There are a number of very exciting and important trends shaping Athleisure’s future in 2021 and beyond. Athleisure is the fastest growing clothing segment. Made of polyester and other high tech synthetic fabrics, athleisure garments are attractive, versatile, stylish and comfortable. People of all ages wear athleisure gear going to work, school, social gatherings and the gym. The clothes are made from breathable, lightweight, rapid drying, wrinkle free, moisture-wicking fabrics and have UV repelling characteristics. Athleisure products are made by major brands like Nike, Lululemon, Under Armour, Puma, Adidas and several emerging independent activewear companies.
Athleisure’s Top 10 Trends For 2021
More and more top athletic apparel, sportswear and active wear companies are attempting to tap into and gain a share of the almost $400 billion annual athleisure wear market. The top 10 most popular athleisure industry trends businesses are embracing in 2021 and beyond are:
1. Using Internet Influencers
The average person mimics the clothing choices of the most attractive, popular and admired celebrities. Whether they are actors, athletes, singers, models or any other type of top entertainers, a large segment of the public used to take their fashion cues and get ideas about what are the hottest and coolest things to wear from them. The top athletic gear brands like Nike, Adidas, Reeboks and Puma, as well as sports industry newcomers like Under Armour are trying to promote their new athleisure apparel lines are using fit, hip, young, attractive, internet influencers famous for being famous to make the masses gravitate towards their brands.
While the use of celebrities to endorse products isn’t new, companies trying to tap into the athleisure market are allying their brands with young largely unknown internet influencers known for their exciting, avant garde, unique, fashion choices.
2. Promoting The Active, Health And Fitness-Conscious, Lifestyle
Another popular trend among companies looking to capitalize on 2021’s hot, burgeoning athleisure market is promoting their products as being an essential element of today’s healthy, active, fitness-conscious lifestyle. Movement is a popular theme in many of the commercials for brands and companies marketing their latest hot athleisure fashion ‘must-haves’. Suddenly clothing brands are promoting jogging, hiking, biking, yoga and sports and recommending people use their clothing and apparel to look good, enjoy and feel comfortable doing these activities. They also imply their products will enhance the experience.
3. Targeting Young People
About 65% of athleisure products are purchased for and worn by tweens, teens and young adults. A growing trend among athleisure apparel manufacturers trying to break into this lucrative market is to design and promote clothing to be worn by young people. In many cases, brands and companies that never had an interest in this demographic are now dedicating a large percentage of their marketing budget to create print, radio and TV advertising designed to grab and hold the attention of young people. Often the new ad campaigns use hip hop and other forms of popular music and activities to woo the young consumers.
Many brands and companies trying to reach to youth demographic to promote their newly created athleisure products use social media marketing. Experts estimate that over 4 billion people will use social media in 2021. This makes it the perfect medium for any brand trying to get their athleisure apparel into the minds and on to the bodies of as many consumers as possible. Social media marketing improves a brand’s online presence, increases consumers’ awareness of and engagement with brands and companies, encourages on-the-fence consumers to become very lucrative clients and is an effective platform to address customer service issues.
Social media marketing is a great way for brands to introduce their athleisure items to a wide demographic. It enhances customer engagement, can initiate conversation about the brand and the products, expands brand exposure, increases both website traffic and revenue and creates opportunities to promote sales and specials.
5. Creating Online Communities
Another popular athleisure marketing trend is the creation of online communities by a brand or company. Created ostensibly as a resource for
consumers sponsored by a brand and not used for selling anything directly, these online communities not only provide customers with valuable resources and needed services, they can help develop customer loyalty. Customers tend to be more likely to trust and do business with brands with which they have a bond, open lines of communication and that’s always ready and willing to speak with them about their questions, concerns and desires related to the business.
6. Developing New Revenue Streams
One athleisure trend that is sure to continue into 2021 and beyond is the building of new business revenue streams based on the public’s growing demand for different types of athleisure items. Sneaker companies have now begun to create athleisure garments and brands that formerly focused on dress clothing for work and formal events now have new division of their company that design sportswear and activewear garments. Some clothing brands have now diversified their product line to include running, track, tennis, golf, soccer and basketball shoes to take advantage of the multi-billion dollars athleisure global marketing opportunities.
7. Promoting A Youth-Oriented Fashion Culture
Age is nothing but a number and 60 is the new 40. Women of all ages are now encouraged to wear spandex tights to work, parties and even church. Men are now told they can wear girdles and biker shorts to make their bodies look firm and muscular under their new athleisure outfits. Some companies design, make and market the same style clothes for teens, young adults and the middle aged. They tell people the style, cuts and fabrics will make them look young, healthy, vibrant and attractive. Marketing messages promise the lightweight, wrinkle-free, moisture-wicking, synthetic fabrics and garments will make you look and feel younger, fitter and more attractive.
8. Versatile, Multi-Functional Clothing
One of the most common and popular athleisure trends is the design, promotion and sale of versatile, multi-functional clothing. A major selling point of athleisure garments is they are stylish, comfortable, versatile, flexible and attractive enough to be worn to work, for a night out with friends or to do any type of physical activity. Companies and brands often market soft, comfort, attractive, multi-functional yoga tops, tights and wraps that can go from the mat, to a Zoom meeting and out to eat without looking out of place. Large and small brands and companies are banking on the versatility and multiple functions of athleisure garments to continuing to attract more converts.
9. Tapping Into The Growing Asian Athleisure Market
In 2021 and beyond, the market for athleisure garments in Asia is poised to surpass the industry leading one in the United States in size, value and diversity. Savvy brands and companies are busy preparing and positioning themselves to grab and hold on to a share of what is expected to be an emerging market for athleisure apparel that will be valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year. A major athleisure wear trend is brands and companies devising the most effective way to become a respected, in-demand source for high quality, premium athleisure wear for men, women, teens and young adults in Asia for the next decade or more.
10. Developing Innovative Fabrics And Apparel
One key to the growth and continued success of the market for athleisure wear is the development of innovative new fabrics and types of apparel. The comfort, durability, flexibility and cool luxurious feel of the cutting-edge textiles used in the production of athleisure apparel has transformed it from a mere fashion trend into a lifestyle that is embraced globally. Initially made primarily with polyester blends, athleisure apparel is now made with technologically advanced anti-microbial, moisture wicking, high evaporation rate gossamer-thin, durable fabrics. One of the most important trends in athleisure is developing even better, more advanced fabrics and styles of apparel.
Athleisure Industry Stats and Growth Projections in 2021
- Athleisure is the largest product segment among young people worldwide.
- In some places it accounts for over 65% of the clothing purchased by people in their teens and 20s
- A growing number of adults now buy and wear athleisure products because they are so stylish, comfortable, versatile and socially acceptable.
- The most popular athleisure products include sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, pants, tops blouses, dresses and more made from eco-friendly performance materials.
- The value of the worldwide market for athleisure is estimated to be $348.95 billion.
- It is forecasted to increase to over $517.48 billion in 2021 and beyond.
- Athleisure’s market value has an annual growth rate of 8.1% worldwide.
- The U.S. is the largest market for athleisure products. It accounts for about 30% of worldwide sales of nearly $400 billion.
- Growing interest in physical fitness among young people in the Asia-Pacific region and a cultural shift in apparel preferences in 2021 and beyond has that region set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest athleisure buyer in a global market soon to be valued well over $500 billon a year.
- Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour and many top brands now compete with activewear brand Lululemon and indies like Athleta, Outdoor Voices, Patagonia, Rumi, Aerie and Girlfriend Collective for dominance in the athleisure market.