Fashion and sports are increasingly interacting, even fusing.
A look at a trend that’s picking up speed.
When did sport and fashion first cross paths? The answer is well over a hundred years ago. By 1913, Coco Chanel was already designing elegant and practical cotton jersey sport dresses, creating the first silhouettes for active and liberated women. Today, it’s no longer a matter of simply intersecting the two universes or periodic stylistic borrowings – there’s a genuine hybridization afoot.
When you can wear the same outfit before, during and after a workout, the very idea of a sports session disappears, replaced by ongoing physical activity that’s part of our day-to day lives and activities. It’s not about sports, it’s about mobility.
In fact, our lifestyles, how we get around in the city, organize our time within a day, are changing. Mobility, an idea that permeates our full daily schedule (work, shopping, doing sports, taking trips …) calls for a way of dressing that combines comfort, practicality, technicality and good looks. More than ever, we’re throwing out traditional dress codes, just as we have for several seasons with sneakers – now worn by everyone, everywhere. Much more than being interested in how we look, we want to satisfy our need to move, to be comfortable, to feel good, to satisfy a need for efficiency. Fashion embodies a way of life. It has to go hand-in-hand with, and facilitate, how we get around.
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Ready-to-wear is boosted by technological advances emerging from the creators of new materials and equipment manufacturers, while the sports world keeps firmly abreast of fashionable directions and design considerations. It’s a real back and forth, where each universe inspires the other in equal measure.
City streets embrace a range of sports, from running to scooters, skates, hoverboards, bicycles and ebikes. The divisions between city textiles and high-performance fabrics is growing less distinct, with top features (breathable fabrics, wind, cold, rain resistance) integrated into everyday clothing. Blousons, parkas and trench coats borrow suppleness from ready-to-wear, while windbreakers are embellished with livelier, shivering surfaces. Reflectives, lit up with fanciful graphics, protect at nightfall.
On the slopes of green or snowy mountains, puffers and anoraks are growing ever finer, ever quieter. The search for lightness is limitless, a lightness that doesn’t lose any performance qualities (strength, perfect temperature). Skiers wear impeccably-cut outfits that follow the latest fashion trends, whether sleekly minimal (with high-tech knits enabling perfect shapes) or a fun, fancy look with metallic effects, and the latest motifs.
Clothes for indoor sports and well-being are stepping out into the street. They’re particularly liked for how they follow the body comfortably, imparting a sense of softness and energy. Knit items, in particular, are worn on days with and without sports, thanks to more delicate handles and aspects.
Consumers expect clothes that are functional and worthy of being worn proudly, but are also eco-friendly. Because being more active is part of a global awareness towards living better, and consuming in a more positive and virtuous way (in order to be kind to both oneself and the planet). It should be noted that sustainable development in clothing actually began in the sports industry, a field where both outdoor brands and consumers have long been sensitive to protecting the environment. High-performance fabrics – already well versed in recycled polyester – are seizing on a host of new possibilities: recycled polyamide in wovens and knits, biopolymers, and eco-design spanning fibre to finished product.
Both fast fashion and luxury brands have launched sport-clothing lines. Meantime, specialists in outdoor-wear and high-performance fabrics are integrating the latest fashion trends into their offer. Consumers constitute a wardrobe dedicated to sports and a day-to-day that’s increasingly on the move. Between comfort and style, no one has to choose.
Les marques de la fast fashion comme celles du luxe se sont mises aux gammes sportives. Les spécialistes des tissus outdoor et performants, de leur côté, intègrent les dernières tendances stylistiques à leurs propositions. Les consommateurs se composent un vestiaire dédié aussi bien à la pratique sportive qu’à la vie de tous les jours, de plus en plus marquée par la mobilité. Entre confort et style, pourquoi choisir?