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Abercrombie’s Gunning for Activewear

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s Your Personal Best (YPB) activewear line is no longer in soft launch.

The specialty retailer recently described active apparel as a growing category and CEO Fran Horowitz told SJ that the fledgling YPB line has so far “resonated well in both men’s and women’s.”

Activewear has benefitted from pandemic-era shifts encouraging many consumers to invest in comfortable clothing suitable for sheltering in place and working from couches instead of cubicles. Even as many global economies are in the midst of full-throttled attempts at fully reopening, there’s little sign that shoppers re-investing in new, on-trend, going-out fashion will abandon their love of casual staples.

What’s more, Matt Powell, NPD vice president and senior industry advisor for sports, earlier this year predicted that 2022 will be another strong year for running, walking and hiking, with performance running benefiting the most as it becomes the new form of streetwear. “Riding the ‘performance-running as streetwear’ trend, we’ll see a shift in the ‘active apparel’ mentality; we’ll move away from pure athleisure to more ‘athletic’ looks,” Powell said. “Colors will shift from neutral to bright, to align with footwear. Activewear will emphasize performance attributes to support this trend further.” Powell also said that reopened schools and children getting back to their usual sports activities have boosted the kids’ activewear businesses.

Retail rivals have similarly attempted to cash in on the steady consumer interest in activewear. Athleta collaborated with singer Alicia Keys on an active collection, while Foot Locker debuted Cozi and Academy Sports + Outdoors similarly made a private-label push by expanding its women’s Freely line into girls’ fashion.

Abercrombie's activewear sub-brand YPB is a fashion-forward line combining consumer wants in performance, looks, quality and value.
A look at a men’s lined training short from Abercrombie’s new activewear line YPB. Courtesy

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YPB offers functional, fashion-forward activewear and accessories for men and women in soft, breathable bottoms, with performance tops featuring four-way stretch, sweat-wicking and anti-odor properties.

“We’ve been dedicated to outfitting our millennial consumers for every part of their lives, whether they’re traveling, brunching with friends or celebrating a wedding, for example. Being active is another key part of that lifestyle, and now, with the launch of YPB, we can meet those specific needs,” Kristin Scott, global brand president at Abercrombie & Fitch Co., said.

“We’re laser-focused on listening to our customers, and they were clear: They’re looking for fashion-forward activewear that actually performs, looks good and combines quality with value,” she added. “YPB delivers on all of that, while also providing the comfort and attention to detail that our customers expect from us.”

Abercrombie said YPB comes in sizes from XXS to XXL, with long and short lengths offered. A quick check of the YPB men’s assortment shows that the smallest size for most products is XS, however. Most items are priced between $40 to $80.