The first-time category for the trendy men’s underwear and swimwear brand —which will encompass ath-leisure pieces that bridge the gap between active and loungewear — comes as a result of a capsule collection of key items that was featured in a spring 2014 fashion show in October in New York.
The collection will be unveiled at the Project trade fair in Las Vegas, which runs from Feb. 18 to 20.
Tom Speight, president and chief executive officer of H. Best Ltd., a division of The Moret Group that owns 2(x)ist, said positive response from retailers and the media influenced him to green-light the launch of a freestanding active collection.
“Immediately following our show, a number of our top retail partners mentioned they loved the underwear collections, and were surprised they hadn’t seen activewear from us before,” said Speight. “Expansion into the category is a natural next step for us, and now feels like the right time.”
First-season wholesale sales projections were not available, but Speight said the new category could make up between 15 and 20 percent of the overall business in the next several years.
“We think this is a very important new category, and this is kind of our first move going forward into other apparel categories,” Speight said.
Designed in-house by creative director Jason Scarlatti and his team, the collection includes updated separates such as sweatpants, tank tops, hoodies and T-shirts in heather gray, burgundy, charcoal and a teal and black heather combo. Each style is rendered in signature design elements such as slim, true-to-size fits in both tops and pants, tapered legs, elastic cuffs, cargo pockets and drop-crotch silhouettes.
Distribution is aimed at department and men’s specialty stores, as well as 2xist.com. Deliveries are scheduled for July 25 and Sept. 25. Suggested retail will range from $39 to $128.
“This is an updated activewear and loungewear story, and we’re focusing a lot of attention on detail and fit. Our approach is new fabrics in the active market with new fits and more tapered and fashion-forward looks,” explained Scarlatti. “The 2(x)ist man leads an active lifestyle, he cares about his body and these pieces will help him maintain a modern, fashion-forward image.”
Fabrics will include slub yarns and different weights of French terry for tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched with sportswear separates. Special detailing will include waffle patterns, military-inspired cargo pockets and interior effects like stripes running down along zippers and hoodies.
“It all looks really cool, and it’s a modern update to sweats,” said Scarlatti.
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