The Athluxe trend is making sportswear more fashionable

Just as the newness of comfortable clothing began to fade, designers got creative by generating a more luxurious approach to athleisure. In what are now considered to be the early stages of the “luxe” trend, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia unveiled multiple inspirations for traditional jumpsuits – miniskirts, suit-shaped jackets, wide-striped trousers – in the label’s Resort 2022 Collection. Shortly thereafter, in New York, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez sent models to the Proenza Schouler Spring 2022 runway in fringed cycling shorts and technical nylon dresses. And, with the highly anticipated Gucci and Adidas collaboration hitting stores this fall, the Athluxe trend is too impossible to ignore.

Not just on the high-end runways, but the fashion crowd now gravitates towards a luxury-oriented athleisure as opposed to the standard lycra leggings or matching jersey set. “Upscale dressing is nothing new, but a comfortable sensibility has been adopted over the past couple of years and has changed the way our customers dress,” says Libby Page, senior market editor at Net-A-Porter. “Sweatpants, hoodies and leggings became second nature and when it came time to venture out into the world again, our customers [are elevating] this clothing while maintaining the comfort that theirs [have] learn to know and love, “describes Page.

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Los Angeles-based HÉROS is a prime example of the sophisticated version of sportswear that Page refers to. “I wanted to create a sportswear brand with a focus on fashion rather than wellness, styles that can easily be worn for lunch like Pilates,” explains Joni Kilmurry, founder of the emerging label. “We use beautiful Italian fabrics and each of our styles must be as beautiful as they are functional,” she explains about her design process.

Plus, luxurious athleisure goes beyond refined workout-ready garments. It can manifest itself in an overtly high fashion way too, signaling that the trend may be more about the overall aesthetics of sportswear – a casual attitude and an always-on-the-go lifestyle – than the business itself. Nylon dresses, embellished crochet hoodies, and sequined bike shorts now present themselves as options to wear to a celebratory event instead of just a sweaty workout class. High-heeled soccer shoes are now on the market too (for that you can thank Nike’s partnership with the ever-imaginative Comme Des Garçons).

As you can probably observe for yourself, there are many facets to the 2022 atluxe trend. Further on, further insights from Page and other top-tier sportswear experts, plus a carefully curated modification to shop. Ready, set, swipe!

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Anti-sport details and materials

For those who prefer to get closer to the fashion corner of the Athluxe trend, choose garments with a sporty influence but which manifest themselves in ways that seem almost antithetical to exercise. Consider, for example, a pair of Proenza Schouler bike shorts adorned with flirty fringes, which – let’s be honest – would get in the way of a spinning class, or a Tom Ford racing tank top covered entirely in light-reflecting sequins. For an even more whimsical example of anti-sports sportswear, Comme Des Garçons’ Premier Hybrid Shoes teamed up with Nike resemble a soccer sneaker that one day spontaneously popped a heel.

Plan C founder and creative director Carolina Castiglioni tells TZR that creating fashion-oriented sportswear is a well-calculated operation, in which she has become an expert. “In my work, I try to find the perfect balance between functionality and decoration by using unexpected details, such as Velcro fasteners for comfortable trousers or simple silhouettes enriched with a cascade of sequins,” she says.

Luxury leather

Consider making a dramatic impact in leather sportswear, whether it’s through a trendy pair of shorts or a perforated leather blouse that resembles the pinny tops you once wore when running to the gym. In particular, Page shouts the sweatpants made of fine leather, suggesting that they be paired “with a bralette, an oversized blazer and classic pumps for a modern and casual look”. Alternatively, he offers “leather joggers can be paired with retro sneakers and a tee for easy everyday grip.”

Renewed sportswear

Once you’ve mastered the trend of luxury sweatpants, level up to the next fashion level related to sportswear: the revamped trackwear. Inspired designers are breathing new life into the iconic set by reinventing it in new, albeit unconventional, silhouettes seen through Balenciaga’s nylon miniskirt, Palm Angel’s red-striped fire truck sweater and sweatshirt-slash-blazer hybrid garment. by Rokh.

In Defense Of The Sports Tank Top

Another piece of sportswear to receive a contemporary redux is the unitard, now known more colloquially as a onesie or, when it has a silhouette that skims the knees, a short bike leotard. You can expect stretchy one-piece swimsuits to be particularly popular for the rest of the season, as they were prevalent on the Spring / Summer 2022 runways, particularly on Saint Laurent, where models wore tank tops straight from an ’80s jazzercise class.

The sports-centric garment also frequently appears in the indie fashion scene. “The Italian dive unit is our signature hero piece,” explains Kilmurry of HÉROS. And the founder finds them surprisingly wearable outside of a gym-related context: “The one-piece pieces lend themselves well to everyday use – paired with a blazer, for example – and offer great coverage while being sexy, making them incredibly versatile. ”He offers.

High technology meets high fashion

Performance-oriented fabrics such as nylon and polyester allow the wearer to easily switch to sport mode if needed. And when the materials are translated into traditionally feminine silhouettes, the result is a fascinating fusion of high fashion meets high technology. For sartorial examples, check out Plan C’s tiered midi skirt or Prada’s strapless dress made from its signature recycled nylon.

Refined knitwear

“Athleisure can be about convenience, rather than just convenience,” says Page. “Knitwear has always been synonymous with comfort, so it’s no surprise we’re seeing more and more of this fabrication in this space,” explains Net-a-Porter’s Senior Market Editor. “Fine wool and cashmere automatically elevate an outfit, while traditionally ‘sporty’ fabrics such as lycra, jersey and elastane are more associated with sportswear.”

In particular, Page shouts Nagnata, a “sustainable sportswear brand [that] specializes in “technical” knitwear that can be worn during workouts as well as lying down at home “.

The resumption of yoga pants

Yoga pants, as you probably know if you keep an eye on the athleisure trend cycle, have undergone a rebranding in recent years. No longer so strongly associated with the black jersey iterations of the 2000s, stretch pants have adopted a new nickname: flared leggings. And according to the Spring / Summer 2022 projections, the yoga pants – er, flared leggings – will reach a trend peak this season. You’ll see elastic bottoms made in decadent chocolate shades or crafted with elegant knitwear and materials, giving the trousers a more sophisticated touch.

“It was a practical decision to add a gaiter to the leggings,” says Norma Kamali of her namesake brand’s stretch jersey split hem trousers. “The slit in the front allows you to pull out platform sneakers, shoes or pointy shoes. And, ”adds the industry legend,“ the fabric unfolds, so the back and sides drop directly to the floor, [resulting in] it’s a long leg silhouette.

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