outdoor fashion 2024 the pr advisor

Next up in my 14-part analysis of McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2024 is a look at “Outdoors Reinvented.” Particularly, how the outdoors and fashion are no longer separate entities; they’re now intertwined. Let’s dig further into this.

 

Outdoor Fashion Reinvented: How Outdoor Wear is Going Everywhere in 2024

The outdoors and fashion have merged into a powerful force, with this new trend set to accelerate in 2024. As consumers increasingly embrace healthier lifestyles and reconnect with nature post-pandemic, technical outdoor fashion wear has escaped the mountains and become a staple in our everyday attire.  Style and utility are now intricately linked, blurring the boundaries between functional outdoor clothing and everyday fashion.

One of the key insights here is the rapid growth of “gorpcore,” a trend characterized by functional, outdoors-inspired fashion adopted by outdoor enthusiasts and urban dwellers alike. Revenues for the outdoor fashion category surged by 24 percent in 2022, gaining the attention of investors, who’ve come knocking with significant deals involving outdoor fashion brands and retailers. The pandemic ignited a passion for nature-focused activities like camping, hiking, and boating.

The statistics speak for themselves with a whopping 82 percent increase in outdoor participation in the US. Even China joined the party with a significant rise in outdoor sports engagement. This surge has naturally led to a higher demand for outdoor fashion. And brands such as The North Face and Amer Sports, who have their roots in outdoor performance, are laughing all the way to the bank as the shift towards healthier lifestyles and functional outdoor fashion boosts their bottom lines.

The influence of outdoor fashion is extending to the luxury segment, with collaborations between The North Face and Gucci setting the stage for luxury-outdoor crossovers. We now see Loewe, Moncler, and Balenciaga incorporating performance-inspired footwear and apparel into their collections. This convergence of luxury and the outdoors is reshaping fashion.

We’re also witnessing an evolution in technical and trail running brands. Hoka and On are two transcending their niches and gaining widespread popularity, thanks to their innovative and comfortable solutions.

Outdoor specialists are aligning their products with everyday lifestyles, making outdoor fashion a part of our daily attire. Merrell, known for high-performance hiking boots, has ventured into lifestyle footwear, while brands like 66°North have brought in creative directors from luxury fashion houses to broaden their appeal.

The gorpcore trend may be cooling down, but it’s making way for “quiet outdoor” fashion. Consumers are seeking elevated garments with minimal logos and technical fabrics that seamlessly transitions from urban to outdoor settings. Brands like Salomon and Maison Margiela are leading the way with products blending performance and style. As we move forward, utility, durability, and performance will drive the appeal of outdoor fashion across all price segments.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR  2024 OUTDOOR FASHION TRENDS

 

  1. Growth of Technical Outdoor Wear: Post-pandemic, there has been a surge in consumer interest in healthier lifestyles and outdoor activities, leading to increased popularity of technical outdoor fashion wear.
  2. Integration of Style and Utility: Outdoor fashion apparel and footwear are increasingly being incorporated into everyday wardrobes, blending style with functionality.
  3. The Rise of ‘Gorpcore’: The “gorpcore” trend, emphasizing functional, outdoor-inspired fashion, has gained momentum, influencing consumer preferences and fashion trends.
  4. Revenue Growth in Outdoor Category: Since the pandemic, the outdoor fashion category has seen a significant revenue increase, attracting financial investments and deals in brands like Moosejaw and Topo Athletic.
  5. Mainstream Success of Outdoor Brands: Brands with roots in outdoor fashion performance, like The North Face and Amer Sports, have transcended their core customer bases, achieving mainstream popularity.
  6. Luxury Brands Entering Outdoor Segment: Luxury brands are collaborating with outdoor fashion companies, introducing performance-influenced products, and merging high fashion with outdoor wear, as seen in collaborations like The North Face and Gucci.
  7. Mid-Market Brands Exploring Outdoors: Mid-market brands, such as H&M and Inditex’s Oysho, are expanding their offerings to include outdoor-inspired apparel and footwear.
  8. Diverse Range of Collaborations: The intersection of fashion and outdoor wear has led to various collaborations, such as those between On and Loewe, and Hoka and Moncler, blending technical aspects with luxury aesthetics.
  9. Shift Towards “Quiet Outdoor” Fashion: As gorpcore’s popularity cools, there’s a shift towards ‘quiet outdoor’ styles that emphasize minimalism while maintaining technical functionality.
  10. Competitive Landscape and Brand Challenges: Outdoor fashion brands are navigating a competitive market where they must balance staying true to their core identity while appealing to a diverse range of customers, including those prioritizing technical performance and those seeking fashion-forward designs.

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