NEW YORK -- More fashion -- especially streetwear-inspired looks of cotton and Lycra spandex -- is one way Reebok International Ltd. plans to build consumer awareness of its performance apparel.
Fitness videos also are playing a part in Reebok's relatively new direction, a business the athletic footwear and apparel giant entered three years ago but seems to be promoting more heavily this year. The company will introduce two additional fitness videos this year, each in the style of MTV, said Ruth Finn, director of equipment and videos.
Reebok's key groups for spring -- updated, deconstructed looks and underwear-inspired styles that also will be worn in the two new videos -- were conceived by Joanne Ciresi Barrett, designer of Reebok women's fitness and warmup apparel.
Regarding Reebok's streetwear-inspired looks, Jack Neff, senior vice president and general manager of apparel, said, "Consumers just don't want performance wear to work out in any more. More performance wear is dual-purpose now -- it's the bottom line."
"We want to create more brand awareness, just like The Gap," said Barrett, who joined Reebok in October. "Before, the styling was strictly very mainstream, very technically oriented, and very brand-driven."
She noted that the streetwear-inspired styles were added to attract a broader range of consumers, as well as cater to "serious athletes who now want streetwear looks, but items that blend in with a generic look."
Barrett, who was designer of Danskin bodywear for six years, said she believes that blends of cotton and Lycra will "give a generic appeal that's very identifiable and have worldwide appeal."
The deconstructed group comes in cotton and Lycra ottoman rib, and features unfinished stitching and seams, soft, underwear-looking elastic trims, and unfinished waistbands. There also are lots of cut-out back treatments.
Styles include thong-back leotards, crop tops, unitards and two bike shorts -- a looser fitting style inspired by men's underwear, and a high-waisted style with exposed seaming.
Suggested retail prices for basic bodywear of cotton and Lycra start at $16 for a brief and go to $38 for a unitard with back treatment; fashion bodywear retails from $16 for a crop top of cotton jersey to $30 for ottoman rib boxers of cotton and Lycra. Activewear retails from $17 for crinkle nylon taffeta shorts to $95 for a peach-finish warmup suit of microfiber polyester. The company declined to give wholesale prices.Colors are tobacco, off-white, black and royal purple.
Barrett explained that Reebok's new direction really is a lifestyle approach.
"We are taking a fashion approach, which we really consider to be a lifestyle approach, or how people really dress or fashion themselves," said Barrett. "We don't mean Seventh Avenue fashion -- it's what people are wearing for a head-to-toe look."
As for the videos, Finn noted, "We are rapidly expanding our video library, and we feel Reebok can make a difference in the video business."
The newest releases will include a video in November that will feature top women sports stars: figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, hockey goalie Rheaume Manon and volleyball player Liz Masakayan; the second video will be introduced in the fourth quarter and will spotlight Gin Miller, creator of Step Reebok.
So far, Reebok has four fitness videos that are being distributed to sporting-goods outlets, department stores and specialty chains in the U.S. and in 40 countries. Each video retails for $19.99.
The top international markets for the videos are the U.K., France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Singapore and Japan, she said.
"We feel videos are important tools for us in the fitness market, because consumers want options," said Finn, noting that the target group is women in the 25-to-39 age range.
As for trends in Europe, Neff noted, "I was in France, Germany and the United Kingdom this spring, and stores were showing walls and walls of wind and warmup pants that are being sold as separates to be worn as streetwear."
He further noted that stretch and streetwear looks "now seem to be accepted globally," adding, "People want to look good, and be comfortable in crossover looks all over the world."
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)