This year’s White House Easter Egg Roll doubled as a celebration of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, so it came as no surprise that some attendees showed up dressed for a workout.
But this photo of a group of smiling, ponytailed attendees could leave you wondering: Since when are little kids wearing fancy yoga clothes?
If these ensembles, made by a brand called Ivivva, look like pint-sized versions of the Lululemon gear you see on seemingly every other woman at the gym or the grocery store, that’s because that’s exactly what they are.
Ivivva, you see, is yoga clothes for kids.
That’s right, Lululemon has created a sister brand for elementary and middle school girls whose leggings, tank tops and sport bras look like miniature versions of the garments you’d see in its adult outposts.
And the brand’s recent streak of impressive growth may be a signal that this fashion trend has reached its peak.
Ivivva clothes are a little easier on the wallet than Lululemon’s, but they’re hardly a steal: The “rhythmic tight” costs up to $68, while some of the lightweight jackets cost $88. Chic kiddie yoga wear may seem fanciful, but it appears plenty of parents have been willing to shell out for it. The company recently said that Ivivva in the fourth quarter saw sales increase a whopping 51 percent at its stores open more than a year while its revenue shot up 13 percent to 1.8 billion for the full year. The company expects to add 20 new locations in 2015 to its existing 72 stores and showrooms.
That Ivivva has had such success connecting with young shoppers shows how widespread the so-called “athleisure” trend has become. But it also poses a tough question for the retailers that are hoping to ride this aesthetic to long-term success: Once little kids are wearing the same outfit as you, has the look lost its sheen of cool?
Ivivva’s growth isn’t the only sign that the yoga pants trend may be stretched to its limits. The look seems to have infiltrated every corner of the apparel industry: Kohl’s recently announced the launch of an exclusive yoga collection. A British yoga retailer, Sweaty Betty, is making its way stateside. Net-a-Sporter, the athleisure capsule site within luxury e-commerce retailer Net-a-Porter, is selling Fendi workout leggings for $440.
And, of course, these newcomers follow an earlier wave of entrants to the yoga pants fray, such as Gap’s Athleta chain and brands such as Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret.
And once a style is that ubiquitous, it can be hard for it not to feel played out.
While this may be bad news for the retailers that have gone all-in on the trend, there may be some silver lining for the industry.
Barbara Wyckoff, managing director of specialty retail at the brokerage firm CLSA., said in an interview last year that a shakeup in pants trends could provide a jolt to retailers.
“It is critical to have a big change in bottoms in order to move incremental units,” Wyckoff said.
With yoga pants and skinny jeans being go-to styles for such a long stretch of time, it can be challenging for retailers to convince a shopper she needs yet another pair of the same style pants. If those styles were to change drastically, some retailers might have a better chance of making a sale.