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Reebok Athletes Showcase Brand’s Fitness Ethos

The American-inspired athletic and sports apparel and footwear powerhouse will be launching a new marketing strategy for spring.

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Reebok International Inc. is taking its fit for life message to the global community.

This story first appeared in the December 26, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The American-inspired athletic and sports apparel and footwear powerhouse will be launching a new marketing strategy for spring with a Fitness in Motion look book that embodies the brand’s rich heritage of training, running and fitness.

Yan Martin, Reebok’s vice president of global brand marketing, described Reebok’s new, universal approach this way: “At Reebok, we understand that the human body was made to move, and we believe that people need to continuously be challenged to fulfill their potential. We’re committed to enabling people to move the way their body was meant to — helping them get the most out of life,” said Martin. “Fitness in Motion captures the potential of human movement and is the perfect way to showcase our bold spring-summer 2014 collection. The look book features our new product range, and is also a visual representation of Reebok’s belief in a better life through fitness.”

Photographed by sports and fashion photographer Carlos Serrao, each product — whether it’s a sports bra, a tank, yoga pants or boardshorts — is brought to life in detail as athletes move through their respective fitness disciplines. The athletes include elite Reebok CrossFit Games specialists Garret Fisher and Lindsey Valenzuela, who work out in the Reebok Training collection; Olympian middle-distance runner Carrie Tollefson and elite Spartan obstacle course racer Hunter McIntyre, wearing the Reebok Running collection, and globally celebrated yoga instructor Tara Stiles in the Reebok Yoga collection. Les Mills International Ltd. group fitness instructor Vanessa Vassallo practices dance steps in the Reebok Dance collection.

Martin said the new online look book, which is aimed at the media, consumers and retailers worldwide, will be supported by social media outlets to engage the audience with the brand.

“We know this consumer is very community-driven with a lifestyle that extends beyond a fitness life.…Going back to fitness roots of the early Eighties, we call it the Fit Generation, a generation of 25-year-olds in body and spirit. These people have always embraced a fitness lifestyle as a way of life,” explained Martin.

Regarding the new look of the Reebok collections, Corinna Werkle, head of apparel design for Reebok, said the idea is to merge fashion with performance and functionality.

“This is not about a capsule collection. The product has to come to life on the relevant consumer.…We made sure a sports bra did not look like a sports bra, and we made it look like a cool surf top.…You don’t hide a bra anymore, because it’s part of your outfit and not just a functional piece,” said Werkle. “You can personalize it, layer it with print and solid-related garments, and this way you can create your everyday look.

A great deal of the personalization is about color, prints and high-tech fabrications.

As an example, Reebok has translated the popularity of distressed looks from the jeans arena to a special finish for performance fabrics that lends a faux distressed look. The brand is also incorporating prints on high-density compression fabrics, which Werkle described as “very difficult to do.”

“We are using four-way stretch Lycra, Cordura, PrimaLoft, Tencel and wool in certain layers.…It’s not only about synthetic fibers.…We will be introducing a high-compression fiber cotton in 2014,” said Werkle.
But color was the biggest challenge for Reebok’s new look.

“One way to bring lifestyle into performance is to introduce color. We worked like other fashion companies and took colors from the catwalk into our range, like camel, green and mocha brown — not just traditional red and blue. But it was tricky because these functional materials don’t take color in a good way. Color and color combinations have probably been our biggest point of differentiation for the collection,” she noted.

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