High Sport, founded by Los Angeles, California-based Alissa Zachary, is ready for its next moment and is soon expanding to new retailers, including Net-a-porter.
The label launched in 2021 and quickly took off. It’s primarily known for its gently flared, stretchy kick pants that pull on like athletic gear but are aimed at a sort of day-to-evening look that is equally comfortable around the home as it is at a meeting or dinner. The style, offered in two inseam lengths, are sold in a rainbow of colorways.
A favorite of fashion editors, gallery owners et al, those $860 stretch pants have become High Sport’s meal ticket, and routinely sell out at shops like Amaree’s and Moda Operandi — demonstrating not only a lack of price resistance but a gap that Zachary is addressing in the market.
Zachary, previously director of merchandising for The Row and a consultant for Khaite, The Line and Rosetta Getty, said her brand is, “for the sport of life. I think the life of a modern woman is so busy and demanding, that women everywhere want to pull something on in the morning and look like a million bucks,” she said.
But it’s not just neutral colors that are selling. “Black for sure sells a ton, but it’s interesting to me to see how people gravitate toward color. Moda, for example, sold out of orange immediately, the bright blue sold out immediately. It’s crazy to think about because you don’t look around and see people wearing orange pants, but they were snapped up,” Zachary said.
Imagery is intrinsic to High Sport’s success. Rather than photographing her colorful designs in a flashy way, she has collaborated with creative minds known for their nuanced taste, like photography duo Tanya and Zhenya Posternak.
“I do have a feeling that fashion is polarized between a hyper minimal look or something that is over designed. I’m neither hyper embellished or into sexy cutouts nor am I into the Scandinavian minimalist thing. I’m somewhere in the middle. It’s about classic shapes in interesting colors with interesting construction details,” Zachary said.
The designer was steadfast when asked about her price point, which she says is the result of high-quality yarns and artisanal mills. “We are creating a luxury, beautifully made but functional product. We are making something with longevity, and I gravitate toward the best materials — French, Italian and Scottish yarn with everything Made in Italy,” she said.
Now, Zachary is looking toward growth. Her spring collection includes new sweater styles, outerwear, skirts and dresses. The label will launch on Net-a-porter in January and is sticking to its primarily wholesale model for the foreseeable future. Zachary does eventually plan to launch her own e-commerce site as well.
“Up until this point we’ve had incredible organic growth — we’ve doubled season over season with extraordinary sell throughs. This is all on word of mouth. Right now it’s about actively growing the product line to capitalize on this momentum,” she said.