I Tried the Athleisure Trend No One Seems to Agree About
Kim Kardashian West (and her army of clones) have recently been parading around Instagram in a series of staged paparazzi-style photos wearing pieces from the latest Yeezy Season 6 drop. The whole thing was pretty genius, if you ask me. While previous Yeezy collections were debuted in shows at New York Fashion Week, they were often met with criticism spurred by late start times and fainting models. But removing Yeezy from NYFW and instead showing the collection in context on Kim Kardashian West herself proved to be a much more compelling way to see Kanye West’s vision.
The collection is comprised of easy athleisure pieces—hoodies, sports bras, leggings, and sweatpants in muted grays and browns. But in my opinion, the most notable item are the bike shorts. An interesting micro-trend, Kim KW has been making a strong case for them, but she's not the only one. Bike shorts have also been spotted on the recent runways including Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Off-White.
We haven’t exactly seen bike shorts explode on the street style scene, though. Few have followed suit yet, but among those on board are celebs like Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin. Australian stylist Christine Centenera has also been spotted in them, which comes as little surprise since she’s Kardashian’s hired style advisor.
But now that we’ve seen Kardashian West making such a strong endorsement of them, will they actually become popular? Well, for starters, the grey bike shorts are already sold out on Yeezy Supply, so it appears that Kim may have another army of clones who will be posting their lookalike outfits soon.
But whether or not the trend does take off, I was personally interested in trying it out. Leggings have occupied a sizable portion of my athleisure wardrobe for years, and I rarely go outside the formula of a coordinating crop top–and–high-waisted legging combo, so it was time for something new. Kardashian was part of the inspiration, as were some references from the ’90s (which is great since I’m on a ’90s kick right now).
There’s Cher in Clueless—remember that tennis court scene—and a 1999 Tim Walker editorial from Vogue Italia titled “Don’t Shoot”—interestingly, also a staged paparazzi-style shot (I’ve actually been wondering if this inspired the Yeezy shoot). And even Princess Diana, whose style helped inspire the bike shorts seen on the runway at Off-White’s spring 2018 show. With this ’90s inspiration in my arsenal, my approach to styling them included a simple sweatshirt, sneakers, and a baseball hat.