In a partnership that has shocked the sports and fashion worlds, Australian performance sportswear brand 2XU has announced a collaboration with Kanye West-helmed fashion label, Yeezy. The co-branded products, making up Yeezy’s ‘Season 7’, will be released in the near future to wider consumers, but recent glimpses of the collection have been seen on Kim Kardashians ever-active Instagram profile.
Up until now, it’s been a difficult challenge for brands to bridge the gap between sport function and fashion. Many have tried, and almost just as many have failed. It seems that to have ultimate performance comes at the cost of reduced aesthetics, and vice versa. This is a challenge 2XU founder Jamie Hunt is positive Season 7 can achieve. “First and foremost we want to make sure that the quality of the products exceed anything else on the market,” Hunt told Men’s Health upon news of the announcement.
Kanye first discovered 2XU this time last year, using 2XU wetsuits under oversized jackets at New York Fashion Week. According to Hunt, the Yeezy team like the straight line and sharp curve aesthetic of the suits, and a business relationship was born on a shared vision of standing out and remaining unique in their fields.
Hunt launched 2XU in 2005 with a focus on delivering the world’s most technically advanced sportswear, and news of the collaboration has turned some heads, questioning whether 2XU was straying from their roots. Hunt is astutely aware of this, but rather than diluting his brand messaging, he sees this collaboration as a huge opportunity for 2XU to spread that message of performance to a new audience that they otherwise may not have reached.
“In each of our fields we’re market leaders and there are still areas to explore,” says Hunt, explaining that the two separate companies know their strengths, and don’t pretend to play in the others’ space. “By having us involved, it needed to be a better product. We want the world to see we’re an expert.” It’s clear that Hunt is both respectful of the Yeezy team’s skillset, whist confident in his own.
Despite the foray into fashion, and potential future collaborations with Kanye and his team of fashion visionaries, Hunt continually comes back to the performance aspects of his own brand, reassuring MH that the vision for 2XU has not shifted. Hunt sees this not as so much diversify his own range, but lending his fabric, technology, and knowledge of performance to the Yeezy brand and their cult of followers. “The world can experience a touch of 2XU.”
And what exactly will that touch entail when it comes to fashion pieces? Hunt explains how his compression helps to support and accentuate the body, with lightweight, better moisture management, breathable, and comfortable design adding to an evolved Yeezy aesthetic.
So far, the only images of the range we've seen have been on Kardashian's Instagram, and while details of the pieces are still under wraps, when pushed Mr Hunt reveals that we can expect more of the compression tights seen on Kim K, as well as a compression sock collection and neoprene products.
One thing about Season 7 is certain; gone are the days of oversized and destroyed Yeezy pieces we’ve become accustomed to. High quality compression is here to stay.