The future is athleisurewear


Athleisurewear has accomplished a feat many pro-formalwear people have been unable to do.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

If you have been following pop culture, and fashion –  and the sneakerheads –  you have probably already heard about Ye and his lost billions. It is not easy to lose billions, but somehow, Ye managed to do just that. This is not a loss to be taken lightly.

Mainly because of its impact in the fashion world. Athletic wear started out with sneakers from Jordans to Yeezys. I am the furthest thing from a sneakerhead, so Yeezys wouldn’t make me queue around the block. I like pretty shoes and Yeezys - well, sometimes can be a little too foamy.

The fallout between Ye and Adidas might just mean the end of the road for Yeezys. Forbes recalibrated Ye’s worth and says it has plummeted to a measly $400 million. That without his Adidas deal, about $1.5 million has been chopped off his network. Naturally, Ye has always maintained he is worth some $3.3 billion and sees things a little differently.

What does this have to do with you, I hear you ask. And that would be a brilliant question. The moral of the story can’t possibly only be to watch your tongue…

Athleisurewear has gripped pop culture and has done so since the first Lacoste polo shirt or sooner. It was what we lived in for those two years of Covid-19 when all we wanted was to feel comfortable. There wasn’t much to play dress-up for save for the Zoom calls

Athleisurewear survived the pandemic and despite the opportunities to go out and show off, athleisurewear nevertheless persists. It does so for the very same reason that made it popular. You can transition across engagements and look like you have a life. Aside from that, athleisurewear does not compel you to wear sneakers. Right now I’m wearing a Vivo dress, a business that has found 101 ways to wear jersey fabric that goes beyond yoga pants.


The fitness industry has been good for athleisurewear no matter the brand.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Athleisurewear was presumed to be a trend dating back to the 70s.To think that we are still embracing it is a feat beyond measure. Not only is athleisurewear becoming sexier and better looking, but they are also functional and comfortable. And, they can be worn with heels. Now that is the kind of language I like.

Athleisurewear is also now crossing over into fashion. If Vogue finally feels compelled to air it, then it is, indeed, having more than a Eureka! moment.

One really good thing about athleisurewear is this. It is so competitive, both athletic brands and fashion brands want a slice of that pie. It has inspired innovation after innovation. Traits that were reserved for sporting gear are finding their way into athleisurewear. The ability to absorb sweat, be wrinkle-free and odour-resistant is the least sportswear can do. But, sportswear is also a decade ahead of athleisurewear and fashion has to quickly play catch up.

Athleisurewear was predicted to be worth $350 billion by 2020/2021. That was pre-Covid. As it so happens, materials such as Spandex. Lycra and synthetic fibres are now more corporate-friendly.

And athleisurewear apparently dominated the market share by over 60 per cent.

More people shopped online especially during lockdowns, inspiring a lot of first-time e-commerce shoppers.

One thing that has made athleisurewear impossible to ignore has been social media,  whether brands are endorsed by celebrities or fitness enthusiasts photographing their butts and abs. This has led a lot of people down the athleisurewear path. The fitness industry has been good for athleisurewear no matter the brand.

Curiously, the capital of athleisurewear is Dubai when it comes to location. It just so happens that athleisurewear works with a higher standard of living. Now, the Yeezys.

The athleisurewear market is not complete without shoes. The US sneaker market has leisure shoes outselling performance footwear. Basically, people are willing to spend on fancy sneakers that take them everywhere and not necessarily the gym. Running shoes, however, are selling fast. Athleisurewear has also accomplished a feat many pro-formalwear people have been unable to do. It has eaten into denim’s share.

If you thought athleisurewear was a passing fad, you would be wrong. It has become more refined, sleeker and less I’ve-just-left-the-gym look. It is now a lifestyle. There is nothing haphazard about the look. Not if you can wear it anywhere to do anything. The best look is if you look like you live an active life.

That doesn’t mean it is trendy only for the butt-beautiful. There is a great deal more diversity and inclusion in athleisurewear than there is in mainstream fashion. It means your look can be one part stylish, one-part comfortable. Play mix and match. Hoodies and trench coats, white sneakers and tunic dresses, or heels and yoga pants. Think beyond the weekend or the gym and get inspired.