In the late 1940s and 1950s non-American designers began to pay attention to sportswear, and attempted to produce collections following its principle. French couturiers including Dior and Fath simplified their designs for ready-to-wear production, but at first only the Italian designers understood the sportswear principle. Italy already had a reputation for fine fabrics and excellent workmanship, and the emergence of high quality Italian ready-to-wear that combined this luxury with the casual quality of American sportswear ensured the worldwide success of Italian fashion by the mid-1970s. Italian designers, including Emilio Pucci and Simonetta Visconti, grasped that there was a market for clothing that combined sophistication and comfort. This was a challenge to the American industry. John Fairchild, the outspoken publisher of Women's Wear Daily opined that Krizia, Missoni, and other Italian designers were "the first to make refined sportswear."
In the 21st century, Italian fashion remains a leading source for sportswear design outside the United States. Narciso Rodriguez, who is known for streamlined and pared down clothing, launched in Milan in 1997, but moved to New York in 2001. Miuccia Prada revived the fortunes of her family company Prada with her top-quality sportswear designs in the 1990s, and continues designing for the firm.
Sportswear has been called America's main contribution to the history of fashion design, developed to cater to the needs of the increasingly fast-paced lifestyle of American women. It started out as a fashion industry term describing informal and interchangeable separates (i.e., blouses, shirts, skirts and shorts), and in the 1920s became a popular word for relaxed, casual wear typically worn for spectator sports. Since the 1930s the term has been used to describe both day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that demonstrate this relaxed approach while remaining appropriate wear for many business or social occasions.
Think: clothing that not only performs, but also inspires. That’s the winning pairing that Roots of Fight features in each of their pieces, which celebrate legendary athletes like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. As the brand's promotional material puts it, “Each story we tell depicts the unending fight at the root of every human triumph.” This gear has that old school feel with a new school design that performs well in the gym or on-the-go.
Chances are you’re intimately familiar with this mega-brand if you’re a gym rat, athlete, or even if you don't watch sports on the regular. But there’s a good reason that it’s the top dog in sports. That means the brand is always innovating with new technologies like Flyknit and Dri-FIT, which keep getting upgraded and integrated into more of its stellar gear.
After the Second World War, the emergence in Paris of the luxurious "New Look" popularised by Christian Dior, with its emphasis on accessorising and femininity, was in direct contrast to the relaxed, easy-wear American look. Sally Kirkland, a fashion editor at Vogue and LIFE, noted that McCardell and others had already been thinking along the lines of longer and fuller skirts and fitted bodices, but that unlike Dior's heavily stiffened and corseted designs, they used bias-cut bodices and lightweight, easy-wear circle or pleated skirts to reproduce the same silhouette. Unlike traditional made-to-measure French couture fashion, designed for specific silhouettes, American sportswear was designed to accommodate a variety of body shapes and enable freedom of movement. With the lifting of fabric rationing and restrictions following the War, American designers were able to use unlimited fabric and the development of permanent pleating meant that pleated dresses and full skirts were easy to look after. In addition to this, American stores had begun to recognise the commercial value of separates, with LIFE reporting in 1949 that separates made up an all-time-high of 30% of clothing sales in the States that Fall.
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Ever been working out and have your cell phone crash to the ground from a loose pocket, or ever had to place your phone on the ground because your shorts or pants don’t even have a pocket to begin with. This brand saw a gap in the market and filled it—men’s compression shorts and pant with sweat-proof pockets made to securely stash your cell phone. While their shorts and leggings are most popular, they also make tops, too.