UniCredit S.p.A. Partners Contacts My Pitti
Pitti Predicts:
Dynamic Attitude
Editorial
Edition 101
24.11.2021
Pitti Predicts is your connection to Instagram archivist Samutaro who’s here to talk you through Pitti 101’s main themes and the future trends you need on your radar.

It’s been over four years since Gorpcore — named after the colloquial term for trail mix (“Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts”) — first crept into the fashion vernacular, and yet outdoor wear was highlighted as one of the most defining stories of 2020. The post-streetwear movement began its trajectory in 2017 when tastemakers began adopting fashionable yet functional staples into their daily attire and since then the trend has grown to become one of the most important lifestyle trends in fashion. But where is it going next?

The global pandemic and shelter-in-place restrictions have only further spurred on its influence with people venturing outdoors more than ever before, prompting the movement's subsequent rise. Outdoor activities are up 15 percent this year according to Google mobility data and at some parks, visitor traffic has almost doubled. As a result, sales of technical jackets, trail sneakers, and other outdoor performance goods have skyrocketed.
 
You only have to look at Instagram to see how far the trend has infiltrated pop culture. Influential figures like Frank Ocean famously turned up to Paris Fashion Week looking like he “dressed for a hike,” while rappers like Aminé, Lil Yachty, and Drake might as well have Arc'teryx sponsorships at this point, thanks to the amount of Deadbird’s they post in their IG feeds. The latter artist even struck up a partnership with Nike to showcase a full collection of outdoors-inspired goods designed to protect you from the elements.
Many of the brands and personalities who embrace the GORP style are feverishly shared on social media with curated menswear pages breaking down the difference between a Gamma LT and an Alpha SV. Accounts like @hidden.ny, a curated page known for providing pulse of what's cool in culture, regularly posts the latest Salomon sportstyle sneakers or galleries of throwback Patagonia ads among the latest happenings in art and style, while dedicated outdoor pages like @organic.zip.lab and @hikingpatrol provide more specific digital spaces surrounding wholesome living and outdoor exploration. 
With the great outdoors increasingly becoming a place of respite for consumers, these pages have become a digital escape for consumers to lose themselves in all the pleasures of techwear and outdoor exploration without ever leaving home. Outdoor clothing offers a similar experience for city dwellers who want to dress the part of extreme adventurers but are more likely to be dodging puddles in Soho rather than avalanches in the Alps.

This appetite for functional garb is evident in the growing popularity of heritage brands like Patagonia, Merrel, and Mammut, whose puffas, pullover fleeces, and hydro mocs have emerged as a proper component of the streetwear wardrobe. Elsewhere, labels like The North Face and Arc'teryx continue to capitalize on collaborations with big names brands like Supreme, Jil Sander, and even luxury retailers like Gucci, whose paradigm-shifting mega collab with TNF demonstrated the heights the outdoors-slash-fashion crossover has reached.


 
For the most part, the general activity-driven crowd supporting the Gorpcore renaissance are doing so with genuine enthusiasm for the great outdoors. The style has ultimately filtered through to mainstream fashion with influencers and style enthusiasts jumping on the trend by incorporating their techy goods as part of everyday outfits — think items like the quilted jackets from Moncler’s Genius designer franchise or pieces like MM6 Maison Margiela x TNF Circle Denali tops, which have been huge for the fashion crowd. Beyond the big collabs, the impressive spec of Salomon’s sportstyle footwear range, for example, has shown the commercial potential of the Gorpcore market doesn’t just stop at men. Rihanna and Bella Hadid have both been caught wearing the S/Lab series sneakers, which helped to entice a whole new female demographic to the trend. It’s no surprise that platforms like Vogue are starting to report on the Gorpcore trend, while mass-market retailers like H&M have launched a hiking collection.
What’s more, given the growing environmental concerns and extreme climates conditions that are impacting major cities across the world, this lifestyle trend at least provides its wearers with some purpose beyond aesthetics. Dressing in gear designed to protect you from the elements not only makes you feel closer to nature, but it prepares you with the necessary equipment to handle its wrath too. At a time when typhoons have caused chaos in New York and forest fires tore through California, urban survivalist gear might not seem like such a far-fetched idea. It’s probably the reason why packable jackets have been trending and emergency go-bags are a thing.
 
Even though Gorpcore is a fairly recent addition to the catalog of lifestyles currently being peddled and aggressively marketed, it's clear that fashion’s marriage with the mountain aesthetic is far from reaching its peak. We’re long past the days when it felt novel to see an Arc’teryx jacket pop-up in a street style gallery — techwear is ubiquitous for fashion heads these days — but in the wider scheme of mass-market adoption, the trend still has a long way to go. 

Take for instance the recent collaboration between K-Pop group BTS and the portable furniture brand Helinox who released a selection of packable amethyst-tinted furniture earlier this spring. While it may seem like a random pairing, the group is in fact familiar with the ways of the wilderness thanks to their 2020 reality series In The SOOP, which saw them camp out in the forest. It’s TV shows like this, alongside the growing number of outdoor collectives and surge of staycation adventures, that have emerged out of the global lockdowns that have pushed a broader and more culturally diverse audience to explore the outdoors.

Legacy outdoor brands are more than aware of this growing demand and are increasingly diversifying their products to cater to this emerging audience. The result is a burgeoning outdoor industry that caters to both minimalist millennials and avid adventurers with a common interest in quality and the great outdoors. Pitti Uomo has long been serving this market with its curated selection of sports and technical outdoor brands that serve this growing space between fashion, adventure and modern menswear lifestyle.
 
Dynamic Attitude looks to the uniforms that define this new era of explorers, whether that’s daily commutes in the city or adventures in the great outdoors. Designed without borders or dividing lines, the space is an intersection between technical performance gear, sport, and streetwear. Expect to see established names like C.P. Company and its future fabrics alongside sports lifestyle brands like Element, who cater as much to the skater as they do the nature enthusiast. Also included are HOKA ONE ONE, which is one of the fastest-growing performance footwear and apparel brands adored by fashion aficionados and athletes alike.
So what can we expect for the future trail of Gorpcore? If the recent collaborations between labels like Jil Sander x Arc’teryx or Eddie Bauer x JJJJound are anything to go by then it’s likely that outdoor gear will only get sleeker and increasingly elevated as designers seek to further blur the lines between high fashion and technical style. As we continue to demand more from our clothes and the functionality they provide in our daily lives, we can expect more clothes to be imbued with performance aspects, whether that's lightweight, storable “emergency shells” or modular jackets that double as bags. Furthermore, the uncertainty around travel next year will only see more of us invest time exploring outdoors activities in our own backyards.

Gorpcore will likely pass as a fleeting fad within fashion, but for anyone who has used the movement as a way to reconnect with nature, it will certainly signal something deeper and meaningful that remains part of daily life after the trend is over.


Words Samutaro
Pictures Julien Tell