Editorial: Athleisure—a growing evolution in fashion which is here to stay
Athleisure combines comfort and style with function and has become increasingly popular in recent years. But it is more than just a fashion trend. The athleisure market has been underpinned by a fundamental shift in how we live our lives, and it is being fuelled by a confluence of influences—cultural, fashion and social. Athleisure has done what few fashion trends have managed to do. It has crossed gender and generational divides as part of a lifestyle which values health and wellness and prizes versatility. To make the most of this growing market, apparel brands need to develop function and style together and make the technologies employed a selling point. But the experience is becoming as important as the clothes, and the brands which can deliver both seem set to have a healthy future. The growth of the market and the opportunities it presents were discussed at a conference entitled "Athleisure—The New Smart Casual?", which was organised by the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) and held in the UK in November 2018. In this report Robin Anson discusses the key topics covered at the conference, with particular reference to: comfort, functionality, innovation, performance properties and style in athleisure clothing; fitness, fashion and urban lifestyles; sportswear and streetwear; Generation Z and youth culture; and social media, including social media influencers and fitness apps.
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