Athletic apparel is trending up as consumers seek transitional threads that crossover from city to outdoor. And as a result, leading sportswear brands are designing collections that cater to the stylish urban adventurer.
The fast-rising trend is timely: The outdoor recreation industry contributes $887 billion to the U.S. economy; 7.2 million jobs and comprises 2 percent of the U.S. GDP. And the sales growth of the segment is running at twice the pace of the GDP, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
As a result, companies such as Adidas Outdoor are marrying technical fabrics and attributes with fashion-forward looks, targeting urban, athletic consumers for its fall 2018 collection. Across its Terrex, Five Ten and Parley for the Oceans lines, Adidas Outdoor offers stretchy, soft-hand fabrics sculpted with high collars, faux furs and accent treatments that elevate sportswear to minimalist streetwear style. The collection’s lightweight materials are matched with functional properties such as moisture resistant down, hidden zippers, moisture wicking, layered pieces, rib knits and heat cuffs that are outfitted in muted earthy colors — think of cargo green, ink, carbon black, and even a few no dye products — to provide consumers with edgy, transitional apparel.
Adidas Outdoor hit nearly 100 percent growth in 2018, and the firm believes they will almost double that number this year. Touting sustainability as a pillar of its success, the company is eager to continue its partnership with Parley for the Oceans, a line that reuses ocean plastic in apparel and footwear collections.
Greg Thomsen, Adidas Outdoor U.S. managing director, told WWD, “For Adidas Outdoor, fall 2018 sees continued momentum for sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Adidas creators continue discovering new solutions to help innovate unique materials and construction processes that help improve environmental impact. We’ve found rewarding success with our partnership with Parley for the Oceans, and continue to invent new ways to use ocean plastic as a raw material, and have expanded the footwear and apparel collection for fall 2018 to include technical rainwear. Made from recycled ocean plastics, the fall 2018 Parley 3-Layer Jacket and the Parley 2-Layer Jacket offer supreme waterproof breathable protection keeping wearers warm and dry in the wind, rain or snow, made primarily out of recycled plastic bottles.”
And the move toward sportswear is a natural transition for fashion brands that observe the wants, needs and behaviors of their consumers. As Adidas Outdoor put it, “Fashion brands like to be ‘outdoorable.'” Thomsen continued, “As far as the evolution of the brand, we continue to see the lines between fashion and function merging. While those in an urban environment seek out technology from the outdoor sports market to protect against the elements, the outdoor sports market has turned to urban fashion for design inspiration. Minimalist styling, technical fabrication and fashion colorways are making an appearance in the collections providing consumers with apparel that not only functions, but fits just as well on a winter hike as it does on a five city-block trek.”
“Additionally, the notion of outdoors continues to evolve with the popularity of indoor climbing gyms and climbing as a specific fitness activity,” Thomsen said. “For spring 2019, we will be expanding our Climb the City collection geared toward this urban, athletic consumer.”
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