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Mountain gear....... on your local High St?

As Gen Z (the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials) came out of lockdown wearing cow print everything, bucket hats, and buying the whole of Chinese clothing brand ‘Shien’ for overly patterned sweatshirts, there was a sudden drift in what the High Street started to see being paraded by us teens.

As the whole ‘preppy’ (pupil or graduate from an expensive school or a person resembling such a person) and 'y2k' look had shifted in the lockdown years, we now find ourselves (still) in a world of outerwear and streetwear hybrid. But are these outdoor labels gaining their clout for their original purpose or for the trend?

After models Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid were papped wearing the (now) iconic 1996 North Face Nuptse: named after Everest’s neighbouring mountain in Nepal back in 2020, our eyes shifted and style changed. A jacket that was once made for climbing mountains in harsh, un - worldly weather is still doing that - but on the streets of NYC or on your way to college in town. Not quite the environment Ingrid Harshbarbger - the designer - had in mind for her puffer. A streetwear turning point for outerwear brands. 

Not only has North Face been affected by the influx of this generation wanting to delve into this new style, but Nike ACG meaning ‘All Condition Gear’ (Nike's outdoor leaning sub - label) have also had a drive in sales since ‘Gorpcore’ the new name for this outdoor streetwear aesthetic has come about. 

Nike ACG’s first range dropped around the 80’s with products such as the ‘Tough lava dome trail shoe' and ‘Approach boots’ which were pieces dedicated to mountain climbing due to their specific fabrics such as quick drying wicking linings. Now however, you can find old ACG pieces on vintage re - sell app ‘Depop’ with sellers over pricing and labelling these garms as ‘vintage’ to gain their profits to then be worn on the high street. 40 years later and Nike ACG is still as popular but not in the locations it originally was designed for. 

Social media app ‘Tikok’ has also majorly impacted the level of this trend. With the style name Gorpcore having 74.4k posts under its hashtag and accounts from content creators such as ‘@hannaroslan0’ creating a styling video on this trend which has reached 2.7million views, it has become global and unstoppable. 

So, whether it’s runway models, general brands identity and growth or social media, this new style, influence and the assumption of affluence of outerwear becoming streetwear, is happening.

Will you decide to stick to a hike to wear your Solomons and Arc' Teryx jacket, or chuck them on for a quick Tesco food shop?

Up to you, fashion is yours. 

Yep, that's me above.


London College of Fashion

University Arts London

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