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FASHION

Men’s Sportswear Brands to Know This Summer

With the warmest Early May Bank Holiday weekend on record already under our belts and a bout of sustained sunshine, it feels like summer may finally have arrived on UK shores. Rather than holing up in stuffy air-conditioned gyms, now is the perfect time to take your workout outdoors whether that be country running or urban HIT classes.

If you are taking your training al fresco this summer or if you prefer the quieter months in the gym, your workout gear could no doubt benefit from a refresh—especially with the scrutiny paid to sportswear today. In recent years, the world of sportswear design has become one of the most exciting in fashion, with the blending of streetwear and sportswear giving birth to the a concept of athleisure. With it comes a new roster of names competing with the industry’s established giants with new performance-based fabrications, precise cuts, and innovative new features complementing developments in tech.

With sportswear being probably one of the fastest moving areas of the fashion industry, it can be difficult keeping track of the new names to know and discover. Here, we pick out our summer favourites and the pieces that will bolster both your sartorial and sporting performance out on the track.

2XU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFHPfnSpS6w

2XU(pronounced "Two Times You") was launched when former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt turned his passion for sport into an obsession with performance fabrics. Starting out as a specialist run and triathlon brand, 2XU has grown to become the world’s most technical sportswear company, driven by a relentless pursuit to multiply human performance.

2XU garments are proven by independent, scientific research to deliver real physiological benefits to athletes of all abilities. The brand uses the most advanced medical technologies to develop industry-leading performance wear that is backed up by almost a decade of research from the world renowned Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and RMIT University. In addition to partnering with the world’s best sports teams and institutions ranging from the Australian Rugby Team to the GB hockey team, 2XU has almost more recently collaborating with leading fashion brands including Kanye West’s Yeezy.

Adidas by Kolor

Fusing together the high-fashion flair of Kolor designer Junichi Abe and the technical sports heritage of adidas, the adidas by Kolor collection specialises in progressive, technical sportswear.

Abe honed his craft at Tokyo’s elite Bunka Fashion College before working as a patternmaker for Yohji Yamamoto and later Comme des Garçons in the 1980s. He later set up the label PPCM with three friends in 1994 before establishing his own label, Kolor, a decade later. Over the years, Kolor garnered a fervent following for its avant-garde, anomalous take on traditional sportswear which hones in on the finer details using sheer panels, contrasting fabrics, patterned knits, and much more.

Peak Performance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBhay5sW_Wg

Peak Performance was created in 1986 by a group of three talented skiers out of a dissatisfaction with the choice in sports clothing available for the slopes.

Stefan Engström was a world-class mogul skier with several World Cup wins to his credit. Peter Blom was editor-in-chief of the country’s biggest ski magazine. Christer Mårtensson was an art director and designer. Before long, they were joined by a fourth person, former alpine skier and ski salesman Jonas Ottosson.

Together, the friends came up with the concept to create a sportswear brand that combined excellent functionality with simple, cool design; not flashy, but still not boring. The result was Peak Performance, a premium sportswear brand with an understated aesthetic and clear focus on fabrication and design.

Satisfy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0HFVCIai6Q

Satisfy is a premium French cult running brand that applies an essentialist approach to running clothing to create apparel that allows the runner to focus on achieving The High.

What is The High? Satisfy believes that the solo long run is a transformative experience, a daily odyssey in which the runner experiences a heightened level of consciousness. This state allows for intense reflection, connection and creativity. The brand calls this experience The High.

Designed and prototyped in the brand's Parisian Creative Studio, Satisfy creates garments in which every feature has a purpose. All its apparel are made from fabrics developed in-house or from trusted suppliers. Satisfy's obsession with quality comes from a belief that technical running apparel deserves luxury-level care and craftsmanship.

Under Armour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Y8Zahggpc

Favoured by athletes the world over, Under Armour’s dedication to technical sportwear development is what makes them the number one sporting brand.

Founded in Baltimore twenty years ago, the brand is known for their advances in moisture-wicking apparel, made from microfibres, that help keep athletes cool, dry and light. Under Armour was one of the first brand’s to take everyone’s favourite fabric to task: cotton. Instead, the brand created a new performance fabric, UA Tech™, engineered to feel like cotton but with the moisture-wicking and lightweight properties associated with Under Armour.

Over the next decades, Under Armour continued to engineer its own patented fabrics that tackled a full range of sporting conditions: from waterproofing with UA Storm, insulation with UA Coldgear®, and aerodynamics with UA Speedform Apollo.

With a roster of athletes including Anthony Joshua, Andy Murray & Misty Copeland, Under Armour is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest players in the sportswear arena in 2018.

Y-3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrqdlHF2ACk

In 2003, two of the biggest names in design came together to create something truly unique. Yohji Yamamoto – the Japanese fashion designer renowned for his experimental designs – and German powerhouse adidas joined forces to create Y-3: a collection of luxury sportswear that was design-focused and statement-making, arguably starting the trend for fashion-forward sports clothing.

Y-3 – so named after Yamamto and adidas’ iconic three stripes – creates seasonal collections characterised by dark shades, oversized shapes and forward-thinking silhouettes.

Sarah Atkinson
Sarah Atkinson Writer and expert

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