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Fashion Trends

A Shift In Gear: Heralding A New Era In Women’s Activewear

From streamlined, head-to-toe lyrca, to extreme weather-tested trail shoes, we speak to the brands who are driving the shift towards a new, high-performance aesthetic in women’s activewear.


Move over MAMIL (middle-aged-men-in-lycra). From Montréal to Copenhagen, we explore the women’s activewear brands charting the course for a new era in women’s sporting apparel – from cycling to running.

Valued at $353.5 billion in 2021, the global activewear market is projected to grow to an estimated $450bn by 2028, according to a report by Statista. New entrants are carving out a more technically-minded design approach to cater for an increasingly discerning activewear shopper.

Athleisure attire saw soaring sales during and post-pandemic, rising an estimated 84 per cent from 2019 to 2021, according to Fashion Genome. We speak to the brands driving the shift towards a new, more performance-based aesthetic in women’s activewear.



Souped-up soles, sustainable fabric innovation and a steadfast commitment to designing a shoe that can really withstand the toughest conditions; Montréal-based running brand, Norda, is one of the most exciting new entrants on the market. The first prototypes were put to the test in the toughest Canadian conditions you can find, running through the fields and mountains between Montréal and the Eastern Townships; from -35℃ to +35℃ and everything in between.


Designed to deliver on comfort, speed and durability, the Endurance 7RB in ‘Cold Cactus’ is not only a design masterpiece, but a ‘do-it-all’ bike that is destined for distance. Canyon’s cycling apparel is tailored with a female-specific fit, developed for temperature regulation, and made from highly-breathable fabric – allowing it to deliver on performance, but also on comfort and style.


Female-founded activewear brand, Pruzan, marries a distinctly cool aesthetic with performance capability that is designed for endurance. Pieces are intentionally designed with transitional wearability in mind – from track to travel.  


“We created Pruzan because we wanted to feel like our workout attire was a high-performance, seamless extension of our wardrobe. For us, that means pieces that can stand up to the test of a marathon or an interval session, and be comfortable, smooth and sophisticated” – Jessie Hyman and Lexy Copithorne, founders of Pruzan


Founded in 2009, British cycling brand QUOC has spent a decade hand-crafting the design and lasting power of its race-grade cycling shoes. The ‘Mono II’ road shoe is distinctly simple in aesthetic and deeply technical in design, with unidirectional carbon soles. Paired with the ultra-comfortable All Road Sock, QUOC’s cycling footwear is the ideal, comfortable cycling companion for a morning commute.


Swedish brand, POC, is one of the market leaders in high-performance cycling helmets and eyewear. Helmets are designed to combine protection with an aerodynamic performance capability.

Pas Normal Studios

Copenhagen-based cycling brand, Pas Normal Studios has created a uniquely recognisable aesthetic: sleek, head-to-toe, high-performance lycra is designed in more muted tones, with innovative fabric technology at the forefront of the design process. The Essential line features their renowned M.I.T.I. SuperRoubaix fleece and anti-abrasive finishing, designed to provide comfort and insulation, while maintaining flexibility for endurance rides.

“It starts with truly understanding the specific needs of women and their physiology so we can design with those needs at the forefront. We match highly-functional, technical fabrics to deliver on our promise of performance and, of course, everything we create is intended to have a modern look and feel distinctly cool” – Patrick Boje Andreassen, Senior Designer at Pas Normal

ON Running

Founded in 2010 by former duathlon champion, Olivier Bernhard, whose goal was to revolutionise the sensation of running, ON Running’s high-performance sneakers use a unique CloudTec® cushioning and are favoured by top professional athletes around the globe.


Hoka’s iconic, billowed-effect soles have been recognised by The Royal College of Podiatry as being “beneficial to foot health.” As one of the more established running brands on the market, Californian-founded Hoka designs lightweight running shoes with hardwearing support. The Bondi 8 is one of their staple styles, reworked each season to further enhance in line with Hoka’s innovative design strategy.  

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Photo credit: Pruzan

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