While we know May is popular because it is the month when brands and companies honor moms everywhere but it is also Women’s Health Month. I am noticing brands are missing out on this huge opportunity to address the awareness, especially those in fitness, fashion and leisure. Although seemingly different, the lines between these three fields are blurring together. And the fitness companies who target women have spearheaded this trend. More and more clothing companies have targeted women’s fitness and molded that with everyday wear. Now, mothers can wear their yoga outfit outside the gym and still visit the grocery store or pick up their kids from school. College students can run straight from class to the gym. By attracting women who enjoy fashion or leisure through exercise attire, companies are generating a larger community for health and exercise. Three companies we believe are rocking for women include Lululemon, Athleta, and Ivy Park.
Lululemon created a fitness apparel company that integrates casual fashion and a positive, balanced lifestyle. By creating cute, comfortable clothes, Lululemon are allowing women to have the confidence to wear their athletic wear in public. Their popularity and strong association with appealing athletic clothes for women has them owning the market with 354 stores as they entice diverse types of women, from exercise junkies to busy mothers, to fashionistas.
Along with their casual and athletic line, Athleta, which was acquired by Gap in 2008, promotes community through the power of women’s support for one another in their brand in order to promote fitness for women. A company that targets 25-55 year old women, Athleta has done a fantastic job at noticing the trend of women who enjoy working out together, and started their own movement on their social media and website. We know that when a company sells to women and supports them it changes the way women are portrayed in owned media. So, this was a great acquisition for Gap since its market share had been declining.
Ivy Park, founded by Beyoncé and sold at Nordstrom and Topshop, specifically creates clothing that can be worn both “on and off the field.” Anytime you see Ivy Park, you see their descriptions about fashionable outfits that can be worn in public and in the gym. Molding everyday lifestyle with exercise increases the presence of health and exercise in women’s lives. This further promotes more popularity for Ivy Park and for women’s health in general. Also, the brand of Beyoncé is doing wonders for women’s health. If a fashionable, famous, busy young mother can exercise, so can female millennials. You have to feel like you can literally rule the world when your alter ego is a Beyonce in the spin class.
Other companies have jumped on the bandwagon. High-end stores like Kate Spade launched their yoga collection in January. Seamlessly transitioning the gym to the daytime takes away the excuse of no more workouts. The presence of cute athletic wear has even motivated women to be healthier and exercise more. No longer are gyms and parks a place for sweats but a runway for women who want to show off their new outfits and rock their favorite brand. Now, let’s get sweating this month!