As activewear becomes more common in the workplace, fiber maker Invista has unveiled a showcase collection from emerging designers eager to explore the fashion potential of outdoor wear.
Using the latest consumer insights and with help from fashion tech start-up Manufacture New York, Invista’s showcase collection combines new designs with fabric and fiber innovations, namely T400 technology by Lycra Brand and Lycra Sport fiber.
In the last year, Invista surveyed more than 1,000 consumers of active and outdoor apparel to understand their needs and desires. The research showed that men and women would pay more for added benefits such as quick-dry technology. It was concluded that lifestyle considerations, such as going from the gym to the workplace to the bar, were fueling these buying trends.
“There’s been a sizable shift in corporate culture recently, with active and outdoor wear being embraced by busy millennial professionals,” said Heather Stefani, Invista’s global segment director for Active and Outdoor. “We’re excited to be in the thick of this changing mind-set because companies are starting to understand the need for commuter wear and to accept it as part of the working lifestyle.”
Stefani said a turning point has been the merging of technologies, like Invista’s T400 and Coolmax technologies. These fibers add just the right amount of stretch and freedom of movement needed for biking and hiking, and provide a strong foundation for casual business wear.
To help bring this showcase collection to life, Invista worked with Manufacture New York, an innovation hub dedicated to providing independent fashion designers with the resources and skills to streamline their process, from concept to customer.
“We see this as a real opportunity to innovate,” said MNY chief executive officer Bob Bland. “The challenge for our designers was to incorporate Invista’s breakthrough fabrics and fibers into designs that could live just as comfortably in an outdoor setting as a conference room.”
“Essentially, we’re pairing cutting-edge designers with cutting-edge fabrics,” added Stefani. “And since the workplace is changing, with commuter wear assuming a more prominent position in the workplace, we have a chance to help shape the future of ath-leisure.”