After teasing it on several earnings calls, Under Armour is ready to finally take the wraps off UA Unstoppable Collection, a fashion-skewed sport-inspired collection that will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 2.
The collection for men and women features technical fabrics and materials such as Gore Windstopper, but in elevated styles and silhouettes.
Kevin Plank, founder and chief executive officer, said on the second-quarter earnings call in August that Unstoppable “amplifies our assortment with more lifestyle silhouettes” and is being viewed as a key initiative for holiday.
Dan Leraris, general manager of men’s training, said Under Armour has been working on the collection for some time and will launch it on the company’s web site and at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Under Armour locations nationwide.
“We have an affinity for performance apparel but see an opportunity to continue to expand on our brand’s strength by infusing fashion into the apparel,” he said.
Unstoppable is not to be confused with the company’s high-end fashion collection, UAS, that is designed by Tim Coppens. Core pieces of UAS retail for $129 to $299 with some items selling for $1,500. Unstoppable will retail for $40 to $100.
Leraris said Unstoppable is “still performance-based,” but with “enhanced functionality. We’re adding a layer of trend and fashion to this.”
The key piece is what Leraris described as the “modern-day track suit” that is “understated and technical.” That will be complemented by jackets, fleeces, T-shirts, tanks and shorts. In total, the initial launch is 15 items for each gender, with more pieces to be added through the end of the year.
“It’s authentic athletic apparel with elevated style,” he said. “But we don’t look at it as ath-leisure. We’ve made this type of product before, but not to this level.”
Unstoppable is being targeted to Under Armour’s core consumer who might wear the brand to the gym but then change for the rest of the day, as well as to new customers. “We want to get more of his spend,” Leraris said.
He declined to say how big a business the brand can ultimately become or what percentage of the total apparel division it can represent, saying only that it can be “big. It’s a significant statement from the brand.”
Unstoppable also marks the first time the company has simultaneously launched a dual-gender sport style collection, he noted.
The line will be marketed on the company’s web site and social media platforms as well as those of Under Armour’s retail partners. The brand has provided the merchandise to some of its athletes, including those on the Southampton FC and Aston Villa soccer teams, as well as the UCLA men’s basketball and Cal Berkeley women’s basketball teams. Boxer Canelo Álvarez recently wore the collection.
The launch comes as Under Armour tries to get back on the growth track after several disappointing quarters as Nike maintains its momentum and Adidas reclaims its spot as the No. 2 athletic brand in the U.S. While the closure of numerous sports retailers have contributed to Under Armour’s slide, Plank himself has admitted there is a need for the brand to inject more fashion into its collections.