NEW YORK — Activewear’s big guns garner much of the hype, but a handful of lesser-known labels are emerging from the crowded athletic field with their own finesse.

Brooks Sports, a Botthel, Wash.-based company that has long focused on runners, has a two-tier approach for fall: a new "performance race series" for elite runners and "energy wear" for less intense fitness enthusiasts. Parker Karnan, director of apparel sales, noted that newness helped boost first-half sales. This fall the race series is expected to generate $100,000 at wholesale. The company had sales of $17 million last year.

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