Clothes for gym workouts are blazing a new fashion trend in the Chinese market as today more Chinese prove that they are willing to pay to look good while they pursue a more fit lifestyle.

With a distinctive style, flamboyant colors and clear cuts, Chinese designer Sun Lei has recently founded his own brand MONO, riding the fitness wave to offer both functional and fashionable fitness clothing to an increasing number of gym-goers in the country.

The fitness industry is rapidly growing in China as the government vows to build a “healthy China”. The potential of the market is huge. By 2020, 700 million people are expected to take part in physical exercises at least once a week, among them 435 million are to be considered regular exercisers, according to the National Fitness Program for 2016-2020.

Facing the large demand, domestic brands begin to demassify their products to meet the requirements of different sports.

China’s sportswear giants like Li Ning, Anta and 361 Degrees have launched footwear and outfits for basketball, football, running, outdoor sports and athleisure wear long since their establishment, a similar product strategy to the big international names like Adidas and Nike.

However, few of them focus on apparel specialized for daily gym workouts, said Sun. As a result, many Chinese go to gym wearing athleisure clothes as an alternative.

Every year there more than 4 million people take to the gym in China, a trend that began in 2011 according to Daxue, a consulting firm.

MONO’s special design for gym workouts aims to provide a new option for gymgoers, with fabric which absorbs sweat, dries fast, and is ultraviolet-proof and anti-bacterial, according to the designer.

Style design is another important gauge in the sportswear industry. Stirrup pants, a once must-have gym fashion icon in the 1980s, are now despised by Chinese youngsters, who want something modern and stylish.

MONO has released three series, featuring different styles in three colors, and design for female outfits will come out soon.

Smart wear is another innovative move in the industry. Li Ning partnered with Chinese technology company Huami in 2017 to launch smart running shoes, their latest foray into smart clothing in the tide of the country’s Internet+ campaign.

With a chip inserted, the smart shoes can keep a record of the runner’s steps, distance, route, frequency and calories, and sync this data with a cellphone.

China’s sports industry reached 1.9 trillion yuan (294.1 billion U.S. dollars) in value in 2016, according to data released by the State General Administration of Sport and the National Bureau of Statistics. It is estimated that the scale of the Chinese sports industry will likely to reach its goal of 5 trillion yuan (773.9 billion dollars) in 2025.

According to Daxue, the active wear market has doubled in size and is expected to overtake the country’s luxury goods market in value by 2020. (Source:

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