Aussie denim label taps into athleisure trend

JeanswestThere’s no end in sight for the continued boom in athleisure wear, with one of Australia’s household fashion names looking to capitalise on the trend. 

Lifestyle and fashion brand Jeanswest is tapping into the trend, with the launch of its latest denim collection, based on four-way multi-directional smart stretch technology, delivered by world-leading Turkish fabric mills, Orta Anadolu.

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“For many people, denim is the fabric woven into their day-to-day living, so we have combined our fit expertise with our love of innovation and the result is super flattering jeans that will excel under the pressure of a busy, active lifestyle,” said Jeanswest product manager for women’s denim, Adrienne Famlonga.

Jeanswest said it advocates that just as active living comes in various forms, “style is for all shapes and sizes”.

According to Famlonga, the collection “definitely meets a gap in the denim market” and fulfils a need for the retailer’s customers.

Although the new collection was not initially created in response to the rise of athleisure, Famlonga said the response from customers to the multi-way stretch capabilities of the denim certainly “gives a nod to this trend”.

New data from Euromonitor International has found the Australian apparel and footwear industry recently grew one per cent to reach AU$23 billion, driven by sportswear and the athleisure trend in particular.

“In response to the strong demand for activewear, a growing number of apparel brands have extended their profile to include athleisure apparel,” said Julia Illera, consultant at Euromonitor International.

Commenting on broader apparel trends to watch out for this year, Famlonga said in denim, customers will start to see lighter washes across new jeans, skirts and short collections.

“We always interpret broader fashion trends in our own way, but it’s safe to say in womenswear this year, we’ll see vibrant colours and new exclusive prints coming through that our customers look forward to and we know they love,” she predicted.

A Jeanswest spokesperson said the start of 2018 had been positive.

“We’ve had a good start to the year as a result of making some important changes late in 2017.

“Our stores are cleaner than we’ve been for some time in regards to markdown and sale stocks, which ensures our new season launches are fresh and appealing, whilst the sales are more profitable.

“It’s tough [retail conditions] but we strongly believe that with outstanding product innovation and a brand-wide obsession for a best-in-class customer experience, we are well set to offer today’s customer something a little different.”

Over the next five years, the apparel and footwear industry is expected to experience strong growth, particularly from the sportswear and childrenswear categories, according to Illera.

“Athleisure will continue to be the driving force in the sportswear category and the growing number of older parents who have greater financial stability are more willing to purchase high quality clothing for their children will support the childrenswear category.”

Illera said e-commerce is expected to be a key channel in the apparel, footwear and sportswear category in driving sales.

“Consumers will become increasingly accustomed to shopping online through websites and mobile applications,” she said.

“As a result, a growing number of apparel and footwear retailers are expected to offer products in these channels to remain relevant. A seamless shopping experience between online platforms and physical stores facilitated by mobile applications and services such as same day delivery and-click and-collect will be new norms rather than differentiators between brands.”

Local swimwear brand, Tigerlily launched its athleisure range in May 2017, featuring printed leggings and sports bra. In September 2017, Stylerunner, a local internet retailer for activewear launched its first range of athleisure apparel, New Guard featuring logo tees and bell-sleeved sweatshirts. That same month, online retailer Shoes of Prey began offering sneakers that customers can now design using a range of colours, fabrics, textures and patterns.



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