Brands in Aus­tralia take a lot more chances

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k - est es. dur­ing the day but looked like they were straight out of the gym,” ” said Ed­wards, whose re­sume in­cludes de­sign roles at Ksubi, Sass & Bide de and Gen­eral Pants Co.

“We knew there would ld be other women who needed the same so­lu­tion, but the speed at which (P.E. Na­tion) took to mar­ket, you couldn’t fathom that and we still pinch our­selves ev­ery day.” dwards and Tre­go­ning are con­tin­u­ing to lay the foun­da­tions of this func­tion-fash­ion merger, and their lat­est col­lab­o­ra­tion with Wool­mark is a per­fect ex­am­ple. “I think we’re all about ed­u­cat­ing our au­di­ence on per­for­mance fab­ri­ca­tion and merino wool — it’s home grown and quite an in­ter­est­ing fab­ri­ca­tion to use in sport,” she Ed­wards says.

“It’s been seen as a de­signer prod­uct but the qual­i­ties of the fab­ric are very per­for­mance based; it’s very tem­per­a­ture reg­u­lat­ing and holds its form.” Stylerun­ner chief ex­ec­u­tive Ste­vanja, who c caught the ath­leisure wave at a time when ac­tive wear was only be­gin­ning to make its mo move from fit­ness stu­dios to the stree street, says Aus­tralia had the edge on its g global coun­ter­parts when it came to spear­head­ing the evo­lu­tion of ath­leisure wear — thanks to the nim­ble, ex­per­i­men­tal mind­set of its fash­ion in­dus­try. The 37-year-old’s on­line ath­leisure com­pany is now worth more than $50 mil­lion and con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate the lo­cal mar­ket. It’s also gain­ing trac­tion world­wide and Ste­vanja re­cently launched three in-house fash­ion brands — New Guard, Flight Mode and Stylerun­ner — to add to the store’s of­fer­ing of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional fit­ness and leisure la­bels. “In our opin­ion Aussie brands ands are re­ally lead­ing the pack. Brands in Aus­tralia take a lot more chances; they’re y’re more di­rec­tional and will­ing g to try things first, whereas some­times the in­ter­na­tional l brands I find are a lit­tle safer,” she says. “I think lo­cally we also take cues from in­ter­na­tional run­way trends re­ally well as well, so they’re very cool and on-trend.” Some sar­to­rial crit­ics con­tinue to pre­dict that the ath­leisure trend will soon creep back into the yoga stu­dio, never to be seen at a cafe or shop­ping cen­tre again, but en­tre­pre­neur’s is con­fi­dent we’ll see con­tinue to see more and more crop top­clad latte sip­pers and win­dow shop­pers in the com­ing years. “All of the re­search con­tin­ues to say the mar­ket is go­ing to con­tinue to grow,” Ste­vanja says. “It goes hand-in-hand with the well­ness move­ment, and I think we’re not go­ing to go back­wards on our com­mit­ment to be­ing health­ier. There’s not go­ing to be an in­crease in smok­ing; peo­ple are mov­ing away from un­healthy things and be­com­ing more ed­u­cated about h healthy life­styles. “And w when you’re com­mit­ted to a he health­ier life you want to wear w more spo sports­wear, more s sneak­ers and in­cor­po­rate these styles into your life.”

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