Are celebrity fitness lines the new celebrity fragrance? Kate Hudson has found success with Fabletics, and now Carrie Underwood's activewear line, Calia, seems to be picking up steam as well. Calia, which launched a little less than a year ago and is sold at Dick's Sporting Goods, staged its very first fashion show on Thursday at New York Fashion Week.
Unlike the rest of the shows this week (well, with the exception of Lauren Conrad's), you can buy the pieces right now as part of the fall 2015 collection. So the show was less of a traditional industry presentation and more of a marketing ploy, albeit a clever and fun one.
Fitness models strutted to a medley of Carrie Underwood songs on two small stages, then proceeded to perform various athletic feats, ranging from stretching to a full-on handstand push-up. Underwood definitely knows her audience: half of the people in attendance looked like they had just come from FlyWheel, and someone even had on a shirt that said, "Kale > No Kale." After the show, audience members got to choose a complimentary outfit to take home, meaning Calia is already in the running for best goody bag of the week.
It's difficult to make activewear that looks original these days, but Calia's collection held my attention. The bottoms included solid colored moto style leggings, moody dark florals, ombré and a cable print that managed not to look too cartoon-y. Tops were basic, in both the modern and traditional sense of the word — there was nothing too overengineered, strap-happy or complicated. At the end, Underwood came out with two models in swimsuits who carried giant beach balls announcing that Calia was launching swimwear in spring 2016.
Does activewear belong at Fashion Week? Probably not — but I'm all for it, mostly because it's so accessible and so, well, un-fashion-like. It's the opposite of street style peacocking. Last September, Athleta hosted a runway extravaganza, which was fun to watch and made me want to run around; I was hoping the company would do it every season. Next week Reebok is showing a spring 2016 collection, so maybe someday there will be an "Active Fashion Week" or something. (Get on that, IMG.) In sum, anything that normalizes yoga pants out in public during Fashion Month is a-ok with me.