Commercial Director Triumph International India Pvt Ltd
Sportswear has made it out of the gym
The transformation of Triumph International from a tiny Southern Germany corset factory back in 1886 into one of the world's leading manufacturers of lingerie and innerwear is a global success story. But today, Triumph also has a sportswear line. Jennifer Kapasi, Commercial Director at Triumph International India Pvt Ltd speaks to Subir Ghosh about the Indian sportswear market.
What are the trends in sportswear / activewear / outdoor wear purchases that you have been noticing over the last few years? What are the changes?
The Indian casual and sportswear market has evolved significantly over the last couple of years. The industry has witnessed rapid growth, driven by growth in income levels, changing lifestyles and the entry of foreign players. Over the past few years, the Indian market has seen a drastic change with respect to global fitness trends. Internationally, sportswear has a major influence on fashion overall because of the popularity of sports among the younger generation. What used to be a niche segment, exclusively aimed at sportspersons has now evolved into a full-fledged consumer sector.
While the sports apparel segment is dominated by menswear, womenswear has been gaining momentum. Specifically, the sports bra market in India is seeing an upward trend with a lot of scope. The next few years are looking very exciting for this sector.
With regard to consumer trends, we have experienced a strong shift from functional-led buying to impulse buying. Sportswear has made its way out of the gym, and become a larger part of women's everyday wardrobe. It has become as important extension of a woman's personality and desires as it makes her feel sensuous, elegant, and fashionable and radiates her inner confidence.
This trend started in early 2016, and has gained momentum in 2017. Earlier, sports bras were the sole domain of big-name global sports lifestyle brands, but now most of the premium lingerie brands in the market have branched out into the sportswear category.
Today, a woman's focus has changed from choosing sports bras in any average size to wearing bras that actually fit perfectly and provide the right support for the activity. With the younger generation being more confident of themselves and not being afraid to experiment with colours, cuts and designs, a greater emphasis is being given to innovative fabrics and daring colours.
We have seen (in the past) that consumers may not be very conscious about the perfect attire for casual physical activities such as walking or jogging. However, for more serious activities like gym, yoga, and various sports, they prefer to wear specific functional sportswear. Therefore, innovations and value addition by brands translates into higher price premiums.
Consumers now are also displaying an inclination towards buying sportswear that has innovations such as new fabric finishes, moisture wicking fabric, environmental-friendliness, etc. Brands are now recognising the Indian consumer's appetite to pay a premium for such products.
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