The formerly separate worlds of fitness apparel and high fashion continue to collide.
Trendsetters have embraced sweatshirt dressing, traded in their heels for Nike Frees or Adidas tennis shoes, and sport-inspired pieces (like jerseys and baseball jackets) are among the must-have items of the season. So, it only makes sense that the top online purveyor of luxury fashion wants to tap into the growing activewear market in the coming months.
WWD reports that Net-a-Porter is looking to expand its activewear offerings with a new department on its site that will stock brands popular among the yoga, spinning and running communities. A rep for the retailer did not immediately respond to a question about the accuracy of the report.
While Net-a-Porter already stocks sporty labels like T by Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney for Adidas, there aren't many options for the casual customer who wants to wear her gym clothes throughout the day. (If you've been to southern California recently, you know exactly what kind of customer we're talking about.)
Not only is this activewear trend ubiquitous -- Chanel even showed sneakers and sweatpants for fall 2014 -- there are numbers to back it up. According to consumer market research company NPD Group, in 2013 activewear sales increased more than the general apparel market (7 percent versus 1 percent year-over-year as of Aug. 2013) and the women's category alone brought in an impressive $7 billion in sales.
This could provide an opportunity for new Net-a-Porter collaborations as well: Shopbop recently teamed up with SoulCycle on an exclusive collection of activewear, and Barry's Bootcamp partnered with Bloomingdales on branded apparel.
With news of more and more designers breaking into the activewear market -- just this week it was announced that Mary Katrantzou will release a capsule collection for Adidas -- expansion of the category seems like a natural next step for Net-a-Porter.