Fitness and fashion have been moving towards each other like magnets for a while now, with contemporary designers like Rebecca Minkoff, Cynthia Rowley, and Norma Kamali all getting into the activewear game.
But the debut of the anticipated Derek Lam 10 Crosby and Athleta collaboration on September 9 will mark the first time a high fashion label and a mega-retail workout brand like Athleta have joined forces. It’s a super smart collab concept—especially for the sweaty set. And given the growing number of women obsessed with workout clothes, we suspect the collection will be incredibly coveted.
“Our customer leads a very active lifestyle. Fitness is very much a part of it, and we always strive to create clothing which works in her life,” Lam says, of why the partnership made sense. “Athleta’s expertise in performance fabrics and fibers has offered us a really exciting opportunity to create a collection which complements perfectly what we do for Derek Lam 10 Crosby [the brand’s contemporary sister label].”
The collection (ranging from $64 to $498) is any cool-girl-who-loves-to-workout’s dream, with lots of fall-friendly pieces (albeit more for brunching than sweating) that fuse Lam’s signature downtown style with Athleta’s modern activewear aesthetic and performance fabrics and features. Liz Giardina is the vice president of design at Derek Lam 10 Crosby and was the lead on making it all come to life.
“I looked at aerial photographs of great American cities—urban landscapes with green parks—think Manhattan with Central Park,” she says. “From that inspiration came strong lines that flatter the body, graphic color blocking, and clean crisp colors—black, white, sapphire, emerald and two tones of mélange grey.”
The collection includes outerwear, sweaters, elevated sweatpants, and even leather, with clever twists on classic shapes and fabrics, graphic color blocking, and layered two-in-one garments.
For Athleta, the collaboration marks a huge lunge forward in its move towards a more highly stylized approach to activewear.
“Like us at Athleta, Derek and Liz live healthy, active lifestyles,” Athleta president Nancy Green says. “We both wanted to create something new and exciting for a modern woman living her life on the go. We really see this collection as a complement to our brand and current performance and lifestyle offerings. It’s an extension of what we have already been doing, with a partner who really understands the space.”
Available at select Athleta stores, at Derek Lam 10 Crosby in Soho, and online next week, we bet plenty of women will choose to run to get their hands on it. Finally, all that speed training is paying off. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit athleta.com