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How Fashion and Sports Intersect

Live sports, as well as promotional and archival footage, is one the most-watched things in the world. Explore how sports and fashion overlap in our time.

ScottSomerville

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sports and fashion
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Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the sports world had never been bigger. From tennis to football to boxing to MMA, live sports broadcasts and streams remained some of the most-watched content. That’s not to mention the thousands in live attendance, filling the stands and cheering on their favorite athletes. Sports is a huge part of life even during a pandemic. And it also has a deep-rooted relationship with fashion. From Chuck Taylors to Air Jordans, the influence of fashion on sports and vice versa is all around us.

How Fashion and Sport Co-Function

Sports clothing, especially when it comes to professional sports, is very different from your everyday clothes. Even the best American made clothing is not always designed for vigorous physical activity. In the 21st Century, however, fashion and sports have a distinct overlap. Professional sports clothing is designed to improve comfort, performance, and breathability. But a lot of attention also goes into how the clothing looks. So you have professional sports clothing that looks very fashionable. But you also have very sporty-looking everyday outfits, also known as sportswear or athleisure.

Fashion Icons That Are Also Sports Brands

Let’s look at two of the most popular streetwear brands as examples of the fashion/sports overlap. Adidas is an iconic streetwear brand today, but it originally started out as a sportswear brand. It has roots going as far back as 1949 in post-War Germany. Adidas creates professional clothing and kits for a range of sports including golf, football, rugby, cricket, and basketball. But at the same time, Adidas has been responsible for several of the most iconic footwear sensations in the last decade. From the Superstar to the Rockstar, Adidas footwear is everywhere.

Similarly, Nike is a prominent sponsor in virtually every sport from pro tennis to PGA. The American sports brand dates back to 1964 and has grown to be one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Like Adidas, Nike has given us some of the hippest and iconic footwear for at least two decades. From the Air Jordans (yes as in Michael Jordan) to the performance-focused Air series, Nike remains a huge influence in both sports and street fashion. And the brand itself draws inspiration from both.

Gym wear Designed to Look as Good ss It Fits

Streetwear may look like it can let you do a few lunges, but don’t be tempted. You should only exercise in clothing that supports it instead of just looking good. But what if you could have both? Anyone who has social media has seen enough posts of influencers in great, form-fitting leggings and tops. And since influencers make them look so good, it is only natural that we want to do so too. After all, you never know if you might meet someone at a gym. If you do, you don’t want to be in an ugly, blocky T-shirt from high school. Brands like Gymshark specialize in making gym clothing that doesn’t just improve performance and breathability but also looks amazing.

Athletic Wear as Streetwear

Sportswear originally referred to clothing that was designed for sports spectators. When in the 1920s, skiing emerged and became very popular with the wealthy, certain fashion brands recognized the new opportunities. High-street fashion brands like Hermes began creating stylish apparel for the wealthy buyers involved in skiing. But the real switch came sometime in the 1970s, and many can thank a martial arts legend for modern athleisure clothing. Yes, Bruce Lee made it not just normal, but downright cool, to wear a tracksuit every day. Even with wearers not doing anything athletic, mainstream fashion started creating more fashionable tracksuits and other athletic wear.

Sports Endorsements

Branding is all about getting your name where it can make a lasting impression on your audience. This doesn’t just mean billboards and signage around a sports event. Many brands use the athletes themselves as the perfect model to showcase their clothing. It makes solid business sense. Many sports have millions of fans all over the world, and they’ll watch broadcasts very carefully. Players or teams are very visible, and therefore great advertising real estate.

Certain athletes can skyrocket to global acclaim, even among people who do not generally watch the sport. In MMA, for example, Connor McGregor became UFC’s first real superstar. Former champion and still undefeated Khabib McGregor made history as the number 1 P4P MMA fighter in the world. But he’s still best known for completely dominating McGregor in the octagon, with millions of Instagram followers overnight. Thanks to social media, brands can use the visibility and surge in the fan-following of sports stars. Getting a star to endorse a fashion product is a great way for brands to get their name out there. That is why many brands like Nike and Adidas often chase after fast-rising teams and stars.

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Shonda Rimes’ ‘Bridgerton’ Fashion Is Making A Comeback In 2021

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Shonda Rimes Bridgerton Fashion Comeback 2021
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Do it. Be bold.

“Bridgerton’ is a period drama created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes based on a series of novels written by Julia Quinn. The show follows the eight siblings of the Bridgerton family as they attempt to find love and happiness in London high society.

Since its release, Bridgerton has taken the world by storm and has left every viewer talking about it. While fans of the show have been left with a lot to discuss, one of the conversations I hear most frequently is about fashion. Fans can’t get enough of the show’s regal and vintage fashion. So much so that this new interest in fashion from this era has been dubbed as “Regencycore.” As the popularity of this show and similar shows only continues to grow, I suspect to see this trend only continue to grow throughout the next year. So here is how I think Bridgerton and Regencycore style will affect fashion trends in 2021.

