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ROA is a step beyond trekking

The new Gorpcore that collaborated with Stüssy, Matthew Williams, Vibram and Brain Dead

ROA is a step beyond trekking The new Gorpcore that collaborated with Stüssy, Matthew Williams, Vibram and Brain Dead

Over the last few seasons, Gorpcore has climbed the hierarchy of the fashion industry, gaining a cool aura after years in which fleece and hiking boots were the emblems of bad taste. In addition to brands such as The North Face (mainly thanks to the collaborations with Supreme) and Patagonia, among the other names that are dictating the growth of the trend, in particular in terms of footwear, there is ROA, a brand born in Italy from the meeting between Slam Jam creatives and designer Maurizio Quaglia. ROA is reinterpreting trekking shoes that in the past had nothing to do with fashion, through the search of materials, treatments, and colours, which are the elements that best defined the success and the possibilities of the Gorpcore style in the streetwear.

ROA sneakers are the first trekking shoes that have undergone the opposite path that many of the Gorpcore brands have encountered. The brand has reversed the trend of the item designed for sport that becomes a fashion statement, in this case by approaching directly to fashionistas and only later to outdoor enthusiasts. ROA has managed an idea of volumes and shapes that in recent years have had unexpected success. Mountain clothing is the most direct and logical way to experiment in terms of materials, resistance and new technologies, just think of the success of the Nike ACG collections or the Vibram soles, with which ROA has collaborated also for the last FW19 collection, creating bold and camouflage soles.



The versatility of the silhouettes has meant that ROA has become the perfect balance for crossover collaborations between top-level brands such as Vibram, Matthew Williams, Stüssy or Brain Dead, for models as Andreas, Neal, Oblique and Lhapka, which is named after Lhapka Sherpa, the woman with the highest number of Everest climbs (nine).

The whole new FW19 collection looks like a mix between a lunar walk, one on Fashion Week runways and an excursion on the Alps, with a taste that refers to that retro-futurist era, that began with the first man on the moon. The models in the collection bring ROA and more broadly the Gorpcore style beyond what is expected, both from a hiking shoe and a sneaker.

Nylon contrasts with Kudu leather, animal prints with wool tartan, neon, black, orange, green, lilac, lime, blue and silver make up each panel of the upper, creating a reference of style that distorts the original context and becomes unmistakable. 


The fact that Matthew Williams in his recent collaboration with Stüssy has developed a ROA model, staining it with a mud effect typical of mountain sports, tells a lot about how the Italian brand is a reality of streetwear, but also a possibility for brands like Stüssy and more experimental designers as in the case of the founder of ALYX.