For years, we’ve seen how Americans are ditching their jeans for stretchy, comfy leggings. Athleisure, the trend of wearing activewear out of the gym and into everyday life, isn’t just a trend anymore. It’s the new way we dress.
This has come to the attention of VF Corp, the holding company for dozens of footwear and apparel brands, including Lee, Wrangler, North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Reef. Today, the company says it is spinning off its denim brands–which also include Rock & Republic and Rustler–into a separate publicly traded company, so that it can focus on its activewear brands. VF’s denim business has been on the decline. Last year, it generated $2.66 billion in sales, down 3% from the previous year, and $422 million in profit, down 14%.
According to a statement by VF Corp, this separation will simplify operations and allow each company to focus on the two different areas of expertise. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, VF Corp may be looking to exit the denim business altogether by finding a buyer or another strategic option. Instead, VF Corp will concentrate on its activewear and outdoor brands, which generate an estimated $11 billion in revenue.
Startups have been quicker to pick up on the move to athleisure. Over the last few years, the market has been flooded with activewear brands and retailers, like Outdoor Voices, Bandier, and Varley. It’s taken the big, established corporations a bit longer to catch up. But it’s clear that jeans are quickly diminishing on the American fashion landscape and are being replaced with yoga pants.