18-20 February 2018, NEC Birmingham

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Athleisure evolves at Moda Active

23-Feb-2017

Moda Active showcased a relevant cross-section of brands across the sports lingerie and activewear categories this weekend, representing an evolving industry that is keeping ahead of changing consumer demands. 

Following its launch last August, Moda Active has become a key focus for Moda Lingerie & Swimwear in line with a surge in demand for athleisure product. Now representing a £7 billion market in the UK alone, the athleisure category is estimated to have grown by 42 per cent since 2010, with no indication that demand will plateau any time soon. 

“There’s a demand for clothing designed to energise women and encourage an all-round healthy lifestyle,” says Kasia Bromley, co-founder of Acai Activewear, the brand which made a spectacular debut as the launch edition of Moda Active last August, and returned with a bolstered presence this season. “Acai Activewear incorporates a variety of elements to create the best apparel with a focus of cut and fit, so women look and feel great and are consistently comfortable while being active.”

Defined as clothing that can be worn from the office to the gym, athleisure apparel fits right in with the modern expectation that clothing should adapt to every aspect of contemporary lifestyles. 

“Athleisure isn’t just about going to the gym,” says Neil Smith, UK country manager for Moda Active exhibitor Björn Borg. “This is clothing for the school run or everyday activities, but with the technical properties of gym wear that make it adaptable for more active pursuits.”

It’s a concept set to run and run, as brands become more inventive when it comes merging fashion with function. Having returned to Moda Active for its second season following a successful debut last time around, Puma took the opportunity to launch its fashion-focused Cara Delevigne range – and the high profile celebrity endorsement added a new dimension to the appeal of the athleisure concept. 

“We’ve had a good reaction to the new Cara Delevigne collection at Active,” says Mark Smith, Puma’s UK country manager. “That’s what buyers have picked up, on that will be a key focus for us for a/w 17 and beyond.”

For those brands who were little-known in the UK when they launched last season, this second edition of Moda Active has been a chance to build upon their arrival into the UK market. 

“This was only our second showing in the UK market but this time, we met with some really good retailers,” admits Laura Kupryte, director at sports leggings specialist Leg Code. “I can see that we are going to start to take a few different directions as we evolve in the UK market, and I really believe that the contacts we made here at Moda this weekend will lead to some strong sales.”

For brands at the more established end of the lingerie spectrum, the rise of athleisure and the launch of Moda Active has provided a new and relevant platform from which to strengthen their sports-specific categories. Lingerie giant Triumph chose to showcase its new TriAction offer at the show, revealing a range of sports bras with bounce control tested by the leading research group in breast health at the University of Portsmouth. 

French lingerie label Chantelle also took the opportunity to build upon its offer of athleisure, offering buyers the chance to buy into contemporary activewear created by a label that they already know and trust. 

"It was great to see a sample of our athleisure range within Moda Active," says UK managing director for Chantelle Mary Cameron. "We also had some pieces in the catwalk which helped to get the message out there. Our overall experience was that the buyers seemed in good form this season, although the market continues to be tough."

Moda Active will return as part of Moda Lingerie & Swimwear on 6-8 August 2017. 

Picture by Lens & Hound Photography. 

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