Thursday, October 9, 2008

Adidas Goes Zen With a Genuine Yogini

“Adidas is betting a Los Angeles yoga instructor named Rainbeau Mars can get more women into its yoga gear than any supermodel or celebrity.Next spring, the activewear firm will unveil a Rainbeau Mars Signature yoga activewear collection at Adidas Performance Stores in the U.S., including footwear and accessories, made from sustainable fabrics such as Tencel with eucalyptus, a natural biodegradable material. Mars, whose clientele includes Ashley Olsen and Brooke Shields, already has shot an Adidas "Play Yoga" instructional video featuring sports stars such as boxer Laila AH, swimmer Britta Stefen, New Zealand rugby star Jonah Lomu and tennis champion Steffi Graf. ‘Rainbeau worked alongside our designers to give them an insight into the specific needs of female yoga practitioners,’ said Claire Midwood, Adidas business director of women's, of the development of the new line for yoginis. The yoga instructor herself is hush-hush about her designs for the Rainbeau Mars Signature collection, but in an interview she noted the collection is ‘more than just baggy clothes,’ to appeal to the roughly 15 million adult practitioners in the U.S., who spent a collective $6 billion last year on yoga apparel, gear, media, classes and vacations, among other things, according to market researchers Harris Interactive and Sports Marketing Surveys. About $1.04 billion of the spending was on apparel. The number of yoga participants in the U.S. has doubled since 2000, but the practice's growth hit a plateau this year. Boston-based International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association Is estimating the number at yoga classes in the country's health clubs has dropped by 1 percent in 2008. The discipline's demographic is enviable from a marketing standpoint a typical yoga practitioner at an American health club is a college-educated woman between 35 and 54 years old with an annual income of more than $100,000. Why would one of the world's biggest sports brands launch such an activewear line without a potential boost from a celebrity or a high-profile athlete who practices yoga. ‘Adidas could have had a face like Gwyneth [Paltrow],’ said Mars, ‘but they needed someone who eats, sleeps and breathes yoga a teacher. I'm a messenger who could deliver an authentic message and understands fashion to inspire the consumer.’”

Women’s Wear Daily Magazine

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