The athleisure and activewear movement is going strong, if NIKE’s latest news is any indication. At its recent investors day, the athletic apparel giant reported major plans to grow its women’s business, looking beyond leggings — ”because it’s not only about tights anymore” — to deliver bottoms in new silhouettes via a new Pants Studio launching worldwide on Nov. 1, in 5,000 locations and on its e-commerce site.
The move is in response to feedback from customers, who wanted to see products designed for specific activities. NIKE is also designing for activewear as fashion, tapping into its “world-class design talent and industry-leading stylists” to create products for head-to-toe looks ranging from streamlined and minimalist to Instagram-worthy, starting with Spring 2018.
And what look is complete without fancy footwear? NIKE is looking to increase its market share in sporty shoes, which have been driving growth in the overall footwear industry. “She’s wearing them for more occasions and they are dominating the fashion weeks around the world,” according to the investors day statement. Beyond the mass market, where shoes are typically priced below $100, NIKE wants to capture the premium customer who “spends more on footwear already.” Capitalizing on the success of its collaboration with Virgil Abloh, NIKE will design premium women’s footwear that reimagines two of its iconic styles, with a planned launch during New York Fashion Week.
To complete the experience, the company plans to showcase this premium new footwear in the NIKE Sneaker Boutique, which lifted sales by 30 percent to 50 percent during a pilot. The boutique will offer product reviews, key looks and styling suggestions in an elevated retail environment.