Does Athleisure have a place in luxury fashion?

Hi all…I’m back with another post on a topic that many that write and speak about fashion have very strong opinions about.

Athleisure which to me is the idea of fashion that goes from the gym to the street. The clothing can often appear to be gym wear but a closer look at fabrics and style suggest you can go out and about with these items. Take P.E Nation for example there clothes seem often too good for the gym and not really practical for those that actually like to sweat when working out.

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I have to be completely honest with you all, I’m writing this in a cafe sitting in my most comfy Lululemon leggings. These ones I don’t wear to the gym at all they are just worn for care free days.

With that background it seems that the luxury fashion brands of Gucci & Fendi etc… are jumping on board this trend and adapting it into their collections. Some brands are going one step further by having collaborations with brands that are only in the realm of streetwear or sportswear. A prime example is Louis Vuitton x Supreme. Supreme being a very popular skateboarding company that has expanded into streetwear. There is also the Fendi and Fila collaboration which I like and seems to be more readily available to when they dropped the LV x Supreme collection.

So this trend is clearly here but many in the fashion industry are of the view that it cheapens the brand and does not feel inline with luxury that these houses exude. In some ways I can understand this as these brands have a large history that have been ingrained in tradition; from the way they produce haute couture, the existence of their factories to the many that don’t have e-commerce websites.

But change is often slow and as the new generation of luxury buyers coming up can afford not only accessories but ready-to-wear so brands need to cater for what they are wanting in the market. These buyers don’t just want classic flap bags in black or tweed jackets but a brighter colour range as well as innovation that keeps inline with the brands aesthetic but puts a twist on it. So far I think Gucci is doing the best job with this as they often look to their archives but add something very modern to it as well.  I’m really digging their take on the tracksuit.

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Brands like Off-White are doing great things for the streetwear fashion industry but many are questioning whether they can be considered high fashion. We all know Virgil Abloh is the head of Louis Vuitton menswear and has made waves in that space but Off-White who knows?!?! I personally think the likes of Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada are in a league of their own and so Off-White would never compete with their bags or clothing. I mean who could say a Lady Dior and an Off-White binder clip bag are on the same level.

For me I have nothing against high-end luxury brands going forward and making collaborations with other labels and putting out collections that are more streetwear looking. This is a sign of change and in fashion nothing stays the same, yes the Chanel classic flap and Lady Dior will always be there and most people will still be drawn to the likes of these. But why not cater for the next generation with something in the look and feel of the brand with the same quality that challenges the status quo.

To those that hate athleisure in the luxury market just don’t buy it is my view.

What are all of your thoughts? Comment below.

xx – the expat

FYI – Black Friday sales are on so get onto it quick as things will go!