Couture You Can Sweat In

“Women take both their sports and their style seriously. Why should we have to sacrifice one for the other?” designer Stella McCartney asks on an Adidas Web site announcing her new line for the athletics company. McCartney has answered that question with a collection that looks more like futuristic Zen warrior gear than your average gym ensemble.

“We combined Stella’s unique design and her instinctive insight into women with Adidas’s knowledge in creating breakthrough functional sports products,” touts Bill Sweeney, head of global apparel for Adidas. Teams of designers, scientists, and researchers were tasked with creating a range of functional materials that are anything but utilitarian. As a result, the Adidas by Stella McCartney line incorporates high-performance elements, such as silver-coated thread that conducts heat away from the body, and mesh flex zones based on extensive anatomical research of athletes in motion. Significantly less expensive than McCartney couture, the gym clothes, swimwear, cover-ups and running gear—which launched this year with a spring collection—range from $35 to $210. The line also includes caps, water bottles, flip-flops, and even a volleyball.

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