Athleisure & Sportsluxe: The Rise in Worn-To-Be-Seen Sportswear

“The start of the athleisure trend is often traced back to 2014. This was the year when Nike CEO, Mark Parker, announced that “leggings are the new denim” and when Beyoncé first unveiled her Ivy Park collection with Topshop, which was described as a range that looks like it has technical sports aspects, targeting those who work out and those who just want to look like they do.”1




Athleisure wear has been identified as workout clothes that are worn to be seen. They allow the wearer to not compromise on style and fashion whilst they exercise – or don’t – and with this, the sportsluxe market has bled into the everyday wear market. Championed by well known brands such as Nike, Adidas and Lululemon, athleisure wear is projected to reach $245.9 billion (£196.8 billion) by 2025, supported by the athleisure revolution2. According to market research, younger generations are likely to view wearing sportswear to formal occasions as acceptable, more consumers purchase sportswear for everyday use than for sports, and there has been further increase in the number of clothing retailers going into athleisure wear3. This supports the indication that the ‘trend’ of athleisure wear is not going to subside in the coming years, but actually gain traction and further dominate the market.




We at Kukubird believe that the boom of athleisure wear has been supported by the rise in consciousness towards wellness and self-care. With the conscious effort to look after your body and mind, comes the desire and need for hybrid clothing that is both fashionable and easy for everyday wear, so that customers are not subject to compromising their comfort in an attempt to be stylish. We can see the trend of comfortable fashion appear in other areas of the market, most typically with the rise of trainers, and more specifically chunky-soled trainers. These shoes have even been worn to red carpet events and give women the added height that high heels would have previously done, but without the blisters and pain throughout the event.



 Serena Williams at the Met Gala 2019 wearing Nike Air Force trainers.4


Performance leggings have become the face of the wellness movement, as they give the wearer an association with a healthy activity, whether they’re actually participating in the activity or not. It gives them a fashionable and stylish look that expresses an aspiration for positive thinking and a healthy mind.5 This look often spills over into social events and even the now social act of exercising with friends and jogging in your lunch break. This adaptation of everyday practice has inspired us at Kukubird to venture further into this market and begin supplying and selling athleisure wear alongside our regular collections. We are always looking for improvement and expansion and we believe that with our company focus on sourcing the best fabrics possible, this is the best market for us to tackle next. We have decided to follow suit and supply what there is demand for: sportsluxe and this subsequently created our brand new Kukubird X Fitness line that is now live on our website. With our already vast customer base, we are in a prime situation to begin our own performance line, as just over half of people would rather purchase sportswear alongside their regular clothing and just over half of people also believe that own-label sportswear is of the same quality as that of high-end retailers. In the current market, noteworthy fabric innovations are nanotechnology fabrics that trap and suspend moisture and keep the wearer dry and prevent overheating during athletic and fitness activity.At Kukubird we have designed fabrics that not only keep the wearer dry and repel moisture but fabrics with compression technology that supports blood flow; allowing more oxygen in your cells whilst exercising and therefore increasing your performance. We are very excited for Kukubird to become a contender with high-end retailers of athleisure wear as with our affordable prices and high quality, we believe we have found a gap in the market that we are quite happy to fulfil. 













  1. Sports & Outdoor Fashion - UK - December 2018 - Issues and Insights © Mintel Group Ltd
  3. Sports & Outdoor Fashion - UK - December 2018 © Mintel Group Ltd
  6. Sports & Outdoor Fashion - UK - December 2018 © Mintel Group Ltd


AthleisureBrandBusinessFashionFashion industryFitnessSportsluxeSportswear