Athleta’s Natural Extension — Sleepwear

Athleta, the activewear division of Gap Inc., has just launched its first sleep collection.

It’s a bid by Athleta to further position itself as a lifestyle brand, the company told WWD.

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Athleta also said that sleepwear is “a natural extension” of its product line.

In its decision to develop sleepwear, Athleta consulted its resident sleep expert, Dr. Michael Grandner, who is board-certified in behavioral sleep medicine. The doctor shared insights into the importance of recovery and sleep in balancing an active lifestyle, Athleta told WWD.

“More and more women are focusing on self-care and holistic wellness, and by offering sleepwear we are able to support her full lifestyle, from active performance to rest,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and chief executive officer of Athleta. “We know from our masks launch this spring, that new category additions can be a great way to introduce more customers to our Athleta brand. We are excited about the possibility of reaching even more women while providing them an opportunity to make recovery a key component of their daily activities.”

Officials said styles in the 14-piece collection are made from sustainable and natural fabrics, which are “ultra-soft and lightweight,” including a cloud-like rib knit, a “buttery” Tencel jersey and “cozy” organic cotton. The collection is designed for “breathability and a gentle, easy fit to aid in uninterrupted sleep.”

Styles include T-shirts, priced $39; sleep shorts, priced $34; cami, priced $39; sleep jogger, $54; oversize tops, $69; sleep culottes, $54, and sleep bras, $38. New sleep styles will be added seasonally.

Athleta, which offers women’s styles for yoga, training, commuting and travel, is a standout performer within the Gap Inc. stable of brands, which includes Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap and Intermix. The 23-year-old Athleta, a certified B Corporation, continues to open stores; there are currently about 200. Athleta also has a catalogue operation and a website. A foray by Gap Inc. into active men’s wear, called Hill City, was not successful, and is currently being closed down. For awhile, Hill City was “showroomed” inside a few dozen Athleta stores.

According to a poll released by the National Sleep Foundation, 67 percent of women ages 18 to 64 experience sleep problems at least a few nights each week and 46 percent experience sleep problems every night. This can negatively affect health, well-being and ability to perform everyday activities, Athleta noted.

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