Quo vadis:

Out of the wild, into the concrete

Presentation at Performance Days Show
Munich/Germany, May 16, 2013

Sports invade urban environments. In the digital era sports have become an elementary part of the lifestyle. Sports are no longer just physical exercises or competition but the way of life in our era. “Faster, better, further” – this principle of the sports world has become the most important leitmotif in modern societies.

Movement and mobility are everything for a globalized world where ever more people live in big cities. Public spaces are the new playing fields. We are used to see people practising sports in urban environments in their sports dresses.

About 40% to 50% of the people in most of the classic industrialized countries perform sports regularly. A closer look to statistics shows that running, swimming and cycling are the preferred sports.

Though classic performance outdoor sports like skiing, climbing and hiking profit from the current desire to be re-connected to nature, the sports industry has to rethink the further development of sports clothing.

Pushing the boundaries of high-performance properties for fabrics and garments will not be enough to satisfy the needs and desires of fastidious urban consumers. Sports are integrated into everyday life between office and home. Therefore the consumer asks for appropriate sports clothing. Sports clothing is more than function!

Performance sports are image-builder for most collections and brands – staging sports people in extreme and challenging situations reflects the desired active and dynamic lifestyle at its best.

But most people don´t practise performance sports at an extreme level, therefore high-performance wear with super water repellency, excellent climate management and top-top abrasion resistance is not really necessary. It is time to create clothing according to people´s way of life and follow their desires.

Recreational and health supporting sports are currently the fastest growing market in sports. They are mass phenomenons in urban spaces – a counter-balance to most demanding living conditions. And they offer new chances due to the big diversity of the potential target groups.

Please don´t forget the active people of higher age – the sports industry still doesn´t really tackle this challenge!

Small brands appear on the scene and take advantage of the literally spoken fertile urban soil – they respond to current major trends like individualization, localization, traditional crafts and ecology. Products which are close to people´s desires are the result.

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Nora Kuehner
fashion   design   consulting