Tim Coppens joins the Under Armour team as executive creative director of the Baltimore-based company's new line, called Under Armour Sportswear and expected to debut this fall. And the Belgium-born designer is a great fit for the job: Coppens held previous stints at Adidas in Germany and Ralph Lauren in New York, directing its RLX activewear line. Athletic influences run deep within his eponymous line, and since its launch in 2011, Coppens has garnered a finalist spots for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and LVMH Prize, a CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and a CFDA Award nomination for Menswear Designer of the Year, among other accolades.
"His understanding of both worlds and ability to craft a creative expression to capture this is truly remarkable," said Ben Pruess, Under Armour's senior vice president of sportswear, in an official statement.
Under Armour's decision to launch a new premium line from a high-end designer could provide great leverage against rival brands like Adidas, which offers ranges from Stella McCartney, Yohji Yamamoto and Kanye West; and Nike, which has collaborated with Olivier Rousteing, Sacai's Chitose Abe and Riccardo Tisci. Nike also recently poached Under Armour's Senior Vice President of Design, Dave Dombrow, who will start working for the sportswear brand in 2017.
"Together, we are creating a unique collection for the Beyond Ambitious generation – the young and determined professional," said Pruess. So don't exactly align Under Armour Sportswear with activewear, or even athleisure. The line, which will include men's and women's apparel, footwear and accessories, targets consumers who are looking for ready-to-wear that utilizes the technologically advanced fabrics and functionalities that are typically reserved for activewear.
Accessibility will be fairly limited for the launch: the collection will be exclusively available at Under Armour's flagship locations in New York and Chicago, select department stores and an e-commerce website separate from Under Armour at UASportswear.com.