Sport has never been so enmeshed in the world of fashion. What’s the reason, and how does it impact creativity and the fashion industry? An examination of the issue with Pascal Monfort, a fashion consultant and founder of REC Trendsmarketing.
Sport and fashion have never been so close. What’s your take on this?
The communion between sport and fashion has reached its maturity and all areas are affected. From mass market to luxury houses, everyone needs sports, and they take real risks if they try and give it up. Refusing to integrate sneakers into a collection today is almost dangerous.
You can also see that a sports spirit is mixed in with fashion too…
Yes and the entire sports world has been summoned. Athletes walked straight into the fashion universe. They sit in the front row of the runway shows. Their reach is immense and covers all parts of the world, far more than celebrities. In addition, sporting events also dictate fashion calendars with, for example, the creation of capsule collections for soccer’s World Cup or the America’s Cup.
This has transformed the needs of brands. What are they asking for now?
The new generation of artistic directors in major houses likes to work with technical fabrics and materials that previously excited almost no one outside of the sports world. We used to want comfortable materials. Now they also have to be efficient and ultra-technical.
How are manufacturers responding to these demands?
They are listening; they are more involved in a dialogue with brands and designers. This also comes from the world of sports, where athletes and designers generally work together. In addition, a call for ultra-technicality is increasing. Tomorrow’s suppliers will have to set up laboratories, real R&D platforms.
Do you think this all-powerfulness of sports will last?
Well it has already gone beyond a trend. We may have arrived at the culmination, but I think that a certain sport ingredient has lastingly infiltrated the fashion world. We are seeing a whole generation of consumers who see no difference between fashion and sport. A generation that goes effortlessly from well-cut suit trousers to hoodies. Right now, going back looks difficult