We were waiting until September to officially welcome Under Armour to the New York Fashion Week family, but the activewear brand’s new Modern Sport collection — its first-ever elevated footwear capsule collection for women — has us convinced that the brand is ready to be taken seriously off the court.
This was very much not the case earlier this summer, when the Internet was laughing at Under Armour, not with it. After NBA MVP Stephen Curry dropped his Curry 2 Low Under Armour sneakers in June, Twitter did what it does best, and proceeded to roast the all-white “chef” shoes so intensely that Curry was forced to respond at a post-game press conference, where he maintained that they were, in fact, “fire.” All joking aside, however, Under Armour’s sales hit one billion in 2015 — a $200 million spike from the previous year.
And fortunately for Under Armour, around the same time as the Steph Curry meme storm, the brand announced that designer Tim Coppens would become creative director of Under Armour Sportswear, or UAS — injecting a much needed cool-factor to their tanking image.
“Together [with Tim Coppens], we are creating a unique collection for the Beyond Ambitious generation – the young and determined professional,” Ben Pruess, President of Sportswear at Under Armour, wrote in a press release. “UAS is optimized for their life, helping them rise above the variable conditions of every day.”
This past July at New York Fashion Week Men’s, Coppens gave the fashion world a quick preview for Spring 2017 by including the Under Armour logo in his own collection, and last week the Fall 2016 Tim Coppens x Under Armour collaboration lookbook was finally released in full. With the Belgian designer on board — Coppens has had previous stints at Adidas and RLX — it seems that the brand will offer not only the high-tech and high-quality fabrics their known for, but also refined “athleisure” styles that gym-to-office transition.
Although the timing is a little behind the curve — have you heard that the athleisure trend is on “death watch“? — teaming up with fashion seems like a step in the right direction for a brand that’s already committed to luxury sportswear. (On September 15th, Under Armour will make its official New York Fashion Week debut with a UAS presentation.)
And as evidenced by the sleek new Modern Sport collection, which hit stores today and is totally separate from the Tim Coppens collaboration, the entire brand is poised for a fashion makeover. The “Rose Colorways,” for example, which will be available starting November 15, not only riff off the recent pink trend, but are also reminiscent of the luxury Hender Scheme shoes, which retail for around $1,000. Under Armour’s version, however, goes for $100, so run, don’t walk.