When Americans went into lockdown last year and began shedding their tailored clothes for sweatpants and leggings, Target was ready. In January 2020, it had debuted its newest in-house brand, an activewear label for women, men, and kids called All in Motion. The pieces, most affordably priced at under $30 an item, were on-trend and made from the latest technical fabrics. During the pandemic, sales of All in Motion exploded. The brand generated $1 billion in revenue for Target in its first year—an extraordinary achievement considering that high-profile activewear startups like Outdoor Voices and Tracksmith have yet to see a fraction of that success.
All in Motion’s aesthetic, however, wasn’t all that new. The product assortment and silhouettes were likely familiar to devoted Target shoppers, who may have purchased items from Champion’s C9 line, an affordably priced activewear brand that had been sold exclusively through Target for more than 15 years until it was dropped by the retailer at the end of 2019. Both lines offered a version of boys’ track pants, for example, with colorful panels along the seams; both offered girls’ leggings in bold graphic patterns. And their prices were nearly identical. (Target says that its designs for All in Motion are original, and that any similarities reflect basic market trends.)