Athleta debuts Suit Up campaign

March 22, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

After years of vigorously testing their designs
on athletes, the company teamed up with notable female figures including 3x
world champion kite surfer Moona Whyte, 2x medalist and ISLA National
Lifeguarding Champion Alice Henley, 2x FINA silver medal cliff diver Ginger
Huber, and synchronized swim team The Aqualillies for the launch of Suit
Up, the brand’s new swimwear campaign. The Aqualillies helped debut the
collection in a SoHo townhouse last week, with a synchronized
swim performance.

One of Athleta’s main goals with this campaign was to celebrate female
empowerment. “We want to women to feel the way about summer the way they
did when we were little girls, before being self conscious and caring about
what we looked like” said Andrea Mallard, chief marketing officer of
Athleta, to FashionUnited. “What you cared about then was summer and the
amazing fun things you could do in the water. So, we wanted to find some
adult women who still had that spirit. After searching high and low, we
found these empowered amazing women.”

Athleta debuts women empowerment focused Suit Up campaign

After Athleta met with these women, it was practically love at first sight
when they instantly agreed to bring them all on board for this endeavor. By
casting these women in this campaign Athleta is getting people to talk
about how swimsuits work rather than how they look, hence the inspiration
for the underwater fashion show featuring the Aqualillies.

While Athleta’s always been an athletic wear company, this new collection
for the Suit Up campaign included more high performance materials than they
had done in the past. “Swimsuits are typically performance based and not
aesthetically pleasing or they are fashion swimsuits. What we said, is we
want to design high performance suits that don’t look like high performance
suits,” Mallard said. “We wanted to create the kind of swimsuits that you
could either lounge around by the pool in or go kite surfing in. We married
the two together. We made sure more of the fabrics are sustainable because
this collection is about water and the Earth. There’s UPF protection in these
swimsuits, which means you don’t have to wear as much sunscreen, so that’s
great for the coral reefs.”

The swimsuits also incorporate fabric wear technology to stop them from
slipping off, bunching and stretching. Sustainability has become a major part of Athleta’s
brand DNA since they received their B Corp rating in 2018. Since then,
the brand has set a target for themselves to ensure that
80 percent of their fabrics come from sustainable sources.

Aside from sustainability, Athleta is also taking global initiatives to
empower women as well. “Companies forget about empowering the women who
work in their factories all the time, but we are about empowering women
near and far,” Mallard said. “We’ve helped develop a program for women who
work in our factories to have the option of going through that’s about
educational empowerment. We give them the life skills they need to be more
autonomous, to take care of their own money, to make their own decisions.”

Water conversation has also been a big initiative for the company as well
as they work on better manufacturing and production processes to make sure
no waste is going in the water. The brand’s commitment to eco-friendly
initiatives and women’s empowerment has been great for business, even in a
market that has been very challenging for many retail brands.

Millennials have begun flocking to the brand because they are impressed by
what Athleta does and how they do it. Currently, they are Athleta’s fastest
growing customer base.

While Athleta’s popularity grew during the peak of the athleisure movement,
they have since evolved into being more of an entire lifestyle brand to
appeal to a wider base of customers too. “It’s not really about athleisure
anymore, it’s about athlife,” Mallard said. “Part of what we are trying to
do is figure out how to include performance benefits and technology into
your whole life. We recently launched Sculptek denim, which are our jeans
that you can do yoga or rock climbing in. It’s about pushing into all
aspects of your life, not just the leisure.”

Price points for the collection range from 49 dollars to 98 dollars. It is
currently available at Athleta stores and on

photos: courtesy of Athleta