s society has become more and more fitness-obsessed, new food trends and exercise classes emerge from L.A. and New York, and make their way into the world of celebrities, gradually trickling down into mainstream society. Exercise is no longer just exercise, it’s an activity that people engage in for fun, for social events, and even for networking.
Because people exercise so often, they wear exercise clothes frequently. If a woman was to go to Barre or Spin class every week, she doesn’t just want to wear the average, boring black athletic wear, and she doesn’t just want to wear the normal gear from Nike or Reebok; she wants designer gear. And so was born the new field in high-end fashion: exercise wear. High end fashion’s integration into the workout world has occurred in three forms: collaborations with known exercise brands, celebrities creating their own athleisure brands, and the creation of athletic-inspired clothing by well known designer brands.
Collaborations over the past few years have included Adidas x Stella McCartney, Vetements x Reebok, and New Balance x J. Crew. Adidas x Stella McCartney consists of bright colors and floral designs, but the design of the athletic wear itself is nothing new. Vetements x Reebok created the “Pump Supreme”, a twist on the classic white sneaker that is quite funky. New Balance x J. Crew maintains the preppy style of J. Crew with the inclusion of paisley print stripes, polka dots, and a navy, coral, yellow, and white color theme.
Countless celebrities, including Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Carrie Underwood, have created their own athletic clothing company or collaborated with an exercise wear brand. Rihanna collaborated with Puma to create Fenty x Puma, Beyoncé created Ivy Park, named after her daughter, and Carrie Underwood created CALIA. Rihanna’s collaboration with Puma created lots of creepers and sandals in cool colors and different textures. She also designed several velvet jackets, shirts, and pants, as a contrast to the sheer graphic dresses and jackets she also created. Beyoncé created athletic wear with more typical fabrics and shapes, but her pieces are often emblazoned with her signature “Ivy Park” in bold white letters. An interesting part of the line is the incorporation of sleek, stylish bodysuits. CALIA has more of a casual look than Rihanna’s and Beyoncé’s lines, with more colors and prints.
Prada, Maison Margiela, and Dries Van Noten have recently created pieces clearly inspired by athletic gear. The incorporation of mesh, waterproof and stretchy material, along with a more casual, slouchy fit, have made these designers’ pieces workout wearable.
People, celebrities, and the designer world know that athletic wear is the next big genre in fashion, and everyone wants a piece of the action.