“We need to become more fashion,” CEO Kevin Plank said during a call with analysts after the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. “The consumer wants it all. They want product that looks great, that wears great, that you can wear at night with a pair of jeans, but that also does perform for them.”
The company is admitting it completely misread the upmarket trend of athleisure, instead relying on copious logos and basic styles of sportswear.
British fashion retailers ASOS and Boohoo are able to conceive, design, produce, and have clothing ready for shoppers on the sales floor quicker than Zara and H&M, according to a research note Goldman Sachs sent investors last month, and the two millennial-focused, social-media savvy brands are enjoying the rewards.
It was a revolutionary idea that shouldn’t, really, have been so revolutionary.
“It’s become the new cruise,” said Marybeth Schmitt, the H & M communications director for North America. “It sets up a fantasy, a younger person’s vision of a holiday that’s set not in the tropics but the desert.”