It’s strange when opposites come together, stranger still when the mix works. Perhaps this is the reason it’s so hard to put a finger on ‘Sports Luxe’, a growing clothing trend that’s revolutionising the way we perceive athletic clothing.
Sports Luxe, in its own way, has been around for decades. Football fans returning from Italy ladened with (mainly stolen) high-end sports wear were perhaps the first to switch on to the joys of comfortable, quality clothing. That genesis, unfortunately, developed into the birth of the anti-social tracksuit – and so the movement died. As cheap, copycat sportswear became prominent through the 90’s we returned to our silos, comfortable in the knowledge that fashionable clothing couldn’t be practical, and our sportswear couldn’t possibly look good.
With the advent of the health conscious, 21st century urbanist, however, luxury sportswear has returned. At first the sole remit of yoga lovers and overly confident gym goers, Sports Luxe in its current form was born from an acknowledgement that fashion and function need not be distinct entities. Clothes should be comfortable enough for the morning commute, but stylish enough for the post work engagement.
Sports Luxe could not have emerged if not for the huge advances in clothing technology over the past decade. This technology has allowed designers to combine wearable functionality with quality build and aesthetics - a far cry from the two-piece tracksuits of old.
As time has progressed the line between sport and casual wear has blurred. Sports Luxe allows for athletic, soft tailoring to be imbued within the technical prowess, clean and sleek silhouettes demanded by the astute, active and emerging urban class. It’s built upon the comfort and performance that defines modern sporting technology, applied to clothes that until recently required dry cleaning three times a week. It’s a hybrid of function and fashion that rests in neither category, but flourishes in both.
Sports Luxe, for all the fanfare, is not a top down attempt by designers to impose a style on easily cajoled customers. In the same way that we no longer carry a camera and mp3 player alongside our Nokia, we shouldn’t need to change clothes to meet the demands of urban living.
Where innovation leads, style tends to follow. As was seen with Apple’s IPhone, when style is applied to function it leads with uncontainable veracity. Every thriving industry needs leaders – pushing an agenda that propels a positive and much demanded movement.
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