Gorpcore could be more than a passing trend.
The latest: Amer Sports, the Helsinki-based parent company of sporting goods makers Salomon, Arc’teryx, Wilson, and more, confidentially filed to go public, with a potential IPO valuing the group north of $10B.
Of note, lululemon founder Chip Wilson purchased a 20% stake in Amer in 2018. Since then, revenue has climbed 22% to $3.3B in 2022.
Gorpcouture. In 2018, hip-hop culture and high-fashion’s embrace sent demand for Arc’teryx apparel and Salomon sneakers through the roof, broadening their fanbase beyond backpackers.
Then, the pandemic-induced spike in outdoor recreation sparked a gorpcore craze that saw technical gear become everyday wear.
- Up 12% in Q2, The North Face counts 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth.
- Hiking brand Merrell reported record revenue of $764M in 2022, up 18% from 2021.
- Pushing expansion, Sweden’s Fjällräven opened stores in Palo Alto and Montana this month.
Seizing the moment, six-year-old Italian hiking brand ROA found success targeting “hybrid” consumers, who bounce between cityscapes and landscapes.
Meanwhile, partnerships like Arc’teryx x Palace, The North Face x Gucci, and Canada Goose x Reformation prove outdoor gear pairs with any lifestyle.
Zooming out: Fewer people than ever are making the outdoors a lifestyle but more are entertaining occasional adventures.
Taking note, brands once reserved for purists are courting recreationists, driving loyalty with gear equally suited for city streets or mountain peaks.
A win-win, companies expand their customer bases, while multi-functional fits offer urbanites a gateway to repeated outdoor recreation.
Punchline: Amer Sports knows the gorpcore hype won’t last forever, but the demand for stylish transitional gear is evergreen. Fusing fashion and function with cool-factor, it aims to make outdoor apparel as big as athleisure.