We are now living in a post-Adrien Brody’s character on Succession wearing six layers of gear to go on a stroll society. Gorpcore—the trend of sporting technically-minded outdoor apparel as everyday wear, no campsites required—has made it to the big leagues. And it’s not just on TV—now one of its leading brands is officially entering into the high-fashion fold.
Arc’teryx, the Vancouver-based outdoors company with a cult-like following beyond its mountain athlete customer base, has paired up with Jil Sander+. That’s the line launched by Jil Sander creative directors Luke and Lucie Meier in 2019, and it’s intended, as GQ’s Rachel Tashjian wrote earlier this year, “to complement their monastically pure mainline with clothing designed for life outside the city.” Together, the two brands are releasing a capsule of well-tailored ski gear. The collection comprises three jackets (one men’s, one women’s and one unisex), a pair of bibbed trousers, and a Gore-Tex onesie, with prices ranging between $1,500 and $2,500. All items are embroidered with both brands’ logos, Arc’teryx’s signature skeletal bird logo flying high atop Jil Sander’s sans serif.
Despite a rising stock among the fashion set over the last few years, Arc’teryx has been pretty publicly staunch in its anti-hype stance. When the Hadid sisters modeled some Virgil Abloh-modified Arc’teryx rain jackets in the Off-White Fall 2020 show during pre-lockdown Paris Fashion Week last year, the brand later dismissed it as an unofficial nod. They’ve leaned in a bit since, launching a more intentionally style-conscious subline called System_A in August and planning a collab with skate brand Palace for December.
At Jil Sander, the Meiers have also been relatively careful in their collaborations. They designed field jackets for Mackintosh in 2019, and sandals for Birkenstocks this past summer by way of Jil Sander+, and also revived the brand’s capsule line at Uniqlo known as J+—which was first introduced in 2010—last fall. “We really only want to do things that make sense, to create something that we couldn’t otherwise do ourselves. So it’s not purely about working with brands that somehow have a parallel objective for marketing,” Luke Meier told the New York Times this week. “We never want to just have two logos on a product. That’s not really that interesting, to be honest.”
Trendwise, if we’re reaching some sort of apex as far as collab culture goes, campwear-as-streetwear is still chugging along. Then again, whether or not many Jil Sander x Arc’teryx buyers will actually test their wares out on the slopes remains to be seen. Let’s keep an eye on those layered-up Waystar Royco investors.