As the lines between apparel and athleticwear blur, Coterie effectively integrated a selection of activewear brands. Boutique owners are finding their clientele not only want street wear, but also want a selection of performance wear that is appropriate for other activities.
Among the sports brands represented at Coterie earlier this week, several trends were notable. Digital photo printing, mesh inserts and leather treatments were some of the ideas that brands used to set themselves apart.
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Terez, a new exhibitor at Coterie, was notable for its highly graphical and photo-real prints. The leggings included original marble prints, mix-tape cassette images, Fair Isle sweater prints and New York City skyline images. Burnout-cut tanks with skull images and pineapple images have proven to be popular. Terez also uses mesh in its leggings and has a unique ombre mesh coloring. Soft, French terry drape jackets have become crossover items to the apparel crowd.
Lauren Morris, director of sales at Terez, said, “For spring, we took what was working from fall. We have vintage floral prints and the French terry draped jackets and burnouts are doing well. We play with illusion, like camo styles that are printed on the leggings. We’re playing with power mesh.”
Ultracor is a premium activewear line that sells to Barneys, among others. “We’re probably the highest in this price-point category because we manufacture everything in Los Angeles and all our fabric comes from Italy,” said designer Melissa Pizzuto. In terms of technology the company uses laser machines and digital printing. The leggings feature intricate laser-cut patterns down the leg. The stitching is custom to Ultracor. The leggings have shapewear that lifts the butt and flattens the tummy. Ultracor also uses digital printing on its leggings. The product is on the higher end with leggings retailing for $185, and sports bras start at $135.
DYI (or Define Your Inspiration) presented laser-cut tops and faux-leather leggings. The overall effect is one of leather and lace, but in performance wear. The brand is based out of Houston and brings sophistication to its performance wear. The sports bras feature a butterfly-strap back and the tights have a high waistband. The laser-cut crochet pattern can be found in crop tops and down the side of the leggings.
L’Etoile Sport is fashionable golf and tennis wear at a mid-level and advanced price point. While most brands stayed focused on leggings, L’Etoile was one of the few to present a variety of kicky skirts. There were mesh lace “skorts” and flirty skirts meant to be paired with compression shorts. Feminine knit pleats in bright colors set this collection off from the dominant black groupings. The dresses are functional for sport, but also for leisure, as the company sees itself as a “play all day” brand.
Burt Damsky, vice president of Blanc Noir, said his company seeks to fill the active space without being truly active. “We don’t talk so much about the hour in the studio, it’s the other 23 hours in the day; we want the clothes to be as comfortable and adaptable. It’s comfortable, stretchable, breathable.” Damsky showed off a sweatshirt with reflective taping that has stretch and thumbholes. He also showed a reversible bomber that had one casual, sporty side versus a dressier side that he said was a bestseller. The company combines mesh and leather and sports-stretch material. Some of its bigger stores include Neiman Marcus, where the brand is in the new “Cusp” active area bridging active and denim.