Presentation at Performance Days show in Munich/ Germany, November 13, 2012

Anything goes?

People constantly on the move, travelling the whole globe, navigating a virtual world full of digital adventures – this lifestyle with its fast changing scenarios has changed perceptions and attitudes completely. The one and only ultimate trend has been replaced by an innumerable and complex variety of trends.

Modern consumers are no simple followers but delight in creating their own individual style oscillating between hyper local and strictly global.

Individuality is precious to us, we are all searching for uniqueness in the things we buy, in what we wear, what we do. We want surprising and creative products, we dream of amazing and maybe eccentric experiences.

This means for apparel design that we have to create clothing which becomes part of the personal narrative of the individual – whether young or old, whether in fashion or in sports.

And it also means to work on diversity and not homogenization!

We have to shift the direction of developing collections. Most consumers don´t belong to high performance target groups. They wish to optimize the own body, to increase health and control weight. But the sports they choose have to fit their way of life.

Practising sports has become a substantial part of the lifestyle in the classic industrialized countries. Due to this „sportification“ of modern societies and the fact that ever more people live in cities sports have left natural surroundings and the classic sports facilities.

People have discovered urban environments as playgrounds.
What is happening in these playgrounds? New kinds of sports are constantly developing. Trend sports like le parkour have been developed as a result of the interaction with urban surroundings. Other sports developments are driven by the question: What hasn´t been done up to now?

All these newly developed sports focus on the individual itself – exposing himself/herself to others to show his/her mastery of a certain sports activity.

We also see that people prefer sports which can easily be performed without practising them for years (like you have to do it in tennis or golf). As people want to integrate sports into their daily routine, they also prefer sports which don´t need a lot of equipment.

New sports clothing ideas & concepts are needed for these demanding urban-based sports people !

Let´s face the challenge of the demographic change. An ever increasing number of people remains healthy and active until a higher age – also due to practising sports. But there are the really attractive products for this target group?

Elder people may not be that eager on consumerism as young ones are, yet they are far more interested in products with a good quality. They have higher demands and are not easy to satisfy. They are in search of attractive clothing which meets their needs and fits them properly. Why do we ignore them?

Another major topic where we have to intensify our efforts deeply is the issue of ecology and sustainability. We produce clothing for outdoor sports, we want people to feel at home in nature with the garments we offer. We offer highly protective clothing – why not protect nature, too?

The need to preserve nature and our home planet should be a matter of course for our industry. Let´s be sustainable at heart!

Nora Kuehner
fashion   design   consulting