The outdoor sector is adjusting to the future and the
potential is great: more and more people around the world are living in
metropolitan areas, while athleisure wear and urban fashion are now a firmly
established feature of both cities and the outdoor market. The extensive growth
area of urban lifestyle is also a trend topic at the leading international
trade show OutDoor from 18 to 21 June 2017 in Friedrichshafen.
Mountains captivate but cities generate
the business. This trend is already clear today and the future will make it
even more so: metropolitan areas are growing, and people are moving into the
cities. “At OutDoor, the focus is on the functionality of products. The overlap
between the two markets of ‘Fashion’ and ‘Outdoor’, however, is growing all the
time. With the ‘Lifestyle Collection’ in Hall A6, we have created a first-ever
market place for current lifestyle trends from the fields of garments, shoes
and accessories,” explains Head of OutDoor Stefan Reisinger.
“Urban Outdoor is a modern-day
development. Today there are already more people climbing in halls rather than
outdoors in nature,” reports Nora Kühner, freelance designer and trend expert.
She has a firm belief: “The future will also see people indulging their
yearning for nature in the city.” Nora Kühner is not alone in this view.
Charles Ross, a UK-based lecturer in performance sportswear design, agrees with
her: “Urban Outdoors is one of the biggest trends for the future of the
performance sportswear industry. If the Outdoor Industry does not grab the market, then their rivals from
outside the industry will. Companies will have to promote their own strengths and shift the focus
to a certain attitude towards life – and this attitude must gel with urban
consumers.” For Charles Ross, it is important that functional garments should
be socially acceptable, which in his opinion is primarily a question of
Frederik Sturm takes a broader view.
The Managing Director of the small functional clothing start-up Arys in Berlin
points out: “In my opinion, Urban Outdoor should not in any way lag behind the
usual outdoor products in terms of function, but nevertheless meet the fashion
requirements of modern customers. The fabric suppliers offer marvellous
innovative materials to achieve a successful balance between the demands of
functionality and fashion.” Arys will be displaying this approach in the
lifestyle centre at this year’s OutDoor. High-quality functional fabrics by
Schoeller and Polartec feature in a design that resembles anything but outdoor
– and this in fact is Urban Outdoor.
The clothing manufacturer Schöffel,
headquartered in Schwabmünchen, also sees great potential in Urban Outdoor:
“The trend is towards a “rural exodus”; working, living and leisure have
acquired a new quality. At the same time, people want to retain and demonstrate
a sporty lifestyle,” says product manager Johanna Keinath from Schöffel. Asked
what conditions urban outdoor has to fulfil, she replies: “Fashionable, clean
and quiet in design, functional in everyday use and all at a fair price.”
Trade visitors can enjoy a preview of what future urban styles will look like in the centre for ‘Lifestyle Collections’ at Europe’s largest trade show for the outdoor sector. Hall A6 is where international brands will have an opportunity to join forces in expanding the outdoor concept.