Strutting down the runway at this fall’s New York Fashion Week? Yoga pants! So many fashion designers are hating this right now. Yoga pants on the runway? Blasphemy. But it’s become a reality and a dream come true – or nightmare depending on who you ask.
It’s a new dawn for “athleisure” the inevitable hybrid of fashion and workout clothing that sounds more like something Florida retirees do in their spare time for enjoyment. Have to keep your body fit, why not have a good time, too! But we’ve come a long way from the velour jumpsuits, which we imagine as the “classic” athleisure attire. Today’s athleisure is about yoga pants made of hi-tech materials with thread counts and runway shows, and it’s big business.
Athleisure is already opening the door for pricey garments that were once simply items tossed inside of a gym bag. Lululemon is selling the “Speed Tight IV” pants, made out of “smooth, sweat-wicking Luxtreme fabric” for $108. Nike Pro Floral Dot training tights are $130. And the Leather Lane Tank from the Derek Lam collection for Athleta sells for $198. Many Athleta tanks outside of this collection go for less than $50.
Athleta’s new foray into the fashion world is pretty interesting. They’re a brand that’s been sort of the cooler, less-cult-y option for Lululemon shoppers, and coming from the Gap mothership, you’d think they’d stick with the “everywoman” approach. Going fashion designer is a surprising tactic, but maybe not when you look at the entire athleisure landscape and the fact that actual, real fashion designers are making this type of clothing now. (Yes, we’re getting tired of using the word athleisure, too.)
The Athleta-Lam collab is the first of its kind, though probably just the beginning. The collection ranges in price from $64 to $498, for reals, and is described by Well+Good as “any cool-girl-who-loves-to-workout’s dream” that is yes, “more for brunching than sweating.”
Liz Giardina is the vice president of design at Derek Lam 10 Crosby and was the lead on making it all come to life.
“I looked at aerial photographs of great American cities—urban landscapes with green parks—think Manhattan with Central Park,” she says. “From that inspiration came strong lines that flatter the body, graphic color blocking, and clean crisp colors—black, white, sapphire, emerald and two tones of mélange grey.”
Last week, models ran, danced and did yoga on the runway at the Athleta Derek Lam 10 C launch.
Meanwhile the fashion industry at large throws up their hands in horror and disgust.
Paula Rosenblum, retail analyst at Retail Systems Research, sees it as an indication of a lack of innovation in fashion.
“I think we have a real fashion problem (and this is coming from someone who is a dedicated casual dresser) and there’s just not enough risk-taking,” Rosenblum said in an email. She hopes its impact on Fashion Week, meanwhile, will be minimal.
“I am hoping it has very little impact on Fashion Week, as I just don’t see it as true fashion,” she wrote.
We’ll just have to sit back and watch yoga pants single-pantedly unravel the fashion industry and ruin women, comfortably. in our yoga pants. that did not cost $400.