Dia & Co. Trying to Shatter Stereotypes With Campaign, Activewear

WORKING IT OUT: Striving to make fitness more appealing and inclusive to all women, Dia & Co. is launching the #FitToThrive initiative.
The company’s three-tiered approach includes the launch of plus-size activewear. That assortment will include the first retail partnership with Day/Won by Candice Huffine and the exclusive debut of EleVen by Venus Williams in plus sizes. “I’m passionate about fitness, wellness and an active lifestyle, and I’m super focused on making fitness inclusive for all,” Williams said in a statement.
With an estimated 67 percent of the female population wearing a size 14 or larger, the company is trying to “expose the toxic elements of fitness culture and make strides toward a positive, inclusive and representative fitness community,” according to a Dia & Co. statement.
There will also be a digital and social ad campaign that will include newspaper placement in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Baltimore, Seattle, Indianapolis and Omaha, Neb. The ads will play up the individual stories of Team USA athlete Shelbi Vaughan, viral dancing sensation Lizzy Howell, TheCurvyCon cofounder CeCe Olisa and editor-advocate Maddy Jones.
Thirdly, Dia & Co. will introduce interactive digital content led by “Big Fit Girl” author Louise Green and in-person activations will be set up through

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Susan Lucci to Kick Off Signature Activewear Collection With QVC

BEND AND STRETCH: While some might argue that being a leading soap opera star for 41 years requires a certain stamina, Susan Lucci will soon be showing off her flexibility with a new activewear collection with QVC.
Set to debut April 13 with an hourlong show, the Susan Lucci collection will not be the former “All My Children” star’s first go-round with QVC. A big fan of the Life’s a Beach Inc. Pilates Pro Chair, she has been an on-air guest for a number of years selling the exercise equipment and shows her strength in the 28-minute “Susan Lucci’s Favorite Moves” video. Her QVC fans and ones from her Erica Kane days can soon dress the part, so to speak, buying the eight-piece activewear. Cropped printed leggings, a racer-back tank, a cap-sleeve rushed top and a colorblock hoodie are among the offerings. QVC reaches more than 360 million homes.
“It’s appropriate for lunching with your friends, going to the shops, picking your children up from school and not missing a beat and traveling on a plane. And I travel a lot,” Lucci said. “QVC has put me together with a wonderful team, and boy do they get it because the fit is

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Emilia Wickstead Teams With Bodyism on Activewear Capsule Range

WICKSTEAD WORKS OUT: Emilia Wickstead is casting off her ladylike dresses and slipping on athletic garb in a new collaboration with Bodyism, the lifestyle, wellness and weight loss brand.
She has created a 13-piece line that includes leggings, sports bras, a jacket, a hoodie, sweatshirts, a crop top, a jumpsuit and a yoga mat in pastel pink and floral patterns. There are details such as ruches, zips, racer-backs and ribbed trims. The Sienna crop top, meanwhile, has a high neckline and long sleeves. Prices range from 80 pounds for a sports bra to 280 pounds for a jacket. The collection will be sold at Harrods and Selfridges and online at Net-a-porter and Bodyism.com.
“Exercise is such an integral part of so many women’s lives, and I wanted to approach activewear from a modern woman’s perspective,” said Wickstead of the collection, which launches on March 12. “I wanted to give my customer an activewear collection that is stylish, directional and unexpected, in keeping with our brand ethos. Health and fitness is also incredibly important to me personally, as is the confidence and empowerment that it lends to you everyday.”
Launched in 2006 by James Duigan, Bodyism is a wellness club in Europe and Asia.

