NEW YORK — The attention being given to athletic-inspired apparel in designer collections is giving the $16.2 billion activewear category some more muscle in department and specialty stores.

Over the years, the category has found sporadic space in those distribution channels. Then an injection of interest came on the spring runway shows that occurred in the fall, where designers such as Anna Sui, Balenciaga, Miu Miu and Chanel sprinkled their presentations with sportif looks. Yohji Yamamoto’s much heralded collaboration with Adidas and their launch of Y3 this spring is expected to add further cachet to the sporty set.

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