Athleisure: Adidas and Stella McCartney Launch Stellasport collection

 

Benjamin Fitzgerald

Adidas and Stella McCartney have teamed up once again to launch StellaSport - a new sports range aimed at a younger female audience.

 

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Germany’s sportswear mogul adidas has teamed up with Briton Stella McCartney for the release of another luxury activewear collection – this time aimed at fit and fashionable twenty-somethings.

Dubbed adidas StellaSport, the garments in the athletic line are designed for younger women - compared to those on offer from the adidas by Stella McCartney range, which celebrates 10 years of operation this summer.

The two collections differentiate on color and price. Stellasport is far bolder and younger aesthetically, and a lot cheaper too, with pieces selling for $20 to $100 apiece - reflecting the income levels of the younger target market and signifies both brand’s wishes to tap into this group high-disposable income group.

The Collection

 

 The collection boasts color-pop accents of fuchsia pink mixed with lime green – covering everything from cotton-striped gym socks to jersey tracksuit zip-through jackets. The line is a perfect integration of sports and the street – lead heavily by the technological fabric advancements made by adidas and its Climalite fabric. 

 

Tanks, bras and tights come patterned and crafted in adidas’ state-of-the art material – a fast-drying textile designed to keep athletes cool and dry during warm weather sessions. Its cotton and synthetic combination also makes for a softer feel when touched – wicking the sweat away during exercise. But the specific Sport Performance Division pieces are more than simply sport-savvy and made stylishly so, according to Stella McCartney. The top designer describes intricately how each girl can wear her clothes.

"It takes the Stella girl from the campus to the club and finds a link in sport and technology without sacrificing style,” said McCartney.

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There are edgier silhouettes too, such as onesies and “trainkinis” (think bikini separates for training), as well as sneakers from her footwear range with open-mesh uppers and built-in sock liners for increased ventilation. For the more street-conscious woman, styles such as logo trucker caps and backpacks, are also prevalent.

“There are signature moments, like our new self-laced sneakers, that give individual personality. These pieces are designed to complement your life and be totally realistic that fashion and sport technology are here to stay as a huge part of our life and wardrobes, and this is the attitude we are shouting about,” added McCartney. 

Accessories from the line include logo trucker hats and backpacks.

Designed for the gym, on the streets and everywhere in between, Stellasport is the latest example of the athleisure craze sweeping cities across the globe. As places such as New York and London adopt workout-wear as casual attire, it is no longer endless summer places like Sydney or Miami, who can get away with the look.

Athleisure 

 

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Activewear, in general, is an avenue for growth for many designers today. Outdoor sportswear sales for men, women and children are climbing, according to The NPD Group Inc., a market research firm based in New York. Continuing an upward trend, year-to-date sales have grown almost 5% to $395.1 million from $376.4 million. Sales rose 7.6% to $992.4 million last year from $922.3 million a year ago, the group said. Meanwhile, typical casual wear items, such as blue jeans, fell down 6%.

As the fashionable become increasingly health-conscious, the number of people who practiced yoga grew fourfold to 16.3 million in 2012 from 4 million in 2001. And most of these were women. And women are more time-poor they have ever been, forcing them to seek out leggings and sportsbras that go way beyond the gym or pilates studio.

These women are taking pleasure in the comfort and fabric versatility of their wardrobes and ath-leisure has emerged - a term that best describes the love child of this look which is ultimately athletic and leisurewear coming one. Athleisure is spreading across clothing, footwear, and accessories and is not limited to dance, fitness, and sports categories. Garments have technical performance characteristics, as well as a leisure or casual side, targeting women who actually workout, as well as those who want to look as if they do.

Retailers are embracing the latest ath-leisure trend too, with Lululemon and Athleta said to be pioneering the look, going head to head with the likes of J.Crew and Loft. 

"Practically everybody in the fashion business is trying to get in on the active wear trend," says Athleta president Nancy Green.

Meanwhile, pop celebrities and celebrity designer alike are jumping on board – some even teaming up with high-street retailer for lines of luxury sweats, legging and tanks - with their name all over the products in bold statements. The Alexander Wang X H&M collection launched in November is a prime example of this.

 

Following StellaSports’ debut in January, 2015 will also see the release of Tory Burch and Beyonce x Topshop sporting collections, adding intense pace to a soaring trend - one which was once deemed a fashion faux-pas by most. That is, wearing gym clothes to the grocery store, cinema, or at the local café.

"I think our generation, the boomers, and Gen X, we all grew up with denim," Athleta's Nancy Green added. "Now you've got a whole generation of younger kids who are in their teens, middle school, high school, they're growing up choosing to wear active wear."

The Adidas Stellasports collection will be sold through adidas web site, as well as at Topshop and Nordstrom. It launches January 15.