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04/29/2022

Walmart launches fashion-forward activewear line with fashion, fitness couple

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Love & Sport
Fashion designer Michelle Smith and fitness instructor Stacey Griffith are debuting their activewear line, Love & Sports, at Walmart

Walmart continues to broaden its exclusive brand offerings and fashion credentials.

The retail giant is launching Love & Sport, a fashion-forward activewear brand created in partnership with fashion designer Michelle Smith and fitness superstar Stacey Griffith. With a hallmark of bold and bright colors, the new brand is now available on Walmart’s e-commerce site and is also being rolled out to 1,500 stores.

The inaugural collection features 121 items, ranging in price from $12 to $42. The assortment, which ranges in size from XS to XXXL for activewear and up to XXL for swimwear, includes retro running shorts, swimsuits, cropped logo sweatshirts, lightweight nylon jackets, seamless bras and more. Footwear and accessories will be added this fall and new collections will drop seasonally.  

Since the pandemic started, activewear has been a high growth category. The NPD Group reported that activewear sales rose 37% in 2021.

“It was only natural for activewear to be the next step in expanding our elevated brands portfolio, and we’re doing it with a bold, exciting brand that fills a white space for high-quality, high-performance activewear and swim without the high price tag,” Denise Incandela, executive VP of apparel and private brands, Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post on the company’s website.”

The new brand is the latest in Walmart’s growing lineup of exclusive and fashion labels that include Scoop, Free Assembly and Sofia Jeans. (In March 2021, the retailer hired Brandon Maxwell, as creative director for Free Assembly and Scoop.)

The twosome behind the new Love & Sport line are well known in their respective circles. Smith, co-founder of apparel brand Milly, designed the dress worn that Michelle Obama wore for her Smithsonian portrait. She currently has a namesake line of high-end clothing and lingerie. Griffith achieved fame — and gained a cult-fan following — an indoor cycling teacher.

“This partnership with an incredible design talent like Michelle [Smith] and fitness powerhouse like Stacey Griffith” is unlike anything we’ve done before, and we’re introducing it at the perfect time,” said Incandela. “People are getting back out now after the pandemic, and we think they’re looking for the comfort of activewear that can be worn at street level. Our answer is Love & Sports – beautifully designed, high-performance and high-quality activewear and swim that’s truly accessible.”

As we continue to establish Walmart as a destination for fashion, we remain laser-focused on expanding Walmart’s assortment of quality, on-trend apparel and accessories at an incredible value. That includes strategic collaborations with designers and influencers to bring new collections to our portfolio of exclusive, elevated brands. Their fresh perspectives are resonating with our customers, and we love hearing all the wonderful feedback.

We can’t wait for customers to see and try out the new line. Michelle and Stacey collaborated on the development process from start to finish, thoughtfully creating every design around the performance level of an athlete and the emerging fashion trends and colorways in fitness, streetwear and swim. The entire collection features elevated details, like moisture-wicking fabrics, plenty of pockets, reflective taping, metal zippers with logos and waistbands that can be rolled down to transition from the current trend of high-waisted bottoms to a trend-forward low-waisted look.