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"Athleisure" wear: Goodbye blue jeans, hello yoga pants

Practically everybody in the fashion business is trying to get in on the active wear trend, as “Athleisure,” clothing fit for athletic or casual wear, is becoming more popular
Fitness-focused fashion gains momentum 02:53

You're going out and want to look informal, but cool, so you reach for the ol' reliable: blue jeans, right? Maybe not any more.


The fashion times are changing, and you could see it in motion this week here in New York. CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair reports.

On the runway at New York Fashion Week, sports company Athelta replaced traditional models with dancers and athletes.

They want to showoff how well their clothes can move in the hopes of cashing in on one of the latest fashion movements.

"Practically everybody in the fashion business is trying to get in on the active wear trend," said Athleta president Nancy Green. She says these designs are meant to combine athletic and leisure wear in one, describing them as an evolution based on what's happening in the marketplace.

Fashion from the Athleta Spring 2015 collection is modeled in an acrobatic show during Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 in New York. Bebeto Matthews, AP

"I think our generation, the boomers, and Gen X, we all grew up with denim," Green said. "Now you've got a whole generation of younger kids who are in their teens, middle school, high school, they're growing up choosing to wear active wear."

After decades of consistent growth, sales of blue jeans fell about 6 percent last year. Meanwhile sales of active wear were up about 7 percent.

Does it mean that more people are working out? Consider this: yoga apparel sales are up 45 percent, but the rate of participation in yoga itself only grew 4.5 percent in the same period.

"I think there's part of part of it that if you buy something that's really expensive and luxurious that makes you feel really good, maybe it's going to make you go to the gym more," said Lauren Pantin, style editor at Lucky Magazine.

Pantin says leading athletic companies, like Under Armour, are incorporating elements of high fashion.

This week they launched a campaign with supermodel Giselle. But she says sporty details are also popping up in unexpected places, like sneaker- inspired pumps made by Christian Dior retailing at $1450.

"A lot of high-end designers are doing things like slouchy track pants, crop tops," Pantin said. "Alexander Wang has kind of always had a really strong athletic inspiration and that's just continuing."

The merging of athletic and leisure wear has earned the nickname "Athleisure" apparel.

For some, it means one less outfit change after a trip to the gym. For others, it means looking like you're active, even if you really aren't.

"We're constantly talking about what people are doing," Green said. "I think people have to create products and clothes that adapt to how people want to live."

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