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More than just a trend: gorpcore is here to stay

The evolution from subculture to the dominant aesthetic redifining brands and imageries

More than just a trend: gorpcore is here to stay
The evolution from subculture to the dominant aesthetic redifining brands and imageries
More than just a trend: gorpcore is here to stay  The evolution from subculture to the dominant aesthetic redifining brands and imageries

The growing popularity of a trend that has become crucial within the fashion industry reflects a deep evolution in the perspective and role that fashion brands play. Anticipating the needs of a market and an audience of consumers increasingly aware of issues such as sustainability, the brands that have written the history of this trend - such as The North Face, Patagonia, Nike ACG and Arc'teryx - have been able to unite instances that over the last few years have become the cornerstone of the industry. That outdoor aesthetic once relegated to the interest of a few enthusiasts has progressively become fundamental in the narration of a different kind of fashion, increasingly distant from its ivory tower and its Parisian ateliers, which seeks to re-establish a structured relationship with its audience, also trying to redefine its role in a now distorted era. Wearing a certain type of jacket or a certain type of shoe now transcends (almost completely) the aesthetic side of the gesture, going instead to reconnect with well-defined themes, such as sustainability, the rediscovery of nature, the return to natural places that represent an escape in these difficult times. A desire for escapism shared both by brands and consumers, that translates into the unprecedented expansion of pure, natural and harmonious imagination, the perfect counterpoint to the last, dramatic months. 

When we started talking about gorpcore, back in 2017, it was common opinion that it was yet another subculture that the fashion industry had appropriated, cannibalizing it, emptying it of its original spirit, eventually turning it into something else. A practice that is well known in the industry and that has already been implemented with other subcultures, such as skate. However, what according to many would have been a trend destined to last more not more than two seasons, has turned out not only to be a lasting trend but the mirror of the new demands that animate the industry, thanks to the resistant materials and the sustainable approach that characterizes the brands that make up this imaginary. This "new" aesthetic originated in fact not only from the newfound popularity of brands that have actually created this trend even outside their classic range of action - such as The North Face and Patagonia - but above all from the interpretation of the trend by luxury brands unrelated to what gorpcore represents and contains. What many couldn't foresee, however, is that the purely technical brands, specialized in the production of outerwear garments with more or less sporting purposes, would have clearly re-appropriated that aesthetic, becoming the most authoritative interpreters of an aesthetic that it no longer falls within the definition of trend, but instead represents a new way of understanding fashion in its entirety. The reflection of a vision that combines aesthetics with performance and which is built around the highest quality, long-lasting and sustainable garments. 

From this perspective, one can read the acquisition of Stone Island by Moncler and the new path inaugurated by Arc'Teryx. On the one hand, two Italian brands that shy away from the logic of the large luxury conglomerates, which began producing items that are part of the gorpcore imagination before this definition even existed. A decade-long work that has made research and continuous avant-garde two essential points of their success and growth, always meeting the desires of an audience willing to invest in the highest quality garments, leading them to become the most influential voices of the New Italian Luxury Outerwear panorama. While flirting with the world of streetwear through very successful collaborations, such as the Genius Project of Remo Ruffini's brand and the capsule collections of Rivetti's label with Supreme - Moncler and Stone Island have never betrayed their original vision. Arc'Teryx's increasingly clear approach to the world of fashion, first with the announcement of the collaboration with Jil Sander, then with the release of the collection together with Palace, confirms that the fashion industry is not ready to say goodbye to gorpcore yet, but, quite the opposite, wants to make it one of its symbols. 

Behind bulky down jackets made with the most technological fabrics, behind pants and jackets designed to protect against the most extreme weather conditions, different instances meet, mirroring what the fashion industry should seek and represent today, needs accepted even by the youngest and rising realities, like Rayon Vert or And Wander. Gorpcore, a larger container of a way of understanding fashion that favours the quality and durability of garments, the result of research and an innovative path, is not a trend, but the future of the fashion industry


Photography Vincenzo Schioppa
Stylist Antonella Mignogna
Stylist Assistant Virginia Alessandra
Model Ark Joseph Ndulue
Artwork by Caterina Novaro
Words by Cecilia Caruso
Production nss factory
Stone Island
Moncler Fragment
Moncler Genius JW Anderson
ACNE Studios
Barbour x Noah
Louis Vuitton