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5 Fashion Labels Using Smart Textiles In Activewear

Veteran icons such as Lycra and MicroModal are being reworked into women’s active collections today, joining a new generation of sweat-wicking and heat resisting microfibers. We’ve found five women’s wear collections using smart textiles that look and feel fashion-inspired.

The activewear fashion trend is founded on high-performance fabrics that move with the body and even out lumps and bumps. Veteran icons such as Lycra spandex, Supplex, Tencel and MicroModal are being reworked into modern active collections; mixed in with a new generation of sweat-wicking, heat resisting and quick-drying microfibers.

New textiles, such as Fibers by Invista and Outlast fiber, use technology to lower body temperatures and provide antibacterial properties, meaning it’s even easier to stay fresh at the gym and look stylish when sipping a post-workout smoothie.

Here are five of our favourite activewear collections launched by contemporary fashion brands in 2015.

Rowley by Cynthia Rowley

Rowley, the activewear division launched out of swimwear brand Cynthia Rowley, grew from wet suits that the designer introduced five years ago. Offering 35 pieces this Fall, smart textiles feature on the pockets of fleecy jackets and puffer coats, boasting a copper lining that stops radiation from mobile devices. Rowley’s printed leggings are built with wider waistbands and sweat-wicking fibers. Stretch and quick-dry, the line also carries printed sport bras, cropped leggings and racer back singlets in nylon and spandex.

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Derek Lam 10 Crosby


With an anticipated release for Fall this year, the Derek Lam 10 Crosby is a collaboration between Athleta and fashion designer Derek Lam. Aesthetically, the collection more minimal and urban than the colorful performance-focused style of Athleta, but oozes luxury.

The pieces are designed to slip into the everyday wardrobe, boasting a two-in-one sweatshirt-shirt combination; washable leather pieces; a cotton poplin shirt and technical denim. The collection also offers leggings and a bra top, proving to be the most smart-textile athletic piece of the upcoming line.

Stella McCartney for Adidas


The Stella McCartney for Adidas collection boasts the very best technical fabrics created by the German brand’s Sport Performance Division. The line is a perfect integration of sports and the fashion street – lead heavily by the technological fabric advancements made in Adidas’ Climalite fabric.

Fuchsia pink mixes with lime green over cotton-striped gym socks and jersey tracksuit zip-through jackets. Tanks, bras and tights come patterned crafted in the fast-drying textile designed to keep athletes cool and dry during warm weather sessions. Its cotton and synthetic combination also makes for a softer feel when touched – wicking the sweat away during exercise.

Elie Tahari


New York-based women’s wear designer, Elie Tahari launched his first high-fashion activewear collection in early 2015. The 25-piece collection offers leggings, jackets and tops in a sporty, comfortable fit with urban aesthetics.

Posing as alternatives to regular gym gear and casual pants and tops, the line is a blend of technical and luxury fabrics including 3D materials, cashmere fleece, bonded mesh and pleated terry. For a modern, active woman more focused on style than hyper-colors, the entire collection comes in a muted color palette.

Lipsy London


British high street retailer Lipsy London launched Lipsy Sport at the end of 2014. Dubbed the “the ultimate fusion of fashion and function,” the 15-piece collection brings comfort and movement with smart tech fabrics made up of polyester and elastane.

Urban and a touch Eighties, the fashion-y designs feature gold foil embellishments, leopard print details and pops of bright coral on crop tops, running tanks, tee, leggings, joggers and hoodies. It takes sportswear to the street.


—By Benjamin Fitzgerald


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