European Athleisure Market Scene
by Simone Gerschitzka

The excitement buzzing around major sports events is rich with opportunities for fashionistas and companies alike. Merchandising, broadcasting rights, clothing lines, fitness – the athleisure and sport economy is all around us. For now, it seems athleisure is the new black. Apparently, the term “athleisure” was first used in 1976 on an advertisement for trainers. So let us explore this a little further.

The athleisure industry is booming, and experts believe it will continue to thrive for years to come. Given the slow growth affecting many sectors, this broad-spectrum market – ranging from sport entertainment to everyday physical exercise and urban streetwear – deserves attention, from the fashion-conscious consumer and – yes, from investors alike.

The graph above shows the approximate rise of sales worldwide, in which Europe is included, of course.

The “athleisure syndrome” draws on the widespread popularity of all forms of physical exercise. Fitness clubs and equipment and clothing manufacturers are enjoying good times, as are the brands that sell wearable technology to monitor performance. More than one in three sport enthusiasts is reported to use this type of device. Dress codes have also been swept up in the momentum, and not just in the shoe department. People in Europe are wearing Adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Puma, Tchibo, Lucas Hugh, and Fila, sporty looking athleisure clothing, from morning till late, to the office, restaurant, out on the town, window shopping – this trend is everywhere…

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