A sudden upswing in athletic apparel and activewear brands has led to a resurgence in the entire market. Old lifestyle brands that were formerly losing relevance are suddenly experiencing an upswing in popularity.
Existing athletic apparel and workout gear giants find themselves swelling in significance in an ever-expanding market. A love of athletic wear and luxury apparel is setting the stage for high-grade brands to establish themselves at the peak.
Daniel Patrick is going to examine all of these situations while also providing a variety of brands for any budget. The benefit of workout clothes being everywhere is that the perfect brand exists for everyone regardless of style or budget. Ambitious new designers create the best new athletic brands, and old styles are made new again through reinvention.
What Makes a Good Athletic Brand?
Before going into the best upward trending athletic brands, it is essential to examine these groups’ elements in common. A weak lifestyle brand is weak in its own way, but all quality brands and activewear lines share the same core strengths.
Once marketing and all other external factors are removed and a garment is purchased, only the product remains. A great brand has a diverse product lineup in its professed specialty. A designer's specialty may be in a general style of clothing or as specific as menswear or womenswear.
A company has to think about profits when putting out a line. A luxury designer can afford to make fewer individual garments in anticipation of lower sales numbers. An affordable fashion brand needs to maintain an extensive line with affordable prices in order to sell in bulk as much as possible.
Most brands can have quality or quantity, but maximizing those is challenging. Cheap brands are likely to prioritize the latter, while luxury brands lean towards the former. Fast fashion brands need to cut corners to offer a large number of goods. As a consumer, when the option is available, you should always veer in the direction of quality.
Good clothes are built to last. This has various benefits both for the wearer and the broader impact of a brand. Long-lasting clothes look great longer and reduce the overall need to consume fabrics. This makes for a cost-saving, high-quality wardrobe as well as an environmentally conscientious way of living.
One of the largest social trends in the fashion industry is a modern reevaluation of brands’ impact. Fabric sourcing, manufacturing, production, and design processes all have an environmental and social impact on the world. Labor conditions and the sustainability of specific fabrics were once not considered in business aside from their status as cost factors. More consumers are expecting ethical behavior from brands, and the fashion industry is listening.
On a human impact scale, sustainability means treating workers ethically. This allows for scaling without superior prices coming at the cost of the workforce. Due to lax labor laws, the most common countries for outsourcing garment production are Bangladesh and China. Manufacturing in areas with strong workers unions like America and Europe is a sign that a brand is designed ethically. When designers choose to produce locally, it also allows them to be more involved with every step of the process.
Fabrics also have a significant environmental impact. Natural fabrics require plenty of resources, and synthetic fabrics require chemical processing to be made. There is no perfect fabric in existence, as any sort of material requires a certain degree of input. Local sourcing of materials and recycled materials shows a brand’s dedication to reducing overall environmental impact.
Good athleisure brands should have a story. This doesn’t mean a brand has to reach a centennial before it’s worth something, but that good brands are identifiable. The brand on a piece of clothing conveys a great deal of information, including values and story. A brand can cultivate values, but a story has to be earned authentically.
A brand’s story stands as the ultimate impression it gives, spanning from marketing information to the brand’s history. The story of an established brand will convey a far different message and response than that of a new one. Many designers evolve from a love of fashion and a pedigree for excellence.
A good brand knows where it comes from and where it is now. This shows a strong sense of place in a brand's marketing. The world a designer operates in can also be a source of inspiration for the apparel they design.
We have chosen a few brands which wind the entire spectrum of sportswear. Starting with the most affordable options, we will build up to true luxury apparel. Storied brands seeing sudden, new growth and newer brands quickly entering the zeitgeist are both represented here.
Affordable Classic (Champion)
Champion is not the first name that comes to mind when one imagines popular sportswear. The garments are known more for their affordability than anything else. It’s a strange trend, considering that this is the company responsible for introducing the hoodie to the world. Champion's name lost its luster towards the end of the 20th century due to financial mishaps.
A few decades later, a rise in gym clothes popularity has allowed this former fashion giant to rebrand itself. This is just one factor working to give Champion a competitive edge. Surging interest in a vintage aesthetic has also extended to revitalizing Champion’s image. This has turned the brand into far more than just a cheap option for your local athletic club’s sportswear.
Champion has also paid attention to the aspects of presentation, making the top streetwear brands desirable. Exclusive collaborations make it so that apparel is available in a wide variety of price points. Garments from their basic line, like tees, are cheap enough that everyone can be wearing them.
While it won’t necessarily be turning heads, Champion is competitive among other brands in this market level.
Midrange Trendsetter (Adidas)
Including Adidas on a list of the best new brands might seem inappropriate because they will soon turn 100. Like Champion, Adidas has seen extensive growth in the last few years and is presently setting itself up for reinvention.
Adidas has been open about its marketing strategies, targeting growth and response time to consumers in the last decade. They have held to their values, including extensive sponsorships for athletes and collaborations with major luxury designers. Daniel Patrick is proud to have an ongoing collaboration with Adidas, resulting in an extensive line of apparel.
As an athletic brand, Adidas has an extensive product lineup and sizes range. Along with technical fabrics and apparel of all kinds, their offerings include such ancillary products as deodorant and water bottles. As one of the earliest proponents of track spikes, it makes sense that they are best known for their footwear for runners. Adidas’ dedication to an extensive series keyed into consumer interests has caused them to be one of the largest sportswear brands.
Adidas is also known for its effective and deliberate marketing strategies. In 2015, their marketing plan “Creating the New” cited the connection between consumers and companies as integral to overall success. It was this plan that led to their present emphasis on collaboration.
In 2021 Adidas launched their new five-year plan, called “Own the Game.” This announcement comes at around the same time as Adidas divests from Reebok, which they acquired years earlier. This divestiture shows a trend of Adidas cutting away inessential portions of the company to focus on their greatest strengths. Own the Game acknowledges that a great deal of fashion innovation is driven by consumers, which scans with athleisure’s popularity.
Adidas’ willingness to acknowledge the realities of the fashion industry and the way it navigates them is what creates excellence.
The Luxurious (Daniel Patrick)
We close out our list of top new men’s athletic brands by turning our lens to Daniel Patrick. At this level of performance, the priority is always about quality over quantity. Our premium product line is all luxury streetwear made from high-quality materials, focused on the sportswear side of the fashion movement.
High expectations are placed on athletes, so they should be able to have high expectations for the pieces and accessories they wear. We use performance fabrics designed to wick sweat and offer optimal comfort, and our quick-drying t-shirts, joggers, and sweatshirts can help you craft the perfect outfit.
We come by our love of athletics honestly. Before entering the fashion world, our founder was a rugby player, and sportswear aesthetics carry over in the lightweight essentials he creates. The story of the brand is strong.
We have crossed oceans and continents to be where we are today. Starting from Australia, Daniel Patrick moved to New York to pursue his dream with a bit of support and a lot of determination. After experiencing some success there, he transplanted to the other major hub of American streetwear, Los Angeles.
Daniel Patrick never lets success temper our ambition. We’ve produced a high standard of sportswear, and collaborated with NBA and music superstars alike in our development. These are highlights in our history, but not the sole high points. The drive which made our dream a reality also tells us that there’s always something better around the corner.