Just in time for the bleak middle of winter blues, the union of style and fitness has resulted in a new hybrid trend that can be seen anywhere from the gym to the runway.
Nowhere is this more apparent than Nike's ad campaign with model Karlie Kloss. They have officially branded their sportswear as chic and fashionable, setting off a chain reaction that culminated in the popularization of what is being described as ath-lesiure wear. Kloss primarily differs from the brands usual association with all-star athletes in that she isn't one, allowing her to act as a link between sport and fashion. And it doesn't hurt that top model Kloss is gracing this month's cover of Vogue with BFF Taylor Swift.
When looking at the beautiful and inspiring ads, and even Kloss's own Instagram feed (reaching 2 million followers), it's easy to get excited about going to the gym, and staying in the same clothes for hours after.
In 2013, designer Tom Ford told Style Magazine that, "Comfort for me is knowing I look great, and if I have to suffer in a corset for four hours to look amazing, than that's comfort." Now, it's safe to say that Ford's thoughts on comfort are far from universal. Trendsetters across the globe have not only confirmed that you can look great and be comfortable, but are encouraging it.
Nike isn't the first brand to get the fashion crowd excited about exercise, comfort, and fashionable sportswear. British designer Stella McCartney, who first collaborated with Adidas in 2004, launched a stylish athletic line that aimed to offer women clothing in which they could exercise in and feel confident about their looks. Apart from her ultra-chic line for Adidas, McCartney is refreshing it by launching a new and more affordable line with them called StellaSport, aimed at a younger audience. "It takes the Stella girl from the campus to the club and finds a link to sport and technology without sacrificing style," McCartney told Women's Wear Daily.
This new trend, ath-lesiure, has gone beyond the major brands that have largely monopolized the athletic gear market, and stormed the runways. Alexander Wang and Victoria Beckham, among other big name designers, recently showcased these looks on the catwalk. Designers are taking the same ideas and principles behind sportswear, being that they comfortably move with the body no matter what, and applying it to their collections.
So, does this mean dreams do come true, and we can all finally wear sweatpants all the time?
Ath-leisure wear goes beyond fashion, and into lifestyle. Whether a new sports bra or leggings gets you excited about going to the gym, or you're experiencing a newfound confidence in your comfortable attire, the positive perks of fashion meeting fitness are many.