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The Apparel Industry Gets Comfortable with Athleisure

If you haven’t heard or noticed the latest fashion buzzword yet, it’s only a matter of time before you do.

“Athleisure” wear, athletic wear that can be worn away from the gym, is the relatively new fashion phenomenon that’s taking over the apparel industry.

As the desirability and mainstream acceptance of wearing elastic-waist stretch pants outside of the gym grows, it represents a larger shift taking place in the sea of fashion.  

Leggings and elastic-waist stretch pants are replacing denim and were ranked the most popular trend among female teens according to Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock with Teens – Spring 2014” survey.

Jeans were nowhere to be found on the list, after years of consistently ranking as a top 10 trend.

The survey also found that only 13% of teenagers listed a denim company as their favorite brand, down from 20% in 2010, while the percentage of teens who prefer athleisure surged from 2% to 14%.

However, the athleisure trend is not just for teens. The trend has crossover appeal to adults as well – making up almost 15% of purchases.

The success of the stretchy pants movement is attracting the eyes of both high-end designers and mass-market retailers alike.

For example, high-end designers are collaborating with athletic brands and some retailers are even opening new sport and athleisure stores – such as Without Walls from Urban Outfitters.

As the athleisure category continues to thrive, it’s no surprise that apparel brands are looking to cash in by introducing new offerings or store concepts into their lineups.

However, even as the number of companies getting into the game continues to rise, it’s imperative that brands know whether those changes will be embraced by both new and current customers before haphazardly expanding into categories or adjusting formats.

Because with every passing day, the number of good options grows and in order to win, brands have to give customers the right thing at the right time.

With effective customer analytic strategies – those that focus on defining who your customers truly are as consumers – you’ll have the customer insights needed to guide future growth in this new category.

So, if you’re considering this growth avenue, let us help you determine the potential the athleisure wear market has for your brand and help you expand in the right way.

                      

Journey Awareness Persona C-Suite/Finance Retail