Athleisure: the trend is here to stay, but the name is over
By Clare Varga

WGSN Active Director Clare Varga explains why the Athleisure trend won’t die, but the name is no longer suitable

Nov 25, 2015


As head of the Active department, Clare is constantly asked this common question – what is the future of Athleisure? And is it here to stay or will the excitement around it fade out soon?

It’s no surprise that she is constantly asked about it, we are dealing with a billion dollar market after all. A market that sees established sportswear brands like Nike and Adidas discussed in the same breath as new daily launches and high-street retailers like H&M who have moved into that market- no wonder it’s such a talking point.

To deal with the topic indepth WGSN is addressing the future of the trend with its webinar – After Athleisure (happening live on November 26th 2015).

Ahead of that, we asked Clare to give us her three thoughts on Athleisure, the word and the trend.

1. Athleisure is the new normal

Earlier this month, Merriam-Webster announced they were adding the word ‘Athleisure’ to the dictionary and defined it as “casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use”. The term has gone mainstream as we all embrace the wellness lifestyle.

2. The designer backlash

Now that the term has gone mainstream, designers are ditching the umbrella term and fighting to give credit to the unique, different design styles that have previously been sandwiched into the term. Streetwear designer Nasir Mazah recently criticised fashion writers for their use of phrases like ‘athleisure’ or ‘the sportswear trend’, calling it rude and citing their deep lack of understanding for the subtleties of the aesthetic.

3.  The term will start to fade.

For the retail industry and brands the term Athleisure is too broad, and using it is a disservice to your product offerings. Individual consumers and style tribes have emerged within the umbrella term, so to better understand and serve those consumers and their needs retailers need to ditch the broad term.

For a more indepth analysis on Athleisure, where growth and investment is coming from, how the shapes and product styles will develop, sign up for Clare’s webinar live on November 26th 2015 or catch up after here

NEED INSPIRATION? WGSN publishes 350 in-depth reports each month. That’s a seriously awe-inspiring amount of inspiration. Join WGSN.

Athleisure: the trend is here to stay, but the name is over

Please enter a valid name
Please enter a valid name
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid website
Please enter a valid website
Add a comment...
Please enter a valid comment

WGSN’s Advent Calendar Day 19
Dec 18th, 2015

[…] will continue to be a key trend for the New Year, ditching the athleisure term, and just focusing on wellness, looking good and feeling good. To fit with this, I’d love to […]

WGSN’s Advent calendar: Day six Activewear Inspired
Dec 06th, 2015

[…] cool) millennial mom is not afraid to admit that I run around in my Activewear (formerly known as ATHLEISURE)  99% of the time on the weekends, I love it, so deal with […]

Kate Boyer
Nov 28th, 2015

Anatomie has been the pioneer of this trend and we have the name for the next wave too . I’m ceo and founder … Happy to be interviewed about this !

Related stories

4 photos
Dutch brand Atelier de l'Armée's Amsterdam City Guide

5 Reasons why Queen Bey’s Ivy Park sports collection will reign supreme.

Richard Nicoll dead
Fashion Designer Richard Nicoll dead at 39

Beyoncé releases first images of athleisure brand

Raf Simons to Show at New York Fashion Week: Men's