Fashion and sports have a long history together. The two may seem obviously connected now, but it took decades to get where we are today. From sneakers to everyday athletic wear, to $2,000 couture tracksuits. The effect fashion has on sports and vice versa is unreal.
Have you ever heard of Stan Smith? He is a famous tennis player, the world’s former number one player and a two-time major singles champion. If you don’t know him as an athlete, you may know him from a shoe.
Adidas launched The Stan Smith Shoe in 1965, originally named after another French tennis player “Robert Haillet” after the brand endorsed him. Stan Smith officially endorsed the shoe in 1973 and it has stood the test of time because Adidas is still selling them 58 years later.
The obsession with sneakers is real. Most notable – Jordans. Sneakerheads have taken over in the past 20 years with their obsession with shoes and their huge collections. Athletes like PJ Tucker to Odell Beckham Jr. have shown their insane sneaker collections. Athletes wearing a shoe can catapult that shoe into popularity, and once again the effect the athletes have on fashion trends is unreal.
Let’s move up the body, from sneakers to outfits. What was once only worn in an aerobic studio or gym, Olivia Newton-John brought to the people. She made the leotard and leg warmer outfit iconic with her “Let’s Get Physical” music video. Typical of what a dancer would wear, she made this outfit become a trend for the normal people in the 80s. Whether you were working out or just going to the mall.
And it wasn’t just pop music being infused with sports culture. In the 1980s, Run DMC gave tracksuits and Adidas shoes a whole new reputation. Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell wore the iconic outfits all the time. From posters to album covers, and in their music videos. If it wasn’t Adidas, it was Detroit Pistons or Raiders gear. They built trends on top of trends.
They transformed sports clothing into trendy leisure fashion. Fans see this and then copy and this is how the trends become trends. The power of pop culture and sports in fashion is something that will never go out of style.
It isn’t just Adidas. Today everyone makes tracksuits. From huge fashion houses like Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Fendi, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy to Ralph Lauren. Athleisure has become today’s everyday wear, but the prices these high end designers are selling them for are pretty high.
These pieces can go anywhere from $1,500-$5,000. It seems high, but people are willing to pay. Can’t foot the high bill? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of more responsibly priced gear out there. Everyone has their hands in the market.
With all these companies making money off leisurewear, how much are they really pulling in? The insight partners report the athleisure wear market is expected to grow from US$ 411.02 billion in 2021 to US$ 793.46 billion by 2028; it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2021 to 2028. That is growth in revenue by over $300 million. This makes sense considering everyone wears athleisure.
But if you’re looking for the most basic form of sports influence in fashion, look no further than in class, at the mall or out to dinner. You’ll definitely see someone sporting their favorite team’s jersey. It’s become a staple in society’s fashion trends for men, but teams know women want in on the team’s merchandise.
There are more female “fitted” options out there than ever before. But teams don’t just have one jersey. There are jerseys for home games, away games, specialty jerseys like military appreciation, pride, St Patrick’s Day and even Christmas. Fans buy the special edition ones because they feel unique and special. The idea of the jersey design being new excites fans.
The “have to have it” mentality kicks in with the specialty jerseys. This goes for all of the other merchandise teams sell; they are constantly coming out with new designs and fans love it. Showing support for your team no longer has to be at games, it can be whenever and wherever you want because of these fashion trends.
Today, social media is where trends live. Social media teams for college and professional sports tap into what their athletes and coaches are wearing. Game day drip has become a trend in the past 10 years and the fans love it. Social media is another platform to spread fashion trends. Fashion trends influence what the athletes wear and that then influences the fans.
Fashion and sports have stood the test of time. We can’t tell you where it will go, but we can say that it’s not going away anytime soon.