The Origin of Athleisure
In the HBO original show ‘Girls’, a fictional brand for athletic denim is set up as a hilarious parody of the yoga pants- centric brand ‘Lululemon’. The main character gushes to the founders of ‘Jamba Jeans’, “You have completely cracked open the market on athletic denim”. It’s done as a way of simultaneously poking fun at the real-life multibillion-dollar corporation as well as paying homage to the brand for spearheading the trend of athleisure.
In early 2015, around the same time Lululemon’s stylish but high performance athletic wear was creating waves in the market, fashion media increasingly started talking about athleisure – to the point where the trend became a household name. It wasn’t long before brands like Adidas and Reebok followed suit and started working with fashion designers and celebrities to release luxury athleisure for women.
But here’s a question – : is athleisure just athletic wear that can be worn beyond the gym? Or is it actually a gym inspired fashion trend?
Celebrity Collaborations with Athleisure
Only recently, Gigi Hadid dropped her new athleisure line in collaboration with Reebok. Her line, which
There is a sense that the designer collaborations are blurring the definitions of Athleisure, and that the newer athleisure lines are starting to favour fashion over function. Ironically, that is the antithesis of the initial mandate of athleisure.
Comfort x Athleisure
Perhaps this is the reason why Nike’s athleisure line is advertised not by sporting superstars or top models, but ordinary women. Their 2015 #BetterForIt social media campaign features everyday women in casual athletic wear. Their campaign reinforces one of the ultimate female fantasies – ’What if I can be as comfortable outside as I am at home?’. It cements the idea that athleisure is not only for the people who work out but for those who just wish to feel relaxed in all surroundings.
How Do We Define Athleisure at Present?
It is safe to say that athleisure is not a definable trend anymore; it’s a lifestyle. When millennials flock to purchase casual athletic wear from a specific brand, they’re buying into that brand’s ideologies and mission. When they post about it on social media, it is because they want to be part of the brand’s community. Athleisure has evolved to the point where it no longer means one thing. The constant designer collaborations only reinforce the scope for innovation within this trend. So whether it’s fashion forward gym clothes or gym inspired fashion, make no mistake – athleisure is here to stay.