Sportswear industry and e-commerce

COVID19 impacts on consumption & digital stakes: Sportswear companies actually ended up being more resilient than the rest of the apparel industry - the industry outperformed both its market capitalization pre-crisis and other apparel industries, and still continues to outperform.

A change in strategy: the digital bounce 

With the now great majority of sales realized through e-commerce, Sportswear companies need to ‘bounce’ on that digital wave, and ‘bouncing’ successfully often translates into enabling business-model shifts.

Thanks to the surge of e-commerce, Direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategies became the center of attention of numerous brands, allowing them to “bypass traditional retail distribution channels and to go directly to customers, establishing themselves as the outright guardian of the consumer experience."


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The history of sportswear

Sportswear, now a major fashion trend, dates back to the rise of sporting activities in the 1800s. It then developed in the 1920s, with the influence of the Olympic Games and fashion figures such as fashion designer Jean Patou.

Choosing tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen as his first muse, the designer pioneered the sportswear trend by creating casual clothing symbolizing freedom, ease, and comfort.

These new loose-fitting garments allowed women to wear more comfortable clothing for sport and leisure. 

Dresses for sports such as golf and tennis were so popular that women started wearing them in everyday life.

The French fashion designer thus established the foundations of sportswear and made an important contribution to its
historical development.

In the 1970s, the tracksuit became a fashion item for both men and women and Adidas was the first brand to make tracksuits for leisure activities.

Made popular by hip-hop culture and street fashion, sportswear has become mainstream over the years.



Sportswear and fashion today

The popularity of sportswear is showing no sign of fading, in fact, this segment is becoming even trendier. Initially very popular among young people, it has now been adopted by other age groups too.

Today, sportswear items have become popular items in our wardrobe: leggings, tracksuits, sneakers, hoodies...

Modern, trendy, and comfortable, sportswear appeals to both sports fans and the less active. Sports brands are no longer the only ones to sell sportswear. Traditional ready-to-wear brands are also embracing the trend.

For several seasons now, fashion brands such as Benetton, American Vintage, Mango and even Monoprix and H&M have offered their own sportswear collections.



When sportswear meets luxury

Historically, sport is part of the DNA of luxury and premium brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Lacoste, who have developed lines for their customers who play golf, tennis or go horse riding.

While these sports still have a place in the collections of these big names, other luxury brands have recently ventured into the world of sport through collaborations with sportswear brands.

One of the most well-known examples is that of Gucci and Adidas.

Designed by Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s Creative Director, the Adidas x Gucci line combines the iconic symbols of the luxury brand with those of the legendary sports brand.



Sportswear, fashion, and luxury brands: How to easily market your products online

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