Designers, Sports, and Fashion - Exploring the profitable relationship
Sports have been around forever and so has fashion; therefore it is impossible to have a world where one has not been influenced by the other. In fact, sport has been a major influencer in the evolution of style in the fashion industry.
The emergence of fast fashion as a style is a major proof of how the comfort offered by sport wears has influenced everyday wears. Sport is a major player in the game of fashion, and they definitely go hand in hand.
Here is a little background...
Fashion has been associated with sports since the time of Ancient Greece, when it was an honour to take part in the Olympic Games. The athletes were usually barely clothed but those who won earned the right to dress up always dressed like they were a part of a ruling class.
Most of the sport we now know and love originated from the British empire. Over time, the impact of sports like golf, tennis, soccer and rugby has become very visible in today’s pop culture.
It became more interesting when women were allowed to take part in sports, because you can trust women - they ended up making sports wears not just comfortable but fashionable as well.
How else has sport influenced fashion?
Consumers have always been influenced by popular athletes and most times would opt to dress like them. This is still very valid as top fashion brands have jumped on this by making the athletes their ambassadors in order to boost sales.
Little wonder why a brand like Nike spent $3.75 billion on marketing in 2019; sports makes fashion very profitable.
Also, very recently the popular Music artiste Beyoncé Knowles Carter released Ivy Park, a line of sporty wear in collaboration with Adidas and the revenue prospects are looking very good, because of the level of influence she wields.
One major characteristic of a standard sport wears is comfort. Sportwears are generally comfortable and easy to wear and this has been a major influencer of the fast fashion sector of the industry.
An example is how T-shirts which were originally made for sports have now become everyday wears and a must-have in every wardrobe. Consumers are quick to gravitate towards comfortable, stylish and easy to wear products for casual outings and sport has given us just that.
Sport pulls revenue and attention into fashion brands
Reports have it that the global sports apparel market generated about $181 billion in revenue in 2019 and this is expected to increase to about $208 billion in 2025. Fast fashion accounts for about 66% of online retail of fashion items. Directly or indirectly, what people buy online is influenced by how comfortable, fashionable or 'sporty' the item is.
Sports will constantly influence fashion and people will always love sports, as well as fashion. From all indications the sports apparel sector of the industry is very ‘profitable’ and will keep wielding a huge influence on the industry.