“Gorpcore”, or the advent of trekking style/hiking clothing
In 2014, the “Normcore” style attracted the attention of the masses. Made famous by New York Magazine to a point where it was anointed the “neologism of the year” (according to Oxford University Press), it celebrated ‘normalness’ like, for example, wearing a fleece, faded jeans, and old school sneakers. And that was the whole point, since this “non-style” reflected a certain philosophy: not to detach from the norm. Today, with gorpcore, attention is slightly turned away from the “normal” style and instead looks toward a more outdoors spirit. Tech fleece, parkas, hiking boots; such are the pieces that symbolize the gorpcore style, which lies between trekking and day-to-day practicality.
The Birth of a Style
In English, gorpcore is a contraction of hardcore and gorp. The latter refers to the dried fruit mixtures designed to bring a shot of energy to intense physical efforts - granola-oats-raisins-peanuts. That says it all! Because the idea here is to preserve a certain 90s spirit that was inherent to normcore, but giving it a far more functional aspect, specific to utilitarian garments designed for hiking. Here, fashion brands don’t really have a role, but the more technical and much more popular ones, do: The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, etc.
The Gorpcore Spirit
This style, between trekking and the outdoors, centers on a key element which, in its current iteration, is worn across the chest: the fanny pack (ndlr: bumbag pour public UK). A symbol of practicality, this little bag has enjoyed an incredible insurgence in the past few years to the point where it’s hard to think about practical garments without evoking it. In the same vein, hiking boots are on the way to becoming an absolute “must-have” for the trend, thanks to their unquestionable resistant and waterproof qualities. We should also mention the polar fleece, which has the advantage of associating excellent thermal isolation with a style that can often border on old-fashioned yet low-key.
But, beyond all of that, gorpcore is also linked to –above all-- a spirit of being close to nature, which drives the design of a garment for what it is and not for what it represents. A practical dimension destined for both men and women! Far from the Fashion Week frenzy, gorpcore is hence a garment designed for, worn by, and appreciated by everybody!
Photography : Columbia / Nike / Patagonia / Roa / The North Face