Athleisure Trend: How Did It Become The New Casual?
Wearing activewear on a day out is the new norm. With the casualisation of clothing – workplaces today are slowly adopting a more casual dress code – it’s no surprise that the athleisure trend become a global phenomenon.
How Athleisure Rose the Ranks
Athleisure may be derived from sportswear but it isn’t necessarily subjected to the gym. The entire purpose of the trend is in its versatility and comfort for daily dressing. Modern technology has made athleisure more comfortable and convenient with properties like wrinkle-free and ‘dri-fit’ materials.
The Millennial Cultural Shift
Millennials are a driving force behind the athleisure trend. With the rise of trendy startup companies and workplaces, strict and formal dress codes are diminishing, as millennials prioritise comfort over traditional work clothes.
Mass Market Breakthrough
Fast fashion brands like Uniqlo, Cotton On and H&M are riding the wave of the athleisure trend, each releasing sportswear lines with affordable pricing.
Here, we compare two similar women’s leggings from Nike and Cotton On Body.
In the pants & leggings category, Nike’s pricing ranges between $43.38 – $76.88, with a median price of $55.88. Cotton On Body’s median price, on the other hand, is $17.73 – one-third of Nike’s.
The table above analyses the sell-out performance between fast fashion brands H&M and Forever 21 (activewear range) and activewear brands Nike and Adidas against the median price for Q3 of 2019.
Interestingly, H&M had the highest sell-out percentage at full price, having sold more than 80% of its assortment online with minimal discounting. Nike comes in second, despite having the highest median price. Meanwhile, both Adidas and Forever 21’s sell-outs were mainly driven by discounts, as more than 60% of the assortments were on markdown.
The following chart compares Nike and H&M’s pricing strategies. Nike deployed a “good-better-best” pricing ladder that allowed the brand to spread its assortment across various pricing tiers. However, the majority of its assortment was sold between $20 – $60 with a relatively high sell-out, maintaining a minimum 60% sell-out rate for each tier.
Conversely, H&M priced more than 40% of its products at the $10 – $20 range, even though the brand saw a higher sell-out performance at the $40 – $50 pricing tier.
Lastly, we compared the discounting strategies of Adidas and Forever 21. Both of these brands had aggressive markdown strategies, with more than 60% of their sell-out driven by discounted items.
Pop culture also highly influenced the mass adoption of the athleisure trend. The dominance of hip hop music and streetwear among the Gen Z consumer group propelled the trend to new heights.
Nike experienced a successful year in sneakers with the launch of several celebrity collaborations. Nike’s Air Force 1 collaboration with South Korean rapper, G-Dragon, sold out in just 0.06 seconds in China.
Activewear powerhouse, Adidas, has devoted an entire diffusion line for its collaboration with Kanye West. While the collection started only with a limited sneaker range, Yeezy’s has since expanded to include clothing and accessories – contributing to a major share of Adidas’ collective revenue.
Mega pop-star, Beyoncé excited fans by announcing teasers of her forthcoming Ivy Park collection. The sportswear brand garnered a strong following from previous collections (with Topshop) but this marks the first collaboration with Adidas, which is due to launch this year.
Is the Athleisure Trend Here to Stay?
It’s safe to say that athleisure found its way into the hearts (and wardrobe) of many. The mass adoption of the trend within fast-fashion, sportswear and pop-culture demonstrate the influence of athleisure in the mainstream.
As Marshall Cohen, the chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, Inc claims “this (athleisure) is no longer a trend – it is now a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for consumers of all ages, for it to go away anytime soon.”
You might also like
Top Fashion Retailers in Southeast Asia
As markets around the world continue to be impacted by the pandemic, Southeast Asia thrives. Sales have plummeted in the UK and US, but international sales increased by significant margins for Asos. Meanwhile, e-commerce in the US got a major boost from cross-border trade, lifted by 42% from last year. In other words, the emerging […]
Back-to-School Retail Fizzles Under Pandemic Pressure
As one of the biggest shopping periods in fashion, back-to-school harboured hopes of an economic boost for many retailers. Last year, back-to-school saw consumer spending surpass $80 billion, second only to the holiday season. But uncertainties in the new schooling calendar and weak consumer spending will likely result in a more muted affair than retailers […]
Holiday Retail 2020: Predictions and Demand-driven Strategies with the Parker Avery Group
This year’s holiday retail will be unlike any the industry has ever experienced. As the biggest annual shopping period, the holiday season accounts for 20% of retail sales each year. But for this year, after a tumultuous period of economic downturn, a boost in consumer spending is highly anticipated. That said, retailers have to exercise […]
The Evolution of The Luxury Fashion Market
The luxury fashion market is in for a demographic transformation. As consumer behaviours are shifting towards a more digital and experiential trend, luxury brands are realising the need to reinvent themselves. Just a mere decade ago, the premium market was dominated by baby boomers and Gen X – those born after the World War through […]
Fashion’s New World Order Powered by Tech
The pandemic has had repercussions far beyond retailers’ revenues. During the lockdown, nearly every facet of the fashion industry was brought to a standstill. From manufacturing to media, social distancing threw a major wrench in fashion’s roadmap. Unlike other industries that have been quick to adopt tech innovation, fashion had grown accustomed to the conventional […]
How to Remove the Guesswork from Trend Forecasting
Before Covid-19 upended the world, the industry often resorted to the same fashion trend analysis methods to gauge market demand. Trend forecasting services like WGSN are typically used to guide the fashion design and buying processes, leading to the homogenised state of the fashion landscape. There are also other common methods used, such as… Historical […]