‘Nowcessity,’ Innovative Partnerships, and ‘Yogafication.’ We review the five most significant trends on show at ISPO, the world’s biggest trade event for the sports and sportswear industries.”
Climate change is now being talked about as “Climate catastrophe.” It’s not surprising, then, that when CEO and Chairman of Messe München Klaus Dittrich gave one of the key speeches at this year’s event he used the phrase “Sustainability is now not a trend. It’s a necessity.”
The facts already back that up. Edited.com, the retail data resource, recently revealed that “Just a few weeks into 2020, repurposed materials are at the forefront with new activewear arrivals described as ‘recycled’ up 642% for men and 388% for women YoY.”
Our industry is obviously taking notice. Elsewhere, Kanye West has already prototyped a Yeezy made from environmentally-friendly algae that come out this year. And, let’s be honest, if anyone can turn a trend into a “necessity,” Mr. West is that man.
2. Laser-like focus
One thing I picked up, as I navigated ISPO’s nine exhibition areas and 18 halls, was the way many sportswear and activewear brands have really focussed their offering – they are sticking to the things that they are good at.
Aspirational niche brands contrasted sharply with high-volume sellers like Trespass. Trespass’s stand was busy to the eye, packed with product. But, as contrasting examples, Colombia and Musto showcased only a few key pieces in a more sophisticated way.
Less is more seems to be one of the key commercial philosophies of 2020.
3. Innovative Partnerships
Many innovative commercial partnerships were on show at ISPO. I thought Land Rover and Musto’s was particularly interesting. On the stand was a huge Land Rover Defender, and, arranged around it, a selection of Musto clothing inspired by the Land Rover design aesthetic. Musto’s global licensing deal with the car maker covers apparel, footwear, and luggage. The range features cutting-edge technology and has been designed for a market that craves “adventure.” For me, the clear strategic synergy and shared customer vision between the two were easy to see.
The rise of all things yoga in the sports and activewear markets shows no sign of stopping. Already dominating in womenswear, many manufacturers are now targeting expansion in the menswear market. As Edited.com points out, “Currently, there are 85% more yoga products in stock YoY at pure play active retailers in the US with the number of men’s items increasing by 26%, highlighting an opportunity in this ever-growing market.”
5. Back to the Future
Retro (apologies for the pun) is back – oversized logos, garish patterns and matching tracksuits are in. As exemplified by Nike Wild Run Windrunners and Champion Sporty Pants. What Men’s Health calls “The return of retro aesthetics and the wider growth of street style, welcome retro detailing and streetwear references to work an on-trend, Mr Cool…work out aesthetic.”
So, there you go. Five trends from the always thought provoking ISPO. I’m already looking forward to going back next year.