Love wearing a fleece but hate the thought of being five minutes away from a Starbucks? Prefer to observe your scenic views from the comfort of your computer? Then you will be into Snow Peak – the hipster Japanese outdoors shop that is coming to the UK. However, the clothes it sells are styled less for a leisurely ramble over a muddy munro and more for wearing in an ironically captioned selfie, looking a bit weather-worn.

“I wanted to create clothes that are functional, practical but also stylish,” designer Lisa Yamai told Vogue. “I wanted to make outdoor clothes that you wouldn’t just wear at the weekend; clothes you could wear seven days a week, that will make the outdoors feel more familiar.”

Essentially, it is a very different look to the one you would pick up at your local branch of Blacks. Snow Peak is the natural destination for the urbanite who likes to wear a look that suggests they will be asking their nearest and dearest to sponsor a Himalayan hike very, very soon (but almost certainly not doing one).

It sells elevated, high-fashion fishing vests, “outdoor kimonos” and, yes, lots of fleeces. Its aesthetic is very much where utility-wear is now – where luxury meets usefulness and functionality is the new decoration.

As well as being big business (the UK’s outdoor clothing market is valued at £604m and has increased by 22% between 2013 and 2017), luxe shops such as Snow Peak are the bricks-and-mortar endpoint of “gorpcore”, the trend of wearing lots of Patagonia and North Face, alongside your normal jeans and New Balance.

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Although the term was coined by the Cut in 2017, it still feels significant in the era of Generation Greta. It is a style that semaphores a healthy and clear objective. “Clothing that fits a purpose and does what it says will always be relevant to men,” Nick Paget, the senior menswear editor at trend-forecasting agency WGSN, