Fashion Briefing: ‘Prada ski or nada ski’: How skiwear became the ‘it’ girl uniform

This week, an in-depth look at skiwear’s glow-up.

As the world heads into its third year under the dark cloud of the pandemic, cabin fever has officially set in. Though many people are deeming indoor destinations off-the-table and winter weather has officially arrived, the desire to go out remains strong. As a result, skiing has become an increasingly popular pastime — and sales of its unofficial uniform are booming. Fashion brands are now rushing to answer the demand for sporty puffers, ski suits, ski pants and goggles.

“2020 was all about loungewear. And in 2021, everyone got a little overambitious and bought going-out clothes and for the return to normal,” said Madison Semarjian, founder and CEO of the 2-year-old Mada shopping app. “Now, we’re back to activewear. The 2022 look is elevated loungewear you can wear in the cold. Skiwear has become the ‘it’ girl uniform, even for people who don’t ski.”

Semarjian said that, since fall, Mada’s skiwear sales have been up 400%. What’s more, people are “eight-times more likely to buy a skiwear outfit than another winter outfit featured on the app.” As a result, the company has overhauled the ”Featured Outfits” section of its app to exclusively feature skiwear. The plan is to keep it that way for the foreseeable future, only updating it when new ski styles become available. 

Think of the trend as winter’s take on fashion’s pandemic-fueled love affair with golf and tennis. As playing sports has become a go-to fall-back plan, brands have latched on to the opportunity to put their fashion spin on the limited, often lackluster apparel options on the sporting goods market. At the same time, many are fulfilling their promise of being a lifestyle brand, able to outfit their customer for every aspect of their life. 

To go

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Handball federation changes uniform rules after pressure over ‘sexist’ bikini rule | Sport

The International Handball Federation has responded to widespread accusations of sexism by changing its rules around women’s uniforms to allow bike shorts and tank tops instead of bikini bottoms and crop tops.

The sport’s global governing body has been the subject of international pressure since July, when the European Handball Federation made headlines for imposing a €1,500 fine on the Norwegian women’s beach handball team for wearing shorts like their male counterparts during the Euro 21 tournament in Bulgaria. At the time, the EHF described the shorts as “improper clothing”.

At some point over the past month the IHF has quietly altered its regulations for beach handball, which now stipulate that “female athletes must wear short tight pants with a close fit”. Male athletes can still wear regular shorts as long as 10cm above the knee “if not too baggy”.

It follows a campaign by Norway-based Australian activist Talitha Stone, whose petition – supported by gender equality organisation Collective Shout – attracted 61,000 signatures.

“I hope this is the beginning of the end of sexism and objectification of women and girls in sport,” said Stone, who led Collective Shout’s 2012 campaign against the Lingerie Football League. “And that in future all women and girls will be free to participate in sport without fear of wardrobe malfunctions and sexual harassment.”

Comparison of the former women’s beach handball uniform (left) and the current one.
Comparison of the former women’s beach handball uniform (left) and the current one. Photograph: International Handball Federation

In July, US pop star Pink threw her support behind the Norwegian team, tweeting her pride in them “protesting the very sexist rules” and offering to pay their fines. The country’s minister for culture and sport, Abid Raja, described the ruling as being “completely ridiculous” and women’s sports associations across Europe also called for the resignation of the presidents of both the IHF

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