The Rise Of ‘Athletic wear’ In the apparel Industry

Heard of words like Active wear? We are sure you have come across some apparel that is put under this word on many an eCommerce app. Active wear, Athletic wear, Sports Wear, these words mean a lot these days.

There was a time when buying sportswear was for hardcore gymnasts or athletes. Then the body builders who went to the gym started taking workout clothes seriously and wearing them religiously to the gym- thanks to brands like Nike, Puma, Adidas, etc.

In fact, until now, athletic wear has been synonymous with these names. But now, everyone and their dogs are seen wearing track pants (costing up to $400) just like that. Going to the gym? Not really. Would you wear a branded $400 pair of pants while gymming? We think not! Another kind of workout then? Nope!

The pants are just, “I felt like wearing them, so I put them on,” pants. Okay. If this does not say “trend” in bold letters, we don’t know what does. Active wear has transcended the hallowed rules of fashion shows.


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So popular is this category in the apparel market today, that active wear growth sets the pace for the overall apparel market. Active wear sales accounted for $33.7 billion, representing 16 percent of the total apparel market, and have played a significant role in the overall success of the total apparel market over the last two years.

Active wear or as the trend is being called right now, especially by tweeps, #atheleisure- happens to have captured the current market dynamic most successfully. These clothes, to put it simply, offer comfort as well as versatility to consumers.


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A fact that any retailer can capitalize on big time. In fact, Beyonce’s new line of apparel designs from Topshop, were a reflection of this trend. In fact, according to WWD, “It will have technical performance characteristics as well as an athleisure side, targeting women who go to yoga or the health club, as well as those who just want to look as if they do.”


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Well if Queen Bey can be so enterprising about a trend that has so much scope and versatility, we think it’s time to get active on active wear for the rest of us mere mortals!

At IntelligenceNODE, we are always looking at ways to maximize returns while minimizing investments. In the pursuit of greater ideas, we map the main points of how you may nail this trend-and magnify your profits, simultaneously!

Understanding Consumers

This trend is a direct result of people ready to accept such contradictions as athleticism and leisure. Sounds opposite? Well, as they say opposites attract!

This is comfort culture at its zenith! In fact, so big is this trend, that Net a Porter, started a new channel, called Net A Sporter dedicated to sportswear that is as chic as everything else in their consumers’ closet! This particular collection includes both basic Nike tanks for $30 and luxury items like a Karl Lagerfeld sweatshirt for $235, or cashmere and linen track pants from The Elder Statesman for $600.


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We know you are asking a question right about now, dear retailer. Net A Porter is already a giant and a very famous brand. But a retailer that may not have reached that same volume as far as consumers and visibility is concerned will have a tough time convincing existing consumers to convert or buy a newer product. What can they do?

Answer’s simple- consumer insights! When you analyse your data- you will know which consumers are open to ‘trend’ conversion. Who likes to try out newer stuff and who will not appreciate an update about such a trend?

Understanding the Product

The product in this case happens to be all about comfort. That right there is your USP. Comfort that is stylish? Now you know your consumers- who will be buying from you.

This means that the product has to be converted into a must-have. Chanel sneakers and Nike Flyknits are all the proof you need when it comes to must-haves. When Alexander Wang can make athleisure a trend worthy of males all over the world- you know the possibilities yourself, dear retailer.


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When it comes to trends, questions relate to pricing and assortment. What would be the ideal price threshold for a popular trend- keeping in mind that not everyone is open to the idea? What is the best way to convert interest to a sale? What kind of strategies should be used to push the trend into the lime light and maintain attention? What assortment of products will be most acceptable to my consumer demographic?

At one point, it was impossible to find absolute answers to these questions. But now, you dear retailer, with the help of tools like Pricing, Merchandising and Retail Intelligence, can pinpoint exactly- your consumers, your demand, your catalogue positioning, your strategies, and the end result of interpreting a trend in a particular manner.

It’s all about using the right resources at the correct time. We understand the fine line between the perfect mix and ‘too much of a good thing’- and we are here to play the game in the long run. Just like you, dear retailer!