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Rising demand attracts numerous sports brands to Korea

Premium sportswear brands from around the world are making a beeline for Korea. One such is Under Armour, a US-based sportswear brand known for its sweat-absorbing compression shirts. Another is Lululemon Athletica, a Canadian yoga apparel brand dubbed the Chanel of yoga apparel because of its high price tags and premium quality.

In contrast to the sluggish fashion industry, Korea’s sportswear market has shown continuous growth. Last year, sales showed a 5.8 per cent year on year increase from 2015. Sales this year are expected to rise 4.4 per cent. K2 Korea, an outdoor-oriented fashion group, will bring German sportswear brand Dynafit to Korea this spring. The brand was originally a ski gear manufacturer. It will rebrand itself as a training and running apparel brand in Korea.

Fitness freaks in Korea will have abundant apparel choices starting this year. In response to foreign brands’ arrival, domestic fashion houses are gearing up to go head-to-head with them. LF, a fashion arm of LG Group, will launch a sports line of its New York-based brand Jillstuart with this year’s spring/summer collection. It is the first time that LF will present a sportswear brand that includes diverse sports categories, from training to yoga. The company will open 150 shops by 2020.