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Fashion trends shift from outdoor to indoor

Posted September. 25, 2013 06:40,   


A woman surnamed Hwang who works for a foreign company recently purchased high-priced yoga clothes from a sportswear brand because she felt after one month of yoga training that fitted yoga clothes were necessary to check the delicate movements of muscles. Hwang said, “Entering the late 30s, I felt a desperate need to watch my figure and chose yoga for exercise because I don’t have enough time for outdoor sports,” adding, “unlike mountain climbing where you get together with many people, yoga offers time for meditation and makes me feel awake.” She also plans to learn “sky yoga” using hammocks hung on a ceiling in the future.

○ Sportswear industry welcomes the shift

Increasing popularity of indoor sports following the so-called “outdoor fever” has been boosting up markets of related products. Analysts say that such popularity derives from people’s desire to have a toned body and keep mental health at the same time. In the market, sportswear brands that have relatively lagged behind in the outdoor segment are striving to encourage this trend toward indoor sports activities. These brands not just launch related products but also provide training programs of indoor sports in order to expand the base for indoor sports.

EXR, a sports and casual wear brand, has entered the fitness market in earnest by launching the "performance" line early this year. The clothing company has also developed a training program titled the "EXR Progressive Dance Training Program" in collaboration with JFLA Fitness, a group of famous fitness trainers in Korea. Since its launch, 30 fitness centers nationwide have adopted this dance training program.

Reebok is preaching a new form of fitness training called "crossfit." Crossfit started in California, the U.S., in 1974. The number of crossfit centers sponsored by Reebok has increased from one in 2011 to 14 this year. Along with this, the brand sees an increase in its clothes sales. The sales in the Reebok Crossfit Collection have dramatically increased by 400% as of Monday this year compared to the same period of last year.

Head, a sportswear brand, has increased its production quantities for women’s sportswear line called the "Ego Line" for this fall and winter by about 130% compared to the same period of last year. The brand is also planning to open a yoga class led by popular yoga instructor Jessica under the title of "Jessica’s Yoga Class."

○ Appeal to women customers

The distribution industry is paying attention to women customers who are leading this popularity of indoor sports. Lotte Department Store is currently redecorating the Nike store in Young Plaza of its flagship store in Sogong-dong, Seoul as a specialized zone for women. The proportion of women product sales in this store has recently jumped to about 40% from about 20% last year.

Preceding this, the department store changed the floor display of EXR in the Sogong-dong flagship store to give an emphasis to women’s indoor sports products by placing the indoor line, which used to be displayed in the form of ‘shop in shop,’ to the front. Next month, the department store will hold a special event to sell all of the EXR fitness line products in its flagship store in Busan.

Shin Yeong-jo, a product developer of children’s sportswear in Lotte Department Store, said, “Major sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas will start launching fitness clothes for women in earnest from the S/S season next year.”

Hyundai Department Store redecorated Nike stores in its Coex branch and Apgujeong flagship store in May and April respectively to direct their focus to women’s wear. All of the indoor sports products in the Coex branch were sold out in a week. Experts forecast that the popularity of indoor sports combined with the characteristics of today’s people will continue to increase.

Seo Cheon-beom, head of the Korea Leisure Industry Institute, said, “The popularity of indoor sports are related to the characteristics of urban people who want to save time and cost and pursue convenience even when exercising,” adding, “As going suburbs far from downtown to enjoy outdoor activities is time-consuming and affected by factors such as weather conditions, indoor sports have emerged as an alternative.” Goh Yeong-geon, a professor of psychology at Korea University, said, “Indoor sports programs suggested by experts are gaining popularity in connection with the strong trends of “body building” and “healing.”