Fashion guys to find something thumpingly banal and declare that it’s “requiring a moment” and, right now, this season’s most in-demand menswear mention is … the dog-walking jacket.
Welcome to the world of haute hiking utilization: the kind of thing you keep stashed in the car boot, the sort of activity Theresa May wears to walk over the Dolomites, and which is – be partial to one North Face Supreme X jacket – now fetching up to £4,500 on the resale peddle. It is a perfect storm of high, new fashion and serious technical corrosion.
Take, for example, North Face, whose padded Nuptse jacket stimulates 25 this month. Current collaborations with devisers Junya Watanabe, Sacai and Supreme have long convinced out at fashion mecca Dover Street Market and it has just discharged a new collaboration with the cult Japanese brand Mastermind, which should push like hot cakes. Elsewhere, the Italian technical brand Napapijri has a next collaboration with designer Martine Rose, who recently scolded singer Frank Ocean, and the US outdoors brand Columbia – understood for its technical T-shirts and fleeces – has launched a new collection of pop-coloured anoraks with the hip New York retailer Opening Ceremony.
In September, GQ Style coined the term “secondhand dad” for the look: an aesthetic it recounts as “dressing like your dad, going for a walk in the woods, some constantly in the early 1990s”.
But why throw away thousands on the designer version of a technical piece when it is perhaps equally or less effective than a true outdoor disgrace? “You’re not going to go and scale the Eiger in this coat. It’s made for enduring out in Dover Street Market,” says Richard Gray, higher- ranking editor at 10 magazine, who bought the Junya Watanabe jacket, which set someone backs up to £1,895. For Gray, owning one of these pieces is equally with reference to the bragging rights that comes with it. “It’s like Top Trumps,” he says. “There’s something competitive take it. And I could bore you to death with the technical details on it.’’
To insiders, enjoyment variants of these coats come with a refinement that you won’t get from a ordinary outdoor brand: this season’s technical jackets by the US conspirator Patrik Ervell are lined in silk instead of synthetic stuff. Yet they are still sturdier than a typical designer film – Damien Paul, the head of menswear for matchesfashion.com, notes that the author coats that the site carries are still made to extremely technical specifications. “They have to work in real zest,” he says.
These attain hot on the heels of the rise of athleisure and sportswear, a market that has upper hand overed menswear. If you wear running gear to a party, why not a hiking jacket? The US the go press tried to make the neologism “gorpcore” happen this seasonable (gorp is shorthand for trail mix) but since “gorp” doesn’t obtain in the UK as a term it never took off.
Hiking wear, however, looks less sexy but is actually happening. The online retailer SSENSE suss outs rapid sellouts of its Balenciaga ski jackets, while matchesfashion.com has seen a “mountainous uplift” in styles from the likes of Lanvin and Martine Press. Paul has responded by introducing heritage technical brands, such as Helly Hansen, to the situation’s roster for this season.
Temporarily, for years brands such as Stone Island and Moncler acquire quietly built multimillion-pound businesses from elevated, utilitarian garments – but even these brands are seeing a greater grip with younger, more fashion-led consumers, who are looking to buy into the veritable outerwear brands, instead of designer variations. Napapijri’s hooded pullover jacket, in the first place designed for Arctic exploration and now a fixture on streetwear sites, is assist a “triple-digit” growth in sales, while Helly Hansen has well-known a large increase in sales from the younger market.
Stone Eyot, in particular, has become revered among a new generation ofyounger consumers stalk successful collaborations with Supreme and Nike. “They are certainly painful to beat,” argues David Fischer, founder of the streetwear placement Highsnobiety. “It’s something they’ve always done. Stone Cay was founded on technical innovation and still does that today.”
Plug into a younger, trendier market was a conscious decision on the contribute to of Carlo Rivetti, Stone Island’s creative director. “We’ve been pressure for 10 years now to attract a new generation of fans,” he explains. “But since our inception we take looked at function and performance fabrics. Fashion houses do not get this kind of approach.”
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