S-Team: Looking for an Active Difference
When Leo Leedy founded S-Team in 2015, he thought the label should have something for everyone. So it was only logical that the Los Angeles brand would expand on its vast collection of eveningwear, ready-to-wear and accessories to design an activewear line to keep in step with the growing demand for that category.
According to a study by The NPD Group, 24 percent of all apparel sales in 2018 were in activewear.
To get a better grasp on consumers’ demand, Leedy decided to test his line on men who go to two Planet Fitness locations, one in downtown Los Angeles and the other in Inglewood, Calif.
During early summer 2018, Leedy tested his new line on different types of athletes: one a muscular body builder, another a slim guy and a third a middle-aged man of average build.
Something that almost all of the men requested was breathable fabrics, Leedy said. “A lot of synthetic fabrics look good. but they don’t fit well. Sometimes they have a funny odor. Because of that, we used 100 percent cotton,” he said.
There also was an overwhelming request for colors that matched. For example, the line uses green to mesh with beige and white.
Leedy said the informal test group responded well to the line’s unique styles, such as elongated sleeves on long-sleeve tops. The extra fabric can be used as a substitute for weightlifting gloves.
The line’s tops have high-low hems with the low end guarding against showing too much skin at the gym.
The trial group’s critiques influenced the look of the brand’s Fall 2019 activewear line.
S-Team’s 22-look line includes sleeveless tops, short-sleeve hoodies, leggings and long-sleeve tops made of waffle fabric. Other looks include drawstring sweat shorts and sweatpants. The bottoms have stripes on the side and S-Team’s double S logo.
Some of the tops have one-word slogans such as “Attitude” and “Beyond,” which are intended to give encouragement to those working out.
The brand’s name is meant to give support. “It’s a play on the words self and esteem,” Leedy said of S-Team. “I also didn’t want to call the line by my name. I wanted it to be very team focused.”
Because Leedy didn’t want the emerging brand’s activewear styles to get lost in a giant array of stores selling activewear, he started last summer to sell his emerging activewear collection online at www.s-teamla.com/men/.
Now the line will be exhibited at the California Market Center during Los Angeles Market Week,running March 11–13, and at the LA Men’s Market, taking place March 26–27. These markets will be S-Team’s first foray into wholesale, with wholesale price points ranging from $19 to $29.
In addition to activewear, eveningwear, and ready-to-wear for men, S-Team also produces a womenswear line but as of yet it does not include activewear.