1. Corset tops

Over the years, corset tops have started to make a comeback. It started slow but began gaining popularity in 2019 when women viewed them as a way to accentuate their figure. Now it is one of the best ways to achieve a vintage look with a modern twist. Personally, I think vibrant corset tops will be all the rage as we get into the spring months.

2. Puff sleeves

Throughout 2020, puff sleeves were a major trend and I think it will remain pretty popular throughout the next year. I’ve already seen a lot of women rock a puff sleeve corset detail top this year. Honestly, this trend is a hit with me and I really hope it sticks around.

3. Floral

Floral is a trend that is constantly coming and going. You really can’t ever get rid of it. For the spring, I think floral is going to be a staple in fashion in order to help achieve the vintage aesthetic that many want to achieve.

4. Midi Dresses

This spring, I think midi dresses are going to be another great way for individuals to achieve a vintage aesthetic. The reason I think that midi dresses will be so popular is that is it is a great way you can combine some of the other trends as well. There are so many cute midi dresses that also combine florals or a puff sleeve. There’s also something very elegant and whimsical about this style of dress that I think a lot of people will like.

5. All of the accessories

In Bridgerton, the women are known to over-accessorize. In order to achieve this look, I see a move less towards dainty jewelry and back towards statement pieces. I also see headpieces such as headbands, ribbons, and maybe even flower crowns coming back. That will really depend on how people decide to style it. Finally, in accessories, I’ve read a lot about gloves. Personally, I am not really interested in gloves but I know a lot of people are feeling inspired to bring gloves back in fashion.

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Fashion

They’re Changing The New Normal-Rafi Nova Is Making Clear Masks For The Deaf Community

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Changing New Normal-Rafi Nova Is Making Clear Masks
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Rafi Nova is changing the “new normal” for the better by creating masks with a transparent mouth covering for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Rafi Nova is a company started by two people who had the vision to sell accessories for traveling. Unfortunately, the company was launched just weeks before the Coronavirus pandemic hit and the sudden decrease in travel negatively impacted their business.

After coming together to decide what they should do moving forward, they decided to make the best of a bad situation when one of the founder’s children said to make masks.

They decided to take making masks one step further and accommodate a community in need during this new normal of mask-wearing. Now, Rafi Nova makes masks with a clear panel in the front so that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can see people’s mouths underneath their masks.

Along with the making of clear masks, Rafi Nova has a work environment that is unmatched by any other.

Their company is like a family and the work community present at Rafi Nova made the transition from their normal products to masks that much easier.

Founders Adam and Marissa Goldstein had some great ideas thus far in their career as business owners and in addition to sharing information on the smiling mask, shared some information and tips on how to become a successful business owner.

I had the absolute privilege of interviewing the founders about their new masks and their business practices and here is what they said:

1. How was the company name decided upon and created?

Rafi Nova was inspired by our travels with our two sets of children – Raya, Efi, Noa, and Eva. We want to build a company that reflects our values and there is nothing that reflects that more clearly than your children.

2. How was the shift from regular products to masks?

We launched Rafi Nova as an accessories brand with the mission to inspire parents to get out and go in February 2020 — which was probably the worst time in history to launch a brand encouraging travel.

Just a few weeks after the launch, the coronavirus pandemic struck, and we needed to reevaluate our plan for the brand. We spent some time brainstorming solutions, until one day our daughter Eva said “make masks.”

3. How are the masks constructed to benefit the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities?

We make the Smile Masks with a wide clear panel that allows the mask wearer’s mouth to be visible.

We also made sure that the masks had adjustable straps to accommodate hearing aids or cochlear implants.

While the Smile Mask was designed with the hard of hearing and the deaf community in mind, we have seen that the masks are beneficial to a wide variety of communities and professions. Facial expressions are essential in establishing trust.

4. What is your greatest takeaway from shifting your company’s focus to benefit the consumer need amidst a pandemic?

Create well-made, thoughtful products that people need!

5. What is your favorite part about running a business?

Being able to build an amazing team and getting to work with them every day!

6. What kind of work environment do you have at your company? Is everyone friends outside the office?

Yes! We have a super fun, very open, and collaborative atmosphere. At the same time, everyone is extremely hard working and gets their work done.

7. What is the best piece of advice to give to anyone who wants to start their own company?

Just do it! The timing will never be perfect. If you wait until everything is “perfect” you will miss out on the opportunity. Start small — but just start!

With business advice like this, Rafi Nova is clearly an up and coming company with founders that have a sense of community.

The ability for them to flip the switch from travel accessories to masks is a pretty admirable feat and one that should definitely be recognized.

Their products are, in a way, one of a kind as there isn’t anything on the market right now quite like the smiling mask.

The smiling mask comes in a two-pack that retails for $30, accommodates cochlear implants and hearing aids, and enables people to continue using non-verbal communication.

There are also sales and deals for certain products as they make regular masks, kids masks, and anti-fog masks in addition to the smiling mask with the clear panel.

Rafi Nova is doing a great thing for all sorts of people that will benefit from being able to regain the use of non-verbal communication like teachers, speech pathologists, and those that are deaf and hard of hearing.

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