News & Runway

Gap’s Athleta Sets the Bar at New York Fashion Week

Athleta Spring 2015

Photo: Athleta

How on earth does a performance brand kick off Fashion Week? With synchronized ball dances, people! Gap Inc.-owned Athleta took Lululemon to the mats this morning with its adrenaline-fueled Fashion Week debut that was by all accounts a success, thanks to renowned celebrity choreographer Luam Keflezgy and stylist Zanna Roberts Rassi, who you may also know as Marie Claire’s senior fashion editor.

“It’s so exciting for us to showcase Athleta today,” said senior director of design, Nancy Taylor, backstage before the show. “It’s a prime time because we’re starting to see the sporty trends take off, and we’re the brand that shows the versatility of fashion meets fitness.”

With a troupe of sinewy performers gyrating to a mishmash of ballet, yoga and hip hop, the action-packed runway show entitled “Crush of Adrenaline” felt slightly reminiscent of watching a lost episode of So You Think You Can Dance. And that’s exactly the kind of caffeinated jolt sleepy-eyed editors needed at 10 a.m.

Let’s face it: any Tom, Dick and Jane can look good on a runway but mastering a running flip in a neon pop racer bra and floral tights? That takes talent.