Sport has never so permeated the world of fashion as it has these past few years. Whether to create lifestyle, sport or athleisure lines, or re-purpose high-tech materials, the bridges between sport and fashion are numerous. These two universes are sharing their codes and respective playing fields for ever increased everyday benefits: integrated performance, stylish looks, bold colour and fantasy choices.
For this 2018 autumn edition, which presented an offer for autumn/winter 2019, Première Vision wanted to make SPORT the superstar of the show, with a fully fleshed-out itinerary and specialised focus conferences.
Pascal Monfort, fashion expert and founder of REC TrendsMarketing, a specialist in sports, youth and street culture, introduced us to the origins of the phenomenon, new trends and his perspective on what the coming years will bring.
Here is the report of the third conference :
Where luxury meets young consumers. Or how luxury targets young adults via the sports culture.
Pascal Monfort kicked off the conference by explaining why he preferred the term « young adults » to « millennials. » In his view, millennials are consumers between 15 and 35 years old, and this age group brings together very different types of consumers. « Young adults » are consumers between 17 and 25 years old, and they are the target of this conference, to help elaborate a higher quality study. Sports brands have incredible power with young people, who feel extremely connected to them. Nike, Adidas, & co. are truly considered « love brands » for young adults. This generation of consumers sees these multinationals as not just sports brands, but fashion brands too. 17-year-old consumers are the target audience for the « new » fashion brands, because they are just the right age to understand the brands’ approach and keep in touch. According to Pascal Monfort, « If a brand isn’t cool to them today, its future is in jeopardy. » At 17, affiliating yourself with certain brands, and therefore certain communities, is really important. It’s about impact: if a brand is revered by this age group, it’s likely to be valued by them throughout their lives.
According to Pascal Monfort, « 2020 will be the high point of the love between sportswear and luxury.« The collaboration trend is not about to stop … which has been confirmed by the renowned McKinsey & Company. The impact of sport is such that the new generation no longer talks about sneakers or kicks, but shoes … All luxury brands now have their iconic sneakers, either via a collaboration (a win-win relationship) or created by their own design teams (Raf Simons x Adidas …). More and more luxury brands have almost no need to collaborate at this point. They have the resources in-house to create their own designs, which are both technical and aesthetic (Balenciaga’s Triple S, Louis Vuitton’s Archlight …). The press, the ‘cool’ factor and profitability are the main reasons for this direction by luxury brands. Louis Vuitton got this, as seen by its choice of Virgile Abloh (Off-White) as designer. He didn’t go to a prestigious fashion school, he’s just creative and comes from the street culture and that’s all that matters. The announcement shocked the fashion world but it’s also a great way for luxury brands to reach the youth culture. The power of sport and street culture is such that it’s their stars and icons we now see sitting in the front rows at fashion shows. Today, sportswear dominates the catwalk shows. Even the biggest fashion groups, like LVMH, believe in these new designers coming from a street culture. Why? Because they innovate, they’re creative and they are ready to overturn the usual codes. Patrick McDowell, for example, a recent graduate of St Martins, is someone we’ll probably be hearing a lot about soon – he’s already collaborating with Swarovski and Oakley. And with its new premium « athluxury » collection, Nike, in turn, is reaching the luxury world. « The world is changing » : today, brands are being talked about in Hypebeast and not necessarily in Vogue. James Jebbia, designer of Supreme was recently named « menswear designer of the year » by New York’s CFDA … the streetwear brand collaborates with Vuitton and classic German brand Rimowa, which adopts the air of a luxury brand with a video equal to the most creative ones out there. Luxury brands use the same marketing activities as sports and streetwear brands: street marketing (the Gucci campaign in the subway) and dropping, or « sales teasing » new collections, is the new trend to stir up a mad frenzy of desire among consumers. Social networks contribute to furthering this new marketing effect, to the point of creating what Pascal Monfort calls a « positive frustration » when faced with products marked « sold out. »
« The heroes of sportswear are the new heroes of fashion. It’s not an illusion, it’s truly the reality! » said Pascal Monfort at the close of this third and final conference.
Read the reports of the other 2 Sport & Tech conferences: