Welcome to the lesson in the history of fashion, in which we delve deeply into the origins and evolution of the most influential and ubiquitous businesses, icons, trends and more of the fashion industry.
It seems the whole world is & # 39; recreation & # 39; gone. We are surrounded by Lululemon yoga, Yeezy sneakers, Nike sports bras and Outdoor Voices exercise skirts. Experts believe it is a $ 300 billion international industry and is expected to grow in the coming years, as no one appears to be immune. Like Lisa Armstrong from Harper's Bazaar writes in the September 2016 issue, "Even fashion-hard romantics, bohos and glamor junkies & # 39; had a good idea at this relaxing moment."
But why? & # 39; Part of it is due to science. Designers nowadays have access to easily washable and sweaty fabrics, making them comfortable and practical for everyday use. It's a big news in a society that values fashion that can be worn for different occasions and in different places. Today's designers have seized the trend and worked with it, increasingly launching their own recreational lines (Stella McCartney with Adidas, Tory Burch started Tory Sport) or including athletics in their regular collection. Celebrities also love to make money and work with brands to bring their own versions of atleisure to consumers. (Kate Hudson founded Fabletics, Beyoncé gave us Ivy Park. Rihanna collaborated with Fenty Puma, to name a few.)
But there is more play than science and material. Changing needs and desires also play especially in women.
What is atleisure?
The word athleisure combines two seemingly contradictory terms, "athletics" and "relaxation." Already in 1979, the term is an edition of Nation's business to design garments and shoes designed for those who want to look athletic. Almost two decades later in 1997, Women's wear daily athleisure shoes are defined as "non-performance styles such as cloth or suede." The key idea in these early definitions of athlete leisure is that these styles are made to look like workout clothes, and do not primarily serve as workout clothing. It differs from today's interpretation of the term, which Merriam-Webster added to the dictionary in 2016 as "casual clothing designed to be worn for exercise as well as for general use." Athleisure was no longer just the appearance of exercise clothes, but sought to serve dual purposes.
From "sportswear" to "athletics"
Athleisure, as we know it today, has evolved from a century-long history of American sportswear to its own unique tendency that leverages our society's emphasis on comfort and the technology of advanced synthetic fibers. possible. Hundreds of years ago, people wore clothes determined by the event they were going to attend, but the modern day recreation program is for people who want a one-size-fits-all approach to their wardrobe: What can it take me to go to work after work? to the Gym? Basically, American fashion became sports-oriented (or at least & # 39; obsessed with looking sporty), and as it evolved, the fashion industry responded to consumer demands.
Sportswear from the late 19th and 20th centuries referred to the interchangeable separations worn by players and spectators. It was made following a more active lifestyle led by women cycling, playing tennis and dancing in nightclubs. This type of clothing is often made of knit or sweater and exposed arms and legs for freedom of movement. & # 39; An eye-catching sportswear designer was Paris Jean Patou, who acknowledged the setting of the tennis dress, first worn by tennis superstar Suzanne Lenglen to Wimbledon in 1921. The sporty dress, jersey and socks she wore on and off the track contributed to popularize sportswear in Europe. In 1926, Vogue reported, "Three-quarters of Paris fashion fashions are of the sport. It is simple, practical and youthful, and it is influencing more and more outside the realm of action sports in general attire for general day and transfer and for travel. & # 39;
While other Parisian designers, such as Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, became known for their sportswear designs, they never strayed from the tenants of the construction of couture that emphasizes quality. Instead, it is American designers who have shown the comfort and simplicity of sportswear. Designers like Claire McCardell and Bonnie Cashin have helped the American fashion industry emerge from the shadows of French couture to create a more comfortable way to promote clothing. Their designs emphasize the practicality and democratization of fashion. It is also worth noting that many of the most successful and well-known designers of sportswear were women, possibly because they understood the needs of their contemporaries and incorporated their own values into their designs. In the 1940's, McCardell portrayed American aesthetic sportswear. Her bathing suit, day skirts, toys and other signatures were characterized by functionality, soft construction and useful materials, all features of today's relaxation. Similarly, Cashin promoted the practicality of her clothing through retrenchments, large bags and utilitarian closures. Much later, in the 1980's, Donna Karan emphasized interchangeable, simple wardrobes when introducing her influential "Seven Easy Pieces."
By the end of the twentieth century, most of the garments would be considered sportswear. But the fashion change due to the influence of a more comfortable dress was not new at this point. In fact, it is the nature of fashion to use what was previously considered scandalous as unmatched and to transform it into the latest trend. The man's business attire of today, for example, emerged as a "pocket coat," the most comfortable dress intended for relaxation in intimate settings and never a formal attire. In a way that is typical of the fashion system, the idea of clothing for sports activities is adapted in fashion that is casual but stylish enough for people to consider wearing it to the gym rather than acting .
As society grew to accept sportswear as the norm, a new term was needed to distinguish this new generation of multi-purpose fashion from its predecessor. This is where athleisure comes in. & # 39; A 1989 Edition of Vogue discussed the multiple uses of fitness fashion as a leisure wear, when it was claimed that the result of designer and sports brands & # 39; body-hugging actionwear & # 39; was & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; a new category & # 39; athletic outfit & # 39; not just for exercise. & # 39; In 1994, the same title states: "The fitness revolution not only carried more fun, higher performance, but it also sent sports gear from the gym, along the hiking trails, down the street, and recently onto the runway."
What sets modern day athletics apart from its history is technology. The relaxation we know today was developed as a result of advanced textile science which enabled improved fabrics. Lycra was invented in 1958, which allows designers to use the fabric's inherent stretch. In 1986 it Women's wear daily reports that & # 39; a new Du Pont Dacron fabric will be released for use in the athletic market, describing it as & # 39; very soft, dry & comfortable & # 39 ;. More recently, the textile Gore-tex® allows clothes to be waterproof and breathable, without looking like they are designed for sports. This experimentation with textiles continues to this day and changes in the design of recreation. Over the past year, textile scientists have developed a substance that can actually respond to your body temperature. It is this marriage of innovation and design that reflects the self-blending of function and fashion in athleisure.
The future of athletics
Athleisure sales in 2018 and 2019 did not climb as aggressively as in the previous five years, but that does not mean the market is dead. Athleisure sales continue to grow, although the days of double-digit growth may be over. according to Vogue Businesses hope brands will attract new customers by focusing on different cuts that are more acceptable in the workplace. The hope is to appeal to an older generation by offering looser styles that can be a midfield between gym clothes and business apparel. And although the market is saturated with shorts, it is the best opportunity for footwear growth. Forbes claims that footwear will overtake footwear as the largest footwear category in the U.S. up to 202. If the ugly trend of the ugly sneaker & # 39; s an indication, performance shoes are not in demand. Instead, the market seems to be moving back to a desire for actively inspired clothing rather than real performance gear. It's about comfort and versatility right up to the shoes.
As the market continues to grow, larger businesses and smaller newcomers will continue to expand their leisure offerings. Brands such as Girlfriend Collective, Wone and Onzie were successful at the same time as Lululemon, Athleta and Adidas by focusing on athleisure's connection to society's greater emphasis on health and wellness. (In the case of Girlfriend Collective, they are also innovating to offer a more sustainable option by using recycled water bottles to make their products.) What this all means is that relaxation is here to to stay.
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