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Lipsy making a play for the sports fashion market

Women’s young fashion brand Lipsy is preparing to launch a dedicated sportswear line in early November, in a bid to tap into growing demand for fashion-led sports styles.

Called Lipsy Sport, the collection will include more than 20 pieces including cropped tops, leggings, T-shirts and running tights.

Lipsy has already agreed deals with high street retailers to stock the line, and said it has been “heavily backed” by wholesale customers such as JD.

Another JD Sports Fashion fascia, Bank, will also stock it in store and online. Bank managing director Gwynn Milligan told Drapers it will stock the full collection online and 14 options in 10 stores, because “activewear is a strong trend.”

Shop Direct will sell the collection online. Lipsy could not yet reveal how many JD stores would carry the range or whether any other retailers have agreed to stock it.

The sportswear will be sold across Lipsy’s 49 stores and on its website.

To date, the closest the brand has come to selling sportswear has been its velour tracksuits.

A Lipsy spokeswoman told Drapers the launch comes as it is seeking to tap into its customers’ desire to be both stylish and active: “We’ve seen an increase in fashion aware young females opting to wear typically gym-style clothing in their everyday life.”

This trend has seen brands including Lululemon Athletica open stores across the UK this year and fashion retailers launch their own sportswear lines, including Matalan, which is rolling out its Sporting Pro fascia.

Wholesale prices for Lipsy Sport will range from £6 for crop tops to £14 for hoodies.

This autumn, Lipsy is also expected to launch its fifth collaboration with the Kardashian sisters, and in July launched the Lipsy London Love Michelle Keegan collection. Its fourth fragrance, Caged, will launch in the UK in September through Superdrug and the Lipsy website.

Lipsy, which was founded as a wholesale business in 1988 and bought by Next in 2008, has more than 300 UK and Irish stockists.

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