Pret-a-Reporter

Even Amazon Is Getting In On the Athleisure Trend

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Because apparently the world needs more leggings.

Just five years ago, the word "athleisure" was a term used only by fashion industry insiders and burgeoning Lululemon addicts. 

By 2017, however, the concept of athleisure has not only infiltrated the malls, the luxury fashion houses (Stella McCartney, Kate Spade, Tory Burch) and even the world of celebrity-branded apparel businesses (we're looking at you, Kate Hudson and Carrie Underwood), but the very place we buy everything from toasters to iPhone cases. 

That's right, Amazon might just be launching an athleisure line of its own. Re/Code first reported that the company — which quietly launched seven in-house fashion labels last year — posted a handful of job listings in December calling for "brand managers" to be responsible for building "authentic activewear private label brands that have compelling and unique DNA and deliver amazing consumer valued innovation.”

Ideal candidates have “experience studying (athletic, activewear) trends, customer behavior and shopping patterns,” according to the job listings. Launching its own collection of athletic wear could help the retail giant — which already carries Adidas, Puma, Champion and Under Armour products — make the most of the $97 billion athleisure market. A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment on their "future product roadmap."

But though the sector has been a safe bet for the past five years, the category is not exempt from the cycle of trends. Just last month, Yogasmoga filed for bankruptcy, a move that some speculated may signal the beginning of the decline of the category, likely due to oversaturation.

Even Lululemon — arguably the birthplace of the leggings as pants trend or scourge, depending on your point of view — has attempted to diversify in the past year. In March, the company launched a New York pop-up selling workwear inspired by the comfort of athletic wear. Under Armour, too, hired men's wear designer Tim Coppens to launch its premium Under Armour Sport label, which fuses the company's technical fabrics with edgy streetwear style.

Thanks to its growing number of in-house labels and elevating style reputation, resulting from deals with brands like Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade and Theory, analysts expect Amazon to surpass Macys as the biggest apparel seller in the United States this year. 

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