On Thursday, the Swedish fast-fashion brand released a new men’s collection made with Lycra’s Coolmax technology, a suite of moisture-wicking fabrics that pull sweat away from a wearer’s body, keeping them dry even in hot, humid environments.
Coolmax has been introduced into an array of key summer silhouettes and business casual styles, from T-shirts to polos, tailored joggers, jackets, trousers and denim.
According to Lycra, the technology is built into the weave of the fabric itself. Fiber cross-sections pull moisture to the surface of the fabric, while also facilitating airflow. Because the functionality is structural, rather than the result of a chemical coating or additive, the garments maintain their cooling properties after repeated washes.
“We see fabric innovation as pushing men’s wear forwards in new ways,” said Ross Lydon, head of men’s wear design at H&M. “Coolmax is our first collection that optimizes everyday clothing with high-performance materials,” he said, adding that the company will continue to explore and focus on this segment of the market in future collections.
While the pandemic may have stalled apparel sales for the spring-summer season, material manufacturers appear to be working overtime to create functional fabrics to entice shoppers.
MintModa creative director Sharon Graubard says fabrics that facilitate comfort and peace of mind through moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and anti-microbial properties are likely to be seen more in ready-to-wear apparel as shoppers emerge from the pandemic haze. There will be a blur between lounge wear, street wear and business casual styles, she said, and many are likely to employ materials that offer benefits beyond the aesthetic.
In the meantime, shoppers confined to their home offices are gravitating toward lounge and athleisure styles made from fabrics that offer a soft hand feel and durability to withstand frequent laundry runs. Mossed synthetics like rayon and polyester lend a cozy face to fabrics that are also built to perform, as in Los Angeles activewear brand Vuori’s popular jogger.