ORLANDO, Fla. — Thomas J. Cove, the new president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, thinks the fitness industry could use a makeover, and he’s moving the organization to Washington, D.C., to help jump-start the...
ORLANDO, Fla. — Thomas J. Cove, the new president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, thinks the fitness industry could use a makeover, and he’s moving the organization to Washington, D.C., to help jump-start the process.
“We’ve been selling fitness as drudgery for too long and people are turned off or intimidated,” Cove said during an interview at The Super Show, which SGMA sponsors. “Everybody wants to look as great as the women on ‘Desperate Housewives,’ but we need to promote fitness as a way of life for everybody, not just celebrities and elite athletes.”
Cove said the sports industry is at a unique point, as increased awareness of obesity as a public health threat merges with the potential of technology and entertainment.
“We’re at a nexus, a time when electronics, entertainment and sports could combine and explode,” he said, citing the use of heart monitors and pedometers, or applications of radio frequency identification to help motivate and reward fitness participants.
In May, SGMA will move its North Palm Beach, Fla., headquarters to Washington to enable the organization to better lobby lawmakers on public health policies and trade issues that affect the industry. The move also gives SGMA better access to partners, both private and public, for fitness initiatives, and to the New York media, which may boost exposure.
Key goals include raising support and funding for P.E.4LIFE, a program to increase physical fitness in public schools, and support for community-based sports leagues and organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs.
“We need to see something of the magnitude of Title Nine,” said Cove, referring to the 1972 law that mandated equal opportunity for girls in sports. “Since Title Nine, we’ve seen a 500 percent increase in women’s participation in intercollegiate sports.”
Cove called for more innovation in low-impact fitness equipment and products that make consumers perceive exercise as fun rather than as a chore. In apparel, where performance fabrics and special features have boosted sales, manufacturers do a better job of educating consumers on how they can enhance the exercise experience, Cove said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast