Is the age of athleisure at an end?

The growth of the athleisure trend, which has seen clothing designed for athletic activities worn in non-athletic settings such as at home or in work, has slowed and this has paved the way for the emergence of a new fashion category, according to trends specialist WGSN.

During a presentation delivered at the Micam footwear exhibition in Milan on February 12, WGSN consultant Maria Eugenia Errobidarte said the athleisure market was worth USD 48 billion in 2017. Although this represented growth of 2 % compared to the previous year, it was much gentler growth than in previous years. These figures were from an NPD report.

At the same time, there has been what Ms Errobidarte called the “dramatic” growth of the denim market. She explained that this was because many denim manufacturers are now applying fibres and technologies previously only found in activewear to their materials. She gave the example of stretch jeans featuring elastane. In fact, she said sales of all stretch garments are up.

This has prompted WGSN to declare that a new trend has emerged – Lifewear. First coined by Japanese brand Uniqlo, this term is used to describe comfortable yet fashionable everyday clothing that can be worn in any setting. It is centred around simple designs, high-quality materials and comfortable fit.

Ms Errobidarte said a number of brands that have tapped into this trend are now focusing on creating “functional wardrobes” for women so that they do not need to change throughout the day in order to cater to different activities.