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Athleisure – the beautiful game
A contraction of the words ‘athletic’ and ‘leisure’, athleisure has long been celebrated as the trend that delivers on both form and function. Now fully accepted as a full-blown fashion movement, athleisure is here to stay, and its stylish allure is
becoming part of the 21st-century zeitgeist.
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Color pink le coq sportif
Take things back a few years and the idea of turning up to a fashion-forward event in a pair of jogging bottoms and trainers seemed like social suicide. Today, the shell suit has become an au courant classic – and trainers an established must-have. A recent poll uncovered that 79% of the French public wear trainers for everyday use. Available in a plethora of heritage models like that of Spring Court and Vans or with re-edits from New Balance, the humble runner has become a semaphore for a generation. Styled from top to toe with a hoodie or for more formal occasions with a smart suit, trainers no longer seem out of place in any situation, adopted by fashion purists and Maisons de Mode alike.

Each season sees a new interpretation on gym wear and streetwear, blurring the lines between style and substance to create collections with a strong activewear initiative. Adapted with heels, sweatpants from Sweet Pants are tipped to be the next mom jean and Lululemon leggings - once resigned to yoga studios, have taken over the street. But it’s not just about cosy classics, Gucci showcased a range of hiking boots at their most recent show, which is predicted to be the start of an ‘into the wild’ style take over for AW18. Getting ahead of the trend curve, many are looking to iconic models from Karhu and Timberland for a precursor look that’s primed and ready for the athleisure evolution.
Drawn to the global success of athleisure, core sports brands are surfing the wave, with industry leaders like Adidas and Nike still enjoying record sales. But, with the trend in a constant state of flux, vanguards are looking to Italian vintage sportswear brands like Ellesse, Fila and Kappa for an authentic 90s normcore vibe – with the brands more than happy to raid the archives for their wildly popular Heritage editions. But, like many creative projects, two heads are better than one – with best-selling collaborations between designers like Sergio Tacchini x Andrea Crews and Fila x Fendi proving that the high-low love is real. Even American brands like Champion are embracing their inherent nostalgia with a line called ‘Champion Life’ – following the footsteps of French action brand Le Coq Sportif Sportif who re-released their iconic Arthur Ashe and retro tricolour models with a strong Made in France provenance. And it’s not just core sports brands having all the fun, Lacoste’s infamous crocodile embroidered classics like the polo and bucket hat can be seen melanged with international streetwear eponyms like Supreme and their velour pants - all set to rule the kerbside for next season.
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Carhartt Sportswear woman SS18
From the world’s most esteemed high fashion influencers to a new breed of prêt à porter up-starters, everyone wants a piece of the global athleisure pie. Why? Well, as the international investment bank Morgan Stanley revealed, this new trend will be worth over $83-million dollars by 2020! Responding to increasing demand, young designers are fast on the uptake, with genderless collections from the likes of Noyoco, Chmpgn, Pigalle and Colorful Standard setting the next milestone.

Written by Justine Pinaud

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