Fashion has had a long love affair with sports of all kinds, and it is easy enough to trace an arc from the genteel sports of the leisured classes of the 19th century to the more crazily individualistic ones of today. Since the 1990s, at least, extreme and adventure sports have excited designers, who imported to their runways superficial elements of gear created for street lugers, off-piste snowboarders, arctic surfers and, lately, those who push the outer limits of athletic pursuit.
Its designs have varied widely through the years, and yet the visual vocabulary of extreme and adventure sports is an aesthetic constant.
Imagine having to do extreme sports feeling comfortable and looking fashionable at the same time?
The street wear that has for so long stoked fashion’s edge eventually stalled, and as hoodies and saggers became a form of urban normcore, they yielded to the embrace by fashion-forward types like the rapper ASAP Rocky of zip fleece parkas from labels like North Face, Columbia and Arc’teryx — “gorpcore” as it was christened by The Cut.
At brands like Woolrich, Raeburn, Mountain Research, And Wander and others, it was adventure sports that drove the aesthetics of clothes better suited to the Iditarod than the cobbled streets of Florence.
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