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Burn it Up: How to Market to the Athleisure Crowd

In case you hadn’t heard, athleisure is definitely a thing now. You know what I’m talking about—the young women who pair luxe skirts with sneakers, or the young men who rock slim-fitting sweatpants to work. Fashion enthusiasts have truly redefined the scope of athletic wear, and it’s official: Yoga pants aren’t just for yoga anymore. In fact, the rise of athleisure has vastly contributed to the decline in denim sales, according to various media outlets. And apparently, millennial women are the driving force behind this consumer shift.

Brands like Lululemon, Fabletics and Athleta aren’t just drawing in workout enthusiasts — they’re catering to people whose lifestyles demand comfortable yet fashionable clothing.

Last year, we highlighted a study from Exponential Interactive that segmented the 12 different types of millennials. The “Boss Babe” is the quintessential example of a consumer buying into athleisure. These young women are assertive, focused and on-the-go. When I think of them, I imagine their daily lives taking them from a 7 a.m. spin class to a hectic day at work to a trendy bar for cocktails with friends. There’s no doubt that an active schedule like that calls for a wardrobe that’s both comfy and stylish.

I sat down with Curalate’s very own Boss Babe—Emery Rosansky, VP of Sales—to gain a deeper understanding of what visual marketers should know about reaching this influential segment of shoppers. Here’s what she had to say.

emery curalate

Which social platforms do you like most?

I spend most of my time on Instagram (special shout out to my filter of the month, Amaro). I also spend a lot of time trolling LinkedIn for interesting industry news and SAAS/sales articles. #nerdalert

What’s your go-to digital device?

You’ve probably never heard this before, but I would be lost without my smartphone! I know, so unique. She’s my security blanket. I call her Cleopatra.

What are some of your favorite brands?

  • Anthropologie — I love pretty things, and everything they make and do is just so pretty.
  • Apple — It just never gets old. I love the clean, simple, modern aesthetic. Every new product is better than the last.
  • Equinox — They do a great job of motivating you to think about the result of your workout, not the workout itself. Their marketing is very aspirational in nature. It gets me to roll out of bed at 6:30 a.m. each day … and that’s not easy to do.

How would you describe your style?

I have a pretty eclectic style, but the common denominator is dressing for confidence. I wear what makes me feel put together and sexy.


What does a typical weekday look like for you?

I drag myself to the gym three days a week for a little “me time.” Otherwise, the weekdays are pretty dominated by work. You can find me in and out of meetings most of the day, hustling to take Curalate to the next level.

How does being a “Boss Babe” make you feel?

I’m honored to be a “Boss Babe.” I love my work and am really proud to be a successful female leader in a male-dominated industry. I believe you can do things #likeagirl and #likeaboss at the same time.

Working it Out

So, there you have it. That’s the life of a Boss Babe. Here are three takeaways that marketers in this space can learn from Emery:

1. Share motivational content. Instagram is a source of inspiration for these on-the-go consumers. As Emery noted, the aspirational content on the Equinox Instagram feed propels her to get an early start each morning. Authentic-style images of people running as the sun is rising, or hiking to the top of a cliff are just two examples of images that will resonate. Every so often, place some motivational text over a photo for an additional hit of inspiration.


2. Flaunt the versatility of your products. Emery’s career as a VP of Sales means that she has a lot on her plate during the weekday. Still, she makes sure to put some “me time” at the gym to help her unwind. To connect with a consumer who is always on-the-go, share images that highlight the versatility of your items. Show how a colorful tank can be worn to work with, say, a black blazer on top, or to a yoga class, or even to a bar with friends.


3. Show off how alluring your products can look on anyone. Ultimately, consumers who are buying activewear still want to look great. Emery expressed that it’s important to her to feel confident and sexy in whatever she wears. So whether, your customers are buying your products to wear to spin class, or as everyday attire – paint a picture of how awesome they’ll look in your clothes. Achieve this by harnessing a variety of images from your fans. By sharing those images (with permission, of course!), you’ll give your potential customers a realistic view of how your products will look on them. And they’ll certainly engage – these authentic, lifestyle photos drive digital engagement and conversions, so give them a shot.


To Athleisure and Beyond …

The whole activewear trend is just one of many fashion movements among the millennial segment. The key to engaging all of these shoppers, however, is to publish the right imagery on the right channels at the right times. Download “The Millennial Mindset: Visual Marketing Tips for Fashion & Beauty Retailers” to learn how you can source imagery that drives revenue for your brand.

Visual Marketing Tips for Fashion and Beauty Retailers

The Author

Stephanie Wharton

Stephanie Wharton, Content Strategist

Stephanie is a Content Strategist at Curalate. She enjoys analyzing data and writing about consumer trends.


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