Throughout history, sports and fashion have developed a strong connection. Sports and fashion have always influenced each other and sports have turned casual clothes into a fashion statement. Whether it is a pair of shirts or a cable-knit sweater, clothes from sports have always influenced style. Brands such as Nike and Adidas have collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang in ways that have been mutually beneficial.
The collaboration between luxury and sportswear can be frictionless with effective communication strategies. Luxury brands stand to gain from such collaborations as they would succeed in developing a close-knit relationship between brand and consumer that sportswear enjoys. It is like the coming together of practicality and inspiration, a reflection of the times that we live in.
Freedom in the way one dresses
Sports have always influenced people’s taste in fashion. One cannot ignore the need to feel smart and comfortable throughout the day. This is not a recent development, in the past, horseback riding had amply demonstrated that women look good in jodhpurs. Dresses have also developed from the golf dress.
A marketing strategy for luxury retailers
Ronaldo and Messi have been sought after by luxury brands because of their popularity and global presence. They can influence customers and create trends with their social media posts. Drake, the rapper, went a step further and created a merchandise label, October’s Very Own, for which he collaborated with Sherwood, specialists in ice hockey equipment. The logo of October’s Very Own was printed on sports bags and hockey sticks when the brands collaborated in late 2021. Harrods and skater lifestyle have very little in common, but a collaboration between Harrods and Palace, a skateboard brand, made it possible for Harrods to target niche customers that hadn’t been possible in the past.
Some collaborations end up giving traditional sportswear a luxurious feel and the clothes that luxury brands are associated with look different. For instance, Louis Vuitton had partnered with Mefan Rapinoe, soccer star, for their 202 Fall campaign. Partnerships with athletes help to increase the visibility of products to a wider consumer base. Brands have also used product placements on athletes for The Super Bowl. One thing has to be kept in mind, sportswear is functional and the fabric used for sportswear can be used in formal wear associated with luxury brands. Michael Kors had also launched a line of athleisure with a modern twist. The range included tennis-inspired clothes and retro swimwear in refreshing colors such as orange, blue, and white.
Such collaborations result in products that can appeal to customers through social media. Luxury brands have a comparatively narrow target audience, athletes can reach an untapped target audience that would lead to brand loyalty. Brands would have to select athletes whose styles would resonate with the brand. Many sneakers are popular today because of their resemblance with basketball sneakers which shows how sports can bolster the reputation of a brand.