The Never-ending Cycle of Athleisure

Whether you are on board with or despise the concept of ‘athleisure,’ there is no doubt that this active-wear trend is a force to be reckoned with.

The combination that created the idea of casual sportswear has undoubtedly changed the scope of fitness clothing and the fashion industry at large, and despite the CEO of Under Armour claiming otherwise, athleisure is largely responsible for the evolving expectations of workout gear.

While the term doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as smoothly as one might prefer, the athleisure craze—ignited by yoga athletic brands like Lululemon—filled in a gap between fashion and function in the market. It wasn’t too long ago when athletic gear solely focused on performance, but the idea that style could never be functional is now considered antiquated.

Although several fashion experts predicted a negative forecast for athleisure, with suspicions of a downfall occurring this year and the next, analysts share with Forbes that global active-wear sales will continue in an upward trend at least until 2020. So no matter how much hate it musters, athleisure is clearly here to stay.

Despite the unfavourable opinions of the word, the trend has brought some of the edgiest, high fashion active-wear that the athletic world has ever seen, with more companies targeting and revisiting designs for high performance sports. One such label that continues to push boundaries in sports fashion is Y-3, a long-standing collaboration between Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto, as indicated in the Y-3 collection curated by Lyst’s fashion editors. Staying true to the signature monochromatic palette, the latest release served up all-black clothing, shoes and accessories, all constructed to adjust to various sports. Modern tailoring and versatility define the new line, which can be easily mixed and matched with other items within the collection or with other workout gear in your possession.

The progressive increase in sportswear sales is a clear indication that designers should be embracing athleisure rather than combating it. Fitness is a common struggle for both gym rats and the unfit population alike, but stylish workout gear has given everyone the motivation to either shed those extra kilos or improve in areas such as flexibility or strength. Thus, the more fashionable the clothes, the more likely people will actually want to work out. If that means producing leggings that will probably be worn on a morning jog and while having Sunday brunch, then so be it.