Working out does not spare us from being stylish, if we are to believe the emergence of athleisure. Our workout clothes don’t have to be confined to the four walls of a gym either. From sneakers, which made the sneakerhead subculture underground to mainstream in just a matter of years, to the outfits we take in the gym, there are more options we could purchase just so we could maintain our composure even when sweating and perform at our best while engaging in sports activities. Even high fashion brands took on the task to bring more fashionable pieces to the table. But very few have actually had a long experience with creating premium fashionable and functional sports garments. Enter Descente, the Japanese brand that has been around for more than eight decades. This year marks its official entry into the US market.
The Japanese clothing and sports company was founded in 1935, but it was not until the 1950s that it delved into skiwear, which is what it is probably best known for in its home country. Its logo, which has three arrows, actually refers to the basic techniques in the recreational activity: schuss, traverse and side-slip. Later on, the company built on its collection by adding more products made for sports and other outdoor activities which were pretty innovative for the time, such as a self-warming jacket. It promised novelty and unmatched quality, which is why it gained quite a reputation that is unparallelled in Japan, and eventually spilled over to other markets. Descente has also invited collaborations with notable designers, including Academy Award winner Eiko Ishioka with whom the brand created garment and gears for Olympic teams back in 2002. Menswear label John Elliott was among the latest partnerships, the designer featuring the result of the team up in his latest collection.
To make the milestone official, Descente has established a subsidiary in the United States that will make Atlanta, Georgia its headquarters. There will also be a dedicated online platform to cater to online shoppers, and the group will slowly distribute Descente items to select boutiques and stores. An upcoming collection for the season will be released in conjunction with this, bringing to the United States some of Descente’s best-selling numbers. Among these will be its very own ALLTERRAIN line that epitomizes the brand’s commitment to have a “design that moves”. The Fall release will be made with the same standards applied to Japanese products, but altered to appeal to Western tastes.
Those who appreciate style and function will also come to respect how the brand is dedicated to create pieces that are well thought out and meant to last, long part of its appeal even before moving to the US market. This is especially interesting to the environmentally conscious, who are aware of the perils of fast and disposable fashion. With its creations, Descente applies a “less is more” and “quality over quantity” philosophy. This also extends to how the label operates, which the United States will finally witness firsthand.
Image credit: Descente, Sarah Barlondo