Designer Collections Embrace The Athletic Trend

Sports have always been a major player in men’s fashion but for Spring 2014 designers upped the ante and embraced the athletic trend in their collections. Traditional sport elements are combined with varsity and collegiate detailing to elevate garments into a hybrid mix of activewear and sportswear. In menswear, the inspiration seems to comes from surf, skate and urban styling giving collections a decidedly edgy look.

Key Athletic Trend Items

Designers took key items like hoodies and baseball jerseys and updated them by using performance fabrics and bright colors. My favorite Spring 2014 men’s collections that highlighted this trend were those of Astrid Andersen, KTZ and Shaun Samson. Donatella Versace highlighted neon colored kinesio tape as a design element for her men’s runway collection.

Other key features include the use of oversized numbers as highlighted in Salvatore Ferragamo’s collection and mixing in athletic stripes and flat knit or rib trim. In the past the athletic trend was usually interpreted with oversized proportions. Today, almost every garment is body-hugging, to show off chiseled gym physiques and to stress the blending of true performance styling and functionality with casual sportswear.

I especially like when unexpected elements like floral prints or stripes are combined with a traditional athletic silhouette to produce a active-sportswear hybrid. Other new design options include tie-dye and photo-real prints and sheer fabrications like mesh combined with metallic materials to give a sleek, futuristic, almost space-suit look.

Athletic Trend Fabrications

Another important styling trend is color and fabric blocking. This is a natural extension of the athletic look and provides countless opportunities for designers and customers alike to play with bold, new color combinations. There is no shortage of traditional athletic team and varsity colors to choose from but the newest designs merge surprising color and fabric mixes to push this look forward.

This trend looks to keep going strong through the Fall season as there were many athletic looks shown in last months Fall 2014 runway shows. Neoprene fabrications are another important design element and many designers experimented with this performance fabric by mixing it into their collections in key items like sweatshirts and jackets. Alexander Wang created a signature look sweatshirt in this fabrication with an embossed, 3-D logo that combined athletic styling with modern print techniques.

What do you think of this key 2014 trend? Are you going to sport some athletic looks this season?

Juan E. Romero is the Owner and Creative Director of 65MCMLXV. He has more than twenty years of Fashion and Design Trend experience. You can find him on Twitter:

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Categories: Fashion