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Margi Gad Launches Fierce + Regal Activewear With More of a Lifewear Point of View

NO TIMEOUTS: As a former private fine jeweler specializing in diamonds, Margi Gad brings a more gilded approach to activewear with her label Fierce + Regal.
A one-shouldered metallic taupe top, a platinum tunic, capri leggings with two zippers on the hip and a hooded blush-colored overthrow are among the styles. As for similarities between activewear and fine jewelry, Gad said, “Well, they both have a lot of gold. We use a lot of gold accents. This is sort of a gem of an activewear line. It is a glittering jewel in an overcrowded marketplace.”
Taking more of a lifewear approach, the collection relies on primarily Italian fabrics, aiming for more of a luxe touch. The neutral colored activewear can be interchanged with wardrobe pieces. The logo-free, minimalist chic collection lends itself to ready-to-wear, Gad said. “I really wanted something sophisticated.”
The company’s e-commerce business is up-and-running and Gad is committed to selectively building Fierce + Regal’s specialty store base. She connected with specialty stores during her first outing at the recent Active Collective at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan.
Gad said, “I have always really loved working out and being active, so this really came from a personal need. I found myself running to

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EXCLUSIVE: Giambattista Valli Moves Into Activewear, Sets Retail Expansion

PARIS — Giambattista Valli is launching an activewear capsule collection and gearing up for a retail push, marking the first steps of his label’s planned expansion under its new partnership with the billionaire Pinault family.
Known for his flirty cocktail dresses and sculptural evening gowns, the designer has steered his brand in a more casual direction in recent seasons, showing taffeta jackets with Nike running tights for fall and introducing logo-printed denim for spring 2018.

Backstage at Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2017 
Delphine Achard/WWD

Now Valli is joining the ranks of luxury brands vying for a portion of the thriving athleisure market. According to Euromonitor, sports-inspired footwear and apparel is growing at a rapid pace, registering 10 percent and 6 percent increases in 2016, respectively.
Following the end of his decade-long partnership with Italian luxury outerwear firm Moncler as creative director of its Gamme Rouge line, he will unveil his namesake activewear collection of 50 to 60 pieces — including coats, puffer jackets, sweatshirts and track suits — to buyers in January.
“It’s a capsule collection where we will express a more functional side of the brand, while remaining faithful to the atmosphere of contemporary chic that is part of its DNA,” Valli told WWD in an exclusive

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Activewear Brand Varley Looks to Assert Performance Positioning

Activewear brand Varley doesn’t want to be known for just leggings and sports bras with pretty prints.
The company, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is making moves to distinguish itself from the competition with the release of its Collection 2, or C2, by playing up its technical fabrications and its line’s wide-ranging uses for workouts or everyday life. Like many in the space, it’s hoping to not get pigeonholed in what is now a crowded ath-leisure and activewear space.
“I think when we started here the marketplace was much narrower. There weren’t as many brands out there doing or offering what we were doing,” Varley chief executive officer and founder Lara Mead said. “All of a sudden we had the ath-leisure boom and Varley kind of got washed up in that.”
To remain competitive, the company is looking to hammer home the point to consumers that its offering isn’t just workout gear and can be for everything from walking the dog or running a marathon, with its technical fabrics that offer moisture wicking, compression and four-way stretch.
“We were just worried that people weren’t aware of that,” Mead said.
C2’s launch now categorizes the offering into four buckets it’s calling Performance for intense

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Men’s Activewear 2017 Trend: High Performance

Activewear mavens have adopted the striking logos and graphic punch of streetwear, and married them to technologically advanced fabrics and aerodynamic shapes.

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Fabletics Seeks to Continue Momentum as Some in Activewear Contract

TUCSON, ARIZ. — Not everyone in the ath-leisure space can be a winner.
Fabletics general manager Gregg Throgmartin pointed to some market realities that may be signaling rationalization within the sector that could trim a bit of the fat within the industry.
Throgmartin spoke at the annual Global Retailing Conference taking place here through Friday. While the executive peeled back the layers on all the ways the company is using data to making smarter merchandising moves and get closer to its customers, Throgmartin also made mention of perhaps a broader reality beginning to set in within the market segment in which it competes.
“[Ath-leisure] is clearly a very popular trend and there’s a new person getting in it every day, right?” the executive said of the market. “A new celebrity or a new retailer that’s launching their own line.”
But there’s been a sobering within the industry even as spandex’s popularity afforded many, including Fabletics, to enter and thrive in the space. The executive pointed to VF Corp.’s plan to wind down its Lucy ath-leisure brand and meld it in with The North Face this year. There was also the Chapter 11 filing of YogaSmoga Inc. late last year.
“I think you’re going to see

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L Catterton Makes ‘Significant’ Investment in Rhone Activewear

L Catterton, which was formed in 2016 as a partnership between Catterton, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Groupe Arnault, is extending its reach in the active arena with a “significant growth investment” in Rhone, a men’s activewear brand.
The size of the investment from L Catterton’s Growth Fund was not disclosed.
L Catterton is the largest consumer-focused private-equity firm in the world, with 17 offices across five continents. It has investments in Peloton, CorePower Yoga, Sweaty Betty, 2XU, Gant, Pepe Jeans, Sandro and Maje, Hackett and Emperor Watch and Jewellery, among others.
“Rhone represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a differentiated and on-trend concept within men’s activewear, a large and growing category,” said Jon Owsley, co-managing partner of L Catterton Growth Fund. “We seek companies in great trend areas with consumer appeal. Rhone is very well positioned to ride the wave of what’s happening in men’s apparel. It has all the technical aspects of fitness wear but designed with an eye for regular wear.”
He pointed to the company’s commuter pant as an example, saying that while a man may wear it to ride a bike to work, it looks good enough to keep on all day.

The Rhone commuter pant. 

The brand’s GoldFusion technology, which it

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Naja Introduces Activewear

Naja is launching activewear.
The intimate apparel start-up, which calls Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of HSN, an investor, and actress Gina Rodriguez an equity holder, has introduced an activewear collection.
“Our clients started asking for activewear with prints and in my mind there were plenty of options in the market, but most of the prints are geometrics, waves or repeat patterns,” said Catalina Girald, Naja’s founder. “We also saw a gap in the market for socially conscious activewear. There are a few brands that work with organic materials, but once they dye the fabric they basically kill everything that makes the fabric organic.”
Similar to Naja’s intimate apparel, the activewear assortment is made in Colombia, where the brand’s factory is based, from fabrics sourced and digitally printed in Los Angeles. The line, which is called the Tigress Active Collection, is inspired by Tigers, which Girald noted are close to extinct — there are only 4,000 in the wild — and China’s Kung Fu warriors. The assortment consists of capri leggings, mesh shorts and three styles of sports bras that feature Tiger and floral prints. The collection retails from $ 55 to $ 65.
The brand, which started as exclusively direct to consumer, is selling its

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Jessica Simpson’s New Endeavor: Activewear

Next for Jessica Simpson: the activewear business. Called, appropriately enough, Jessica Simpson The Warm Up, it represents the first major category expansion for her branded collection since partnering with Sequential Brands Group in April.
Sequential took a majority stake in the business, including the master license, and has hopes to build the total portfolio into a staggering $ 2 billion to $ 3 billion operation at retail. Jessica Simpson retains ownership of the balance of the equity in her company.
The Camuto Group, which held the master license until Sequential acquired its stake, built the collection’s retail sales into a $ 1 billion business.
Richard Gossett, president and chief executive officer of RDG Global, the activewear licensee, said the line has elements of active and ath-leisure. The activewear component comprises “authentic workout apparel,” reflected in the choice of zippers, how the fabric absorbs and wicks moisture and the design of pockets and details to accommodate keys and cell phones.
RELATED STORY: Jessica Simpson Brand Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary >>
Shipping at the end of October, the line initially will be available exclusively at Macy’s Inc. in 300 doors and at macys.com. Retail prices range from $ 24 to $ 49. The core performance technical fabric for leggings, sports bras and track

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