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When "GORP" was coined by The Cut six years ago, it referred to city-dwelling fashion lovers who'd started to wear outdoor clothing to do anything but hike. Similar to previous anti-fashion trends like normcore and dadcore, it quickly took the fashion world by storm. Arc'teryx quickly became the gorpcore poster child, opening 12 new stores in 2021, and sales for iconic pieces from brands like Salomon, Patagonia, and The North Face skyrocketed—Salomon was the fastest-growing resell brand on Stockx last year, up over 2000 percent on 2021. Even luxury brands jumped on board. Moncler launched its Genius initiative, and a slew of fashion x outdoors collabs followed: Sacai x ACRONYM, Arc’teryx x Jil Sander, and Nike x Jacquemus to name a few.

While the hype might have reached its peak (with Rhianna wearing MM6 x Salomon's to perform at the Superbowl, perhaps?) the relationship between fashion and the outdoors has evolved into much more than the fleeting love affair many thought it would be. GORP doesn't do it justice. The trail mix-inspired acronym has become a catch-all term for any stylish outfit with a sniff of GORE-TEX or a waterproof zipper. It is so ubiquitous that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore, nor does it reflect the breadth and versatility of the universe that it helped create.

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This is confirmed in the early findings of our new research paper, undertaken as part of 520M, our partnership with Europe’s leading outdoor trade fair ISPO. Set to conclude in November, the study explores the intersection of fashion and the outdoors and its future. For ISPO's summer edition, we met with friends and family from the industry to discuss the first findings.

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The first figures validate that fewer relate with the term GORP, as the landscape is much more nuanced and complex today. This is evident in the range of new-wave brands exploring this space, like designers _J.L-A.L_ and Central Saint Martins graduate Charlie Constantinou. Both are clearly informed by the functionality of technical clothing but place heavy emphasis on form and innovation. Constantinou's recent collection with Icelandic outerwear brand 66°North demonstrates how seamlessly new thinkers and traditional brands can come together to create something fresh. When it comes to footwear, ROA’s hybrid loafers hiking-inspired hybrid loafers sum up this intersection in a shoe.

Similarly, the way we enjoy the outdoors is evolving. The surge a few years ago in run clubs has been superseded by hiking collectives, and now we’re seeing the rise of informal communities taking part in off-beat outdoor activities, like cold water swimming, foraging, bird watching, and wild camping. These experiences are as much about exploration as they are about expression. As Ollie Olanipekun, CEO at Flock Together and founder/creative director of Futurimpose, explained in an interview with us: “Whether it's art, music, dance, community building, or experimentation, people's new creative pursuits are pushing brands to think differently and question the role of their product beyond simple form or function, asking themselves how they're adapting to new purposes and expressions in the outdoors."

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New voices have brought in new perspectives, allowing us to redirect the narrative around the outdoors and change the deeply false perception that nature is a predominantly white, male space. Emerging players that are more attuned to the needs of this young, multifaceted outdoor enthusiast are rising the ranks and disrupting what risked becoming a stagnant space. While the term GORP will soon be laid to rest (RIP), we're beginning a far more exciting new chapter for the outdoors with creativity and inclusivity at its core. Make sure to watch this space.

Stay tuned for more on our research to come November at ISPO.

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