Gap announces men's athleisure brand Hill City
Gap Inc. has announced plans to launch a new men's athleisure brand, Hill City, this Fall. The new label will parallel Gap's women's activewear brand Athleta, one of the company's highest-performing brands.
The full Hill City line is set to debut in October on the new brand's website, with select pieces available at 50 Athleta locations. The label will offer a range of activewear apparel, including sweatshirts, raincoats, shirts and pants.
Hill City incorporates recycled fibers into its designs, earning the brand a B Corp certification along with early appeal as an environmentally friendly label.
In 2017, activewear apparel sales were valued at $48 billion, making up nearly 22 percent of total apparel industry sales, according to market research firm NDP Group. With women's athleisure apparel driving the activewear market, companies like Gap are looking for ways to tap into the equivalent male audience.
“Hill City is our response to consistent feedback from customers looking for a premium men’s product that combines highly technical fabrications, performance and style,” explained Art Peck, president and CEO of Gap Inc., in a release.
One prominent reason for the rise of athleisure has been the trend of combining comfortable sport fabrics with stylish silhouettes, allowing the wearer to transition from outdoor to indoor activities without feeling improperly dressed. This versatile model has helped brands like Lululemon skyrocket in recent years, and Hill City looks to be hoping to fill a similar niche in the menswear market.
“Men’s lives are evolving," said Noah Palmer, general manager of Hill City. "We don’t want a different look for each aspect of our lives...our team set out to rethink men’s apparel with one brand that could fill a man’s entire closet with versatile, high performance pieces that can take him from a hike to a dinner out.”
Gap shares have fallen by 20.1% this year, but the company has experienced increasing success with Athleta and Old Navy.
In August, the company shared plans to open 270 additional stores under these labels while closing 200 Gap and Banana Republic locations in the coming years.
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