Go The Distance
Yet, Britt is quick to point out the move toward practical athletic wear is not a trend. “At ALO, we don’t believe in trends. We feel style transcends time, so we look to see if there’s a longevity with a certain style, and we believe there is [in this case],” she noted, and pointed to well-known retail brands such as Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret and Bebe Sport as capitalizing on their athletic apparel/performance-wear lines. “People’s lifestyles [are] more athletic, more active, so they need the clothing choices that will allow them to live that way,” Britt affirmed.
The Hybrid Marketing Vehicles
This move out of the gym and into the real-world can also be a boon for branding initiatives. Since marketing vehicles are only useful as long as they’re visible, performance-wear items that can be worn as everyday wardrobe basics lead to more eyes on a message than ever before.
Topliss, for example, said ID Wear’s Athletica styles are good promotional products because they reflect current fashion styles and possess retail appeal. In other words, it’s the kind of clothing that will turn heads with its fashion
aesthetic, while also maintaining its comfort and practicality. Britt agreed, adding, “ALO is great on the treadmill, but then you’re going to want to wear it to the movies, to Starbucks, to your kid’s soccer game.”
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that regular gym-goers cut a modelesque figure among a population of mere mortals. “These are the people your customers want to see their logos on,” noted Crow. “They are high-energy people who have a lot to do and they are in different places, showing their logoed apparel to a [greater audience].”
The other big reason why end-users choose this style is the evolution of athletic clothing material. Topliss mentioned ID Wear’s range of long-sleeve technical tops made from innovative stretch, moisture-wicking waffle fabric and body mapping coverstitching; their track jackets are retro styled and feature fleeced backs for cooler temperatures. Also, eco-friendly innovation is increasingly popular. “People are more into choosing [products] that are environmentally friendly ... It will be something that they will want to wear over and over again,” claimed Britt. Lastly, no matter how cool a fashionable performance outfit looks and feels, there is one essential extra for all-day wear that is non-negotiable. “Customers want their workout/hang-out apparel to be breathable. That adds to the comfort factor and also ensures that the product is odor-free,” concluded Crow.