sports technical features like isolation sweat working, extra stretch, and significantly improved with spandex, nylon, lycra, fiber, etc. material clothing to give comfortable feels to wear it every day.

Some of the athleisure lineups are yoga pants, jogger pants, sweatpants, shorts, leggings, tights, gym stringers, gym tanks, sports bras, gym tees, hoodies, and sneakers, etc.

Understanding of Athleisure.

Athleisure is a result of the dynamic use of yoga pants. It is specially designed for fitness purposes. Because it has a simple look with softer feels, it makes women start wearing it for casual wear too. Being popularized by women, athleisure then started to branch into men's clothing as well. With the development year by year, athleisure now has become more versatile and fashionable without tuning out the sportswear features.

The athleisure trend has been around for a long time in the US. They have created a culture where after going to the gym, in the same outfit they can still go to grab a coffee in cafes. Since then it continues to outperform overall clothing and become the lifestyle trend.

Unfortunately, athleisure wear is still not familiar in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia like Malaysia. There is a big opportunity for apparel brands to make a move here. Because of that in 2022, some new uprising athleisure brands like Gear Up started to make their move by opening their first flagship store with the best user experience outlet in Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Malaysia. People can experience all kinds of sportswear themself before deciding to get their hands on whether in the outlet itself or through their website.

The Rise of Athleisure.

When a Covid-19 comes and disables the world economy including the fashion industry, it seems that the sportswear industry flourished more than ever. People would spend most of their time at home and a healthy lifestyle became an obligatory thing for them. Their routine exercise to healthy food is starting to be part of their life.

The obligation and SOP set by the government to minimize the physical interaction are also part of the contribution to the rise in athleisure wear. People who work from home would prefer to wear leggings, sweatpants, and loungewear that is easy for them to move around and be comfortable to attend their Zoom meeting.

Forbes Magazine came out with analyzed data from 17,000 brands that stated athleisure orders jumped 84% since the start of the pandemic. Thanks to the popularization done by the influencers, athleisure wear also became the target for the biggest fashion industry players like Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton (LV), Chanel, etc. The situation here shows athleisure trends will be always on top trending in the fashion industry and would not be going away anytime soon, even though the pandemic started to get better now.

Final Thought.

Even though the athleisure trend has skyrocketed during the pandemic, it has been around since the 90s when sneakers and hoodies are popular as now. People want a durable with a high rate of diversity and inclusion to fit all types of body shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.

According to the research by Allied Market Research, the global sportswear industry is expected to reach a total value of $547 billion by 2024. The global sports and athleisure market is also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% from 2021 to 2028. Proving the point that the amazing athleisure trend will come to stay in the market for upcoming years.

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