Extensive Sports Bra Collection: Adidas celebrates ‘breasts in all shapes and sizes’

Adidas just released a bold new ad for their new sports bra collection.

 

Adidas (ADDYY) promoted its sports bra collection on Twitter (TWTR) and Instagram (FB) on Wednesday by posting an image composed of dozens of bare breasts in all of their natural glory – they posted a a grid photo of 25 different pairs of bare breasts as a way to illustrate how every body is different; “Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.” “We’ve re-engineered our entire portfolio with 43 new styles, available in 72 sizes, catering to more bodies and workouts than ever before,” the German sports company explains in a news release, which notes that 90% of women aren’t wearing the right size sports bra.

 

“We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort,” Adidas captioned the post.

 

They also linked out to the new collection, alongside the hashtag #SupportIsEverything.

 

The reactions to the new ad on Twitter were mixed. Some celebrated the message, with one Twitter user writing, “This is major. Well done Adidas!” Another shared, “As a father of two daughters that played sports this is way overdue. Thank you. A lot of girls give up sports because they can’t find the right fit to stay comfortable.”

 

However, not everyone was as thrilled. One person wrote, “I’m all for boobies and positivity but like … what are they selling? Shouldn’t it at least show how their ‘body-positive’ bras support all different kinds of boobies? Or is this just another shock ad designed only to generate revenue by using women’s bodies? Exhausting.”

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The same user then tweeted a photo of Adidas’s collection, which features women of relatively the same size and shape.



Another added, “It’s just a REALLY good thing I didn’t scroll by this while in an office setting. And, yes, I believe the human body is beautiful, it doesn’t mean I need or want to see the parts meant for their husbands and babies.”

 

The brand defended their ad in several follow-up tweets, writing, “It’s important to normalize the human body and help inspire future generations to feel confident and unashamed.”

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They also added, “It’s perfectly natural to have breasts. We are happy to celebrate that and won’t be taking this down so we can keep doing so,” and, “We want future generations to feel body-confident, which is why this gallery is so important to share.”

 

Adidas isn’t the first major company to make a push for inclusivity. Recently, Victoria’s Secret underwent a major rebranding campaign, in which they launched the VS Collective — a group of individuals like Priyanka Chopra, Megan Rapinoe, Bella Hadid, Amanda de Cadenet and Adut Akech — to replace their Victoria’s Secret Angels. The push was made to honor the diversity of bodies, ethnicities and genders.

Extensive Sports Bra Collection: Adidas celebrates ‘breasts in all shapes and sizes’
Extensive Sports Bra Collection: Adidas celebrates ‘breasts in all shapes and sizes’

The promo appeared to appeal to a sense of inclusivity and a celebration of body positivity. And some readers certainly saw it that way. “This is beyond great! I’m excited to try and fully support this,” wrote one woman in the comments on Instagram.

 

“Amazing on normalizing the female body all the way and providing the support that our body actually asks for,” wrote another.



As for the readers who warned that they were reporting the image to Twitter, the Adidas account responded, “It’s perfectly natural to have breasts. We are happy to celebrate that and won’t be taking this down so we can keep doing so.”

 

Amy Charlton, senior director of product at Adidas, said: “There is a sizable data gap when it comes to sports bra development, so we worked with experts in breast health, University of Portsmouth, to challenge ourselves and drive forward our innovation to better meet the needs of our female athletic community. The wrong sports bra can have a serious impact on performance and efficiency — for example, if you run a marathon, unsupported breasts travel an extra four miles on their own. It was a significant undertaking with an all-female team of designers, testers and experts, and we hope this collection will help more sports bra wearers experience the benefits of added support and a better fit, and not be held back when doing the sports they love.”

 

She said the wide range of styles and sizes that will be offered will “serve every female possible.” The products will be tailored for specific geographies, with more plus-size options in North America and more small sizes in China, she explained. “The number sounds big, but there are nuances by region.”

 

In addition to the wide range of sizes, the materials have also been updated. “Women shop ‘touch’ first,” Charlton said. So the Everyday bras, for example, will be lightweight, seam free and bonded, the Studio yoga bras have a brushed and lofty feel, while the Run models offer four-way stretch and recovery features.

 

To help women make the right choice when shopping, Charlton said store associates have been trained in touch-free fitting and there is also a digital fit and bra finder tool online where shoppers are asked six questions to help them decide on the appropriate model.

 

Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, head of the research group in breast health at the University of Portsmouth, said there are “lots of negative consequences if you don’t have the right kind of support. Unknown to many, athletes may require the same amount of breast support during power walking as they do during sprinting, and a lack of support has the potential to cause irreversible damage.”

 

She said breast movement in sport continues to be an area that is overlooked and many companies think they’ve addressed the issue by offering five options in their sports bras. So while the number of styles in Adidas’ new offering may seem excessive on the surface, she believes it is necessary to address the many body types and activities women need sports bras for.



“Companies spend a lot on developing sports bras, but if they don’t fit properly, they’re not making the most of those investments. So it’s great to have a range of options.”

 

To promote the new collection, Adidas has tapped Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin to feature in the campaign, along with yoga teacher and body positivity advocate Jessamyn Stanley; sprinter and European Championships medalist, Lisa-Marie Kwayie; British model Ellie Goldstein, and Japanese actress and TV personality Rola.

 

“My sports bra is the first piece of kit I consider when I’m training because when it isn’t right, it throws me off and I lose focus,” Shiffrin said. “In the lead up to such a huge competition, it was so important for me to stay in the zone and not having the right bra has a significant impact on my training and performance, both mentally and physically. Sports bras are a foundational piece of kit, but it’s not one size fits all — my training is varied and involves cardio, yoga and strength training, so having the right performance product that is tailored for each of these is key.”

 

The new collection will be available worldwide on Feb. 14 in retail stores and online. There will be early access beginning Wednesday. The bras will retail for $36 to $84, a range that Adidas said “stretches our price curve” while still remaining competitive within the global bra market. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, sports bras grew by 5.4 percent in 2020 over 2019, the most recent figures available, to reach $376.9 million.

 

Adidas is not alone in shining a light on women in sports. Nike, Under Armour, Puma and a number of smaller brands are all targeting the lucrative women’s sports market, especially in light of the fact that Lululemon has now emerged as the top activewear brand for women, according to the most recent data from NPD Group.

 

The company has declined to say what percentage of its overall sales women’s represents and would not project how this new initiative would increase its reach with females. But a spokesperson said, “We know there is great potential in the bra category for Adidas and we’ll continue to grow this globally over the coming years.”



In addition to sports bras, tights are also strong sellers for the brand, and the two categories are often purchased at the same time, the company said. “That’s why we are launching some great complementary tights alongside our bras, and we’ve also built new digital infrastructures into our dot-com platform to make it easier to shop both pieces together in a seamless experience,” a spokesperson said.

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