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You might be surprised, but some of our everyday things were invented for sport.
What things came into fashion through sport
As early as the 19th century, fashion was influenced by sport. Many elements of sportsmen’s clothing were later incorporated into people’s wardrobes. For example, clothing attributes such as tailcoats, top hats, breeches and gloves came into fashion through equestrian sports, which became popular at the end of the 19th century.
The first Wimbledon tournament was held in Great Britain in 1887. At that time, women played in long dresses and hats. But when tennis player Suzanne Lenglen took to the court in the 1920s wearing a pleated skirt just below the knee, a headscarf and a short-sleeved top, she sparked a real revolution not only in tennis but also in fashion. And 10 years later, the French tennis player Rene Lacoste founded his own company for the production of tennis shirts. Today, it’s a brand with a worldwide reputation, producing clothing, shoes and accessories.
Many garments also come from sports. Leggings, for example, come from yoga, jumpsuits from winter sports and T-shirts from wrestling.
Sporty style in high fashion and everyday life
In the XX century, an active lifestyle demanded appropriate clothing and many manufacturers began to rethink fashion trends. The first of the fashion designers to turn to sporty style was Coco Chanel. “I invented the tracksuit for myself; not because other women did sport, but because I did,” Chanel told her friend.
The fashion designer loved various sports – golf, skiing, sailing, hunting, equestrian sports – and was also well versed in sports fashion. In 1913, she launched a collection of sportswear for women that allowed them to move freely. The collection impressed other fashion designers who then began to pay special attention to sports style. Today, sports collections are available in almost all fashion houses in the world.
In footwear, the fashion for sneakers began in 1921 when Converse launched a special line of Chuck Taylor All-Star basketball shoes. The basketball player became a brand ambassador. He was already wearing “Converse” in 1917, when the line was simply called All-Star, but thanks to his ideas and his involvement in the advertising campaign, not only athletes but people all over the world started wearing sneakers.
How athletes can influence the popularity of fashion
Most brands gain their popularity through advertising contracts with celebrities. Today, for example, almost all famous athletes have contracts with fashion houses and major manufacturers of clothes and shoes. An army of fans worth millions is ready to buy the collections promoted by athletes, which significantly increases the brands’ revenues.
One of the most successful examples is the contract between basketball player Michael Jordan and Nike, which they signed in 1984. Nike lured Jordan with a large sum of $500,000 per year. This resulted in the Air Jordan trainers, which are still popular today and earned the former basketball player more than 1 billion dollars.