Another week means another installment of global trends. I just returned from Cotre A’zur – in unpretentious English that means the south of France.
Besides my unsuccessful attempts to blend in amongst billionaires I was keeping my fashion feelers out for you – and everyone is gravitating towards this trend of “Athleisure”.
Moms – if you go to Woolworth’s in your active wear (or really do anything non-active in your active wear), this coincidentally applies to you.
The word is taken from athletic and leisurewear and, mixed with the pervasive influence of hip-hop in fashion, equals Athleisure.
Athleisure has emerged as a direct result of sneaker culture. A culture which began in the early 90’s in Queens, New York thanks to Run DMC. In effect, this started a pop culture phenomenon.
By sneaker culture I am not referring to those high-velocity suction-pad “tekkies” you slap on for gym that make you run like Tom Cruise in ‘Mission Impossible’. I’m referring to the sneakers kids fought in the streets for.
Yup, those limited edition Jordan’s are as much of a status symbol as owning a Maserati.
Although birthed in the streets, Athleisure has made its way up into high-fashion where luxury brands, such as Dior and Chanel, have adopted the trend in an attempt to grab a piece of the pie by collaborating with active wear brands.
Kering, a massive parent company to many luxury labels – most notably their cash cow Gucci – are also proud adopters of PUMA since acquiring the sportswear label in ’07.
The undeniable influence music has on fashion is evidently traceable. Active wear brands are looking less to star athletes for public endorsement and more to music influencers – Rihanna has been the face of PUMA for years.
PUMA has migrated from being seen as a “technical sportswear” brand to being praised for their Athleisure streetsyle. They brought in Miss pop culture herself, Kylie Jenner, as their new muse.
I mean, just how many people do you know pairing their PUMA gear with a R500 000 Hermes bag? And boom, suddenly we have casual sport wear becoming high-end fashion.
This was most evident to me in the wealthiest sandbank of Europe – St Tropez. The plastic girlfriends I saw pulling up in a Bentley had swapped their Louboutin heels with high priced sneakers.
After all, the psyche of brand snobbery is to use luxury items as a means to establish identity and success to our surrounding peers. It’s a visual cue to appear superior and of higher status.
…Or maybe you just prefer Rolex to Swatch, who am I to say?
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