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From ultraluxe gym bags to activity trackers and accessories that broadcast extreme brand love, the fitness world is enjoying a fashionable moment. Here are some additions to the growing segment.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Joining the widely known Nike+ FuelBand, whose second generation will launch in November, are new competitors in the fitness tracker market.
Known for its heart-rate monitors, Polar is getting in the wristband tracker game with the Polar Loop. Like other trackers, the Loop measures sleeping patterns, steps taken and caloric burn. What sets this device apart is that it links to a heart rate monitor, giving the wearer a more accurate picture of calories burned. It’s also waterproof, while other bands are water resistant. Users can log workouts via Bluetooth and access Polar’s training plans. It retails for $109.
Fitbit’s latest addition tracks stairs climbed, distance, calories burned and active minutes expended. Using Bluetooth, the Force also monitors sleep, and like the Loop and FuelBand, includes a display screen showing stats as well as the time. An iPhone 4s or higher can receive call notifications, too. Price: $129.95
BATTLE OF THE BAGS: New high-end bags with an athletic twist.
Park Luxury Sporting Accessories
Anne-Marie Olson, a former vice president of handbags and accessories at Li & Fung, left her job a year ago to start Park, a high-end brand devoted to athletic accessories. From totes and backpacks to bags for tennis, golf, skiing and snowboarding, Park uses coated canvas and leather from Italy. Bags range from $450 to $1,100 at parkaccessories.com.
Jason Stalvey always wanted an alligator duffel he could carry to the gym. He admits it’s a bit extravagant, but when he couldn’t find a suitable one, he decided to launch his own exotics collection of men’s and women’s bags. Besides the duffel, other sporty numbers include a gym sack and baseball caps, all in alligator. Prices range from $1,800 to $25,000 at stalvey.com.
SPIN SISTERS: Flywheel and SoulCycle are taking their rivalry to the streets with the continued expansion of each studio’s accessories and apparel collections.
Soul enthusiasts can shop a trove of cold-weather accessories at Soul’s retail shops come December. Goods include cashmere gloves, hats, legwarmers, scarves and a limited-edition blanket. “Our riders are connected to their transformative experience in the SoulCycle studio and the SoulCycle gear is an extension of that experience,” said cofounder Julie Rice.
Flywheel will launch “fashionable, yet functional” gym bags and small pouches under its private label, said retail director Natalie Cohen. “Accessories is the next category we are testing,” she said. “There’s a lot of opportunity.” The bags, scarves, beanies, trucker hats and more are set to hit Flywheel studios in time for holiday.