Gorpcore Fashion: Rugged and Utilitarian Style, Brands Embrace Hiking-inspired Aesthetic

In the world of fashion, trends often emerge from unexpected sources, and the Gorpcore style movement is a prime example of this phenomenon. This trend focuses on sporty, utilitarian pieces that are made for embracing the outdoors.

Gorpcore fashion draws inspiration from the great outdoors. It blends functionality with a unique fashion-forward appeal. Basically, Gorpcore is the technical outdoorsy trend epitomized by The North Face down jackets – Arc’Teryx waterproofs, and Salomon trail shoes. Jason Chen, a writer and editor, coined the term “Gorpcore” in 2017 to describe defiantly ugly outdoor fashion!

Gorpcore Fashion| The North Face Down Jacket| Style
source wwwthenorthfacecom

But this movement is not “ugly”. It has evolved to become trendy and taken up A-listers like Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, among others. Graeme Gaughan, artistic director of menswear brand Cote&Ciel and director of Sane communications agency, said it is starting to develop. “Like streetwear, it’s maturing over time. When I speak to designers who started out with Gorpcore, they now understand that they have to evolve in order to grow. Maybe that’s where they got their start, but it isn’t where their head’s at now.”

It has seen a growing appreciation for functional and practical clothing, as well as a desire for comfortable and versatile outfits. The breakthrough occurred during the pandemic with people spending more time outdoors and seeking functional, but stylish ways to dress for various activities. Recently, Gaughan worked with Helly Hansen on a new line of hybrid products adapted for everyday wear.

The appeal of Gorpcore lies in its authenticity and adaptability. In an age where comfort and self-expression are paramount, Gorpcore seamlessly blends form and function. The trend’s utilitarian approach to fashion aligns with the practical needs of individuals, especially during the pandemic when outdoor activities became a safe escape. Dan Hastings-Narayanin, the deputy foresight editor at The Future Laboratory, said consumers are increasingly looking for clothing that can take them through their commute and the work day. He highlighted China, where a Frisbee craze took hold in lockdown, consumers are now seeking fashion that allows them to play after being at the office.

As Gorpcore continues to capture hearts and wardrobes, its future seems promising. With designers consistently finding innovative ways to infuse utilitarian elements into everyday wear, Gorpcore is transitioning from being a mere trend to a staple style that transcends seasons. Big fashion houses are incorporating technical fabrics, oversized silhouettes, and outdoor-inspired accessories into their runway presentations, solidifying Gorpcore’s place in high fashion.

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