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"Customers are not prepared to sacrifice their new-found comfort and they are willing to pay more for it," said spaeker Jutta Vo Quang from Freudenberg as she outlined the performance characteristics she believes are here to stay, all of which are designed to enhance the comfort of the wearer. And it is in functionality that one of the great opportunities of Athleisure lies, both in communication and innovation.
The recent athleisure conference was hosted by Dr Julie King, head of fashion for Northampton University and ASBCI event director, and was sponsored by Bureau Veritas, Lectra and Freudenberg. The full speaker line up included Graeme Moran from Drapers, Terence Senford from Boss Menswear, Jutta Vo Quang from Freudenberg, Jovita Balseviciene from Lectra, Helen Colebourn from Bureau Veritas, Angela Cody from M&S, Claire O’Neill from Lycra.
"Athleisure is where fashion and function meet and the convenience of the ‘wear anywhere’ legging is matched by the desire to buy into the latest mini trend or capsule collection. It’s hyper consumption v hyper collaboration. One thing is fuelling the other. Product cycles are shorter, production runs smaller, and product is more customised," said Terence Senford, head of men’s athleisure for Boss Menswear.
In such a dynamic marketplace, agility and adaptability are more important than ever, and the brands that can pivot in new directions as the opportunity arises will be the real winners. Speed is the name of the game, said Jovita Balseviciene from Lectra. Being the first to market with a wide range of quality products, priced right, is the key to success. (RR)
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