Gorpcore actually takes its name from good old raisins and peanuts (AKA trail mix), the staple diet for the hiking community. Gorpcore is a style of fashion characterized by its tactical, technical and functional design. Gorpcore is made up of a few key pieces, including the shell jacket, cargo or ripstop pants, and puffers and parkas. It’s basically just bringing any piece of clothing that is traditionally used for hiking, and using it as a streetwear fashion style. Over the last few years, Gorpcore has become very mainstream and we’re here to break down some of the brands that are at the peak.
This Gorpcore label may be more well-known than any other. Everyone buys Arc’teryx because of the dinosaur bird and because of the exceptional quality of their outdoor clothing. The Vancouver, Canada-based company Arc’teryx was founded in 1989 to make mountaineering gear. After some time, they started to become well-known not only for their climbing equipment, but also for their shell rain coats, which were created using state-of-the-art technology. Gore-Tex. In the present day, it has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world. They have your back whether you’re planning to climb a mountain or just want to make it to work unscathed.
Now we have Snow Peak coming all the way from Japan, well over on the other side of the world. In 1958, Yukio Yamai founded Snow Peak. It’s an outdoor company that uses beautiful Japanese design, but has a calm, carefree vibe. Snow Peak is well-known for stocking an extensive selection of outdoor gear including not only clothing but also tents, lights, and cooking supplies. They sell a wide variety of high-quality camping equipment and supplies.
Keita Ikeuchi and Mihoko Mori established And Wander in 2011. Both were employees of Issey Miyake Men. Their products are crafted from sturdy yet lightweight fabrics that withstand water and wind, and have striking color palettes that complement the outdoors while making a bold statement in the city. They use the data gathered from field tests in Japan to inform the development of high-quality products that feature accurate pattern cutting and thoughtful ergonomic elements.
Founded in the Alps of France in 1947, the company’s first focus was on ski equipment. Whether it’s skiing, running, or any other outdoor activity, Salomon has tried his hand at it all. Most notably, their hiking and running shoes have gained a lot of notoriety among outdoor enthusiasts. Every Gorpcore enthusiast owns at least one pair of Salomons.
White Mountaineering was founded in 2006 by Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa in an attempt to cash in on the then-emerging “haute mountaineering” fad. White Mountaineering’s goods are high fashion because they capture the spirit of outdoor wearability while fusing style and practicality to produce outfits that incorporate both a historical and modern appearance. Yosuke Aizawa has a degree in product and textile design from Tama Art University. He’s worked for
Moncler W, BURTON THIRTEEN, and adidas Originals. White Mountaineering has had a collaboration with Uniqlo. It’s a mashup of athletic garb and urban attire.
Nike ACG. In the 1980s, Nike launched a subline focused on outdoor gear known as ACG (all conditions gear). But it was canceled somewhere in the 1990s. That is, until 2014, when Errolson Hugh took over as its new creative director and gave it a fresh start. Nike ACG is a much more wallet-friendly option than many of the others brands on this list. However, the quality of the items may not be as high as that of other labels.
With a utopian perspective on nature. ROA was established in 2015 as an Italian footwear label. ROA uses crossover, experimental methodologies to create a product that expresses a hybrid attitude towards the landscapes, with explicit references to the newest advancements in the realm of technical outdoors-wear. ROA brings its sporty aesthetic to hiking boots. The company uses cutting-edge, performance-derived materials and building methods to elevate practicality as a core value. It’s the newest company on this list, but its hiking shoes have quickly gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts and trend-setters both. Fall 2022 marks their first apparel line, and they are of the highest quality and most incredible design.
After 140 years in business, Helly Hansen continues to be an industry pioneer with ground-breaking new offerings. Helly Hansen, with headquarters in Norway, has been making life- and health-saving goods for the public for almost 140 years. Helly Juell Hansen, a Norwegian sea captain, devised a method to survive his country’s harsh winters in 1877. Eventually, the story was born after Captain Hansen and his wife Margrethe began producing oilskin coats, pants, sou’westers, and tarps out of coarse linen soaked in linseed oil.
Helly Hansen is trusted by professionals in all environments, including the sea, the mountains, and the office. As a well-known Scandinavian workwear brand, HH places a premium on performance, protection, and safety. In the spirit of continuing Captain Hansen’s work, we have implemented a number of firsts in our business in response to the needs of those who must navigate the world’s harshest environments for work and recreation.
Klättermusen, established in 1975 by a group of climbers, is known for its high-quality mountaineering equipment, which is the result of a combination of climbing enthusiasts’ passion and expertise. Its designs are battle-tested in the real world to ensure they can handle harsh climates and varied landscapes. Klättermusen manufactures durable, well-crafted mountaineering gear. For almost 40 years, this Northern Swedish company has supplied adventurers with high-performance equipment built to survive harsh conditions. Klättermusen, a company well regarded in the world of hiking, brings a touch of the mountains to your weekend hiking wardrobe. The company caters to both traditional outdoor enthusiasts and the newer breed of tech-savvy fashionistas. Everything the Swedes make, from the most basic materials to the most high-tech fabric, is part of a never-ending quest to create the greatest climbing gear possible.
North Face Purple Label AKA Nanamica
The North Face Purple Label is one of the most difficult-to-obtain and coveted brands in the Gorpcore space. Purple Label was introduced in 2003 by Nanamica designer Eiichiro Homma, who had previously spent nearly two decades on the design teams for the Japanese imprints of The North Face and Helly Hansen. Homma noticed a demand for heritage-inspired sports apparel with a casual, streetwear-adjacent edge long before “gorpcore” dominated fashion.
Despite their very similar logos, The North Face Purple Label and The North Face are entirely independent companies. Goldwin, a Japanese apparel corporation, has held exclusive rights to market The North Face in Japan and South Korea since 1982. TNFPL is owned by Goldwin. VF, the parent company of The North Face, controls distribution everywhere else; hence, Nanamica and Goldwin may only sell Purple Label in Japan. If you want it, you were required to purchase a plane ticket to Tokyo or utilize a proxy service to circumvent the international shipping ban. And many individuals did so. According to Homma, 40 to 50 percent of the clients at the Tokyo Nanamica stores that offer TNFPL come from outside Japan.