A Cultural Spark | Is Sport Influencing Fashion, Personality and Tech?


As we approach the middle of 2024, GLITCH reflects on the prevalence of sport in our current aesthetic and consumer environment. Calling it a “cultural spark” as opposed to a trend, gives credence to the enduring change that is happening across multiple domains, affecting the way people think, behave, interact, and create. 

These latter few months, sport and exercise have been a hot topic in popular culture, arguably having more influence than before. Whilst we commonly see an interest in exercise and athleisure heightened at the first few months of the year (corresponding with the tradition of New Year resolutions!) there seems to have been a more marked and lasting interest in this space. 

With the Paris Olympics on the horizon, as well as UEFA European World Cup, and the recent Gigi Hadid x Simon Port Jacquemus soccer advert for the new Vogue World, it seems sport is in the minds of both brands and consumers.

With the European marathon season in full swing across spring, and the running community rewriting itself as an entirely new and inclusive social phenomenon –  it seems everybody and everyone has a newfound love of jogging. The uptick in running may be because it is an equipment-free and easy form of exercise that our on-the-go society can remain consistent with. But when it comes to the attire associated with running, this easy-going attitude isn’t quite the same. From high-tech footwear, to dynamic vests, and glare-proof glasses – looking chic whilst running has become an art and an expensive one. The Financial Times even dubbed the London Marathon a new fashion week for participants and brands alike. 

Pilates has also gained popularity in recent years, not only for its holistic health benefits but for its widespread celebrity stamp of approval. Popularised by everyone –  from athletes like David Beckham and LeBron James to performers, and models like Madonna and Karlie Kloss, pilates has this certain aura of being “in fashion”. And with the hype for pilates, has come the hype for pilates-core – a particular form of athleisure muted into the “soft-girl” tones of beiges and khakis and designed with an all-day practicality that can take you (seamlessly!) from the studio to work. Leggings and flared yoga pants have made a modern-day comeback and are now deemed a totally acceptable form of everyday attire.

Off the back of the recent blockbuster “The Challengers”, led by none other than the ever growing cultural icon Zendaya,  tennis-led fashion has also had a moment in recent months. The buzz generated by Zendaya’s tennis-esque press tour looks only furthered the interest in this little corner of athleisure. From polos, to skorts, to pleats and whites, the vintage fashion on the court is making a resurgence in the streets and on the runway. 

And within all this sporty fashion interplay, wearable technology also seems to have been more absorbed into general society. Becoming less niche, and less concentrated on elite performance, things like Garmin’s, Apple Watches, and Whoop bands now say more about your cultural allegiances, and the outward image you want to fit into, than your fundamental interest in body data and analysis. With big fashion houses and logos laying claim to the straps and accessories that come with these products, it is clear that sport-driven wearable tech is becoming more of a fashion-led statement. These gadgets signify a wealth, but they also signify a health consciousness and trustworthiness in tech – perhaps this is the new fashionable persona people are aspiring to be.

Written by Hebe Street from GLITCH Magazine



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