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ThirdLove Challenges Nike With Activewear Expansion

ThirdLove will become the latest in a line of brands and retailers to tap into the growing activewear market, posing a challenge to established titans like Nike and fellow upstarts such as Beyond Yoga, Fabletics and Balance Athletica.

The digitally native intimates brand announced the launch of its new Active category Wednesday. Its expansion into fitness includes sports bras and performance leggings and is divided into three unique collections—Kinetic, Flex and Muse—each one intended for a different intensity of activity.

With “sports bra” the most-searched term on ThirdLove’s site before the company even introduced activewear, the new launch would appear to have been a no-brainer for the brand.

“We have heard our customer’s rallying cry for ThirdLove to create sports bras and activewear that solves their fit issues, and we know there’s still a huge white space in the active market,” co-founder and CEO Heidi Zak said in a statement. “We believe that comfort is power and are thrilled to bring ThirdLove’s Active category to the market, with an intense focus on fit, quality and design that allows women to perform their best, no matter how they choose to move.”

The category’s centerpiece product, the Kinetic Performance Sports Bra, represents the culmination of two years of research and development, ThirdLove said. Based off the its signature 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra, it features breathable wireless cups, moisture-wicking materials and adjustable straps that can switch between a standard and crossback design.

The medium-impact Flex bra, meanwhile, provides a multi-directional stretch, seamless design and sculpting support. The everyday Muse collection offers “smoothing, minimalist styles,” ThirdLove said.

Two months ago, ThirdLove made its first foray into outside retail thanks to a joint partnership with the plus-size apparel seller Dia & Co. Though the label had “long offered plus sizes” across its product range, Zak said at the time, the collaboration offered it an “opportunity to expand brand reach and speak directly to this audience via a trusted authority in the plus size fashion space.” The partnership covered a capsule of 20 ThirdLove styles, including bras, panties and loungewear.