The first ever Running & Fitness Event for Women took place last week in Chicago. A trade show designed to focus on the fast-growing women’s activewear business, its founders are also responsible for the Running Event, which takes place in Austin, and serves independent running shops. Like the Austin show, the Running & Fitness Event speaks to a niche yet important part of the sporting goods business. In addition to the usual trade show set up, the show had some unique elements, including a full day of educational speakers, whose focus was how to sell and market to women. There were also fitness events including a morning run, paddle boarding on Lake Michigan plus a yoga class that took place on the floor of the trade show.
As a representative for this blog, I was a speaker at the event and spoke on what we at TheSnobette have identified as #streetsport, a new look in fashion that takes influence from active, streetwear and the runway. In addition to explaining the phenomenon, the talk included the history of urban and streetwear fashion, women’s place in those movements, plus a look at some upcoming trends that are shaping up as potential sales movers.
Having attended dozens of trade shows over the years, there was something very special about the Running & Fitness Event. Part of it is the growth potential for women’s activewear business, but it was also heartwarming and exciting to walk around an event filled with healthy and fit women, who were in many cases also the heads of their businesses.
Being at the event brings to light another aspect of #streetsport that goes above and beyond activity, streetwear and fashion. As always with trends, whatever is au courant speaks not only to fashion but also culture. Women in reality are more on the go than ever, juggling their own list of hopes and dreams whether independently or as part of a bigger business or community. As such, the trend reflects their growing autonomy, which in turn translates to greater strength and freedom of movement. And with equality still something women are fighting for, it makes sense that those on the front lines would choose armor that is technologically advanced and provides ease of movement. Heels, no thank you, not right now anyway.
See more images from the show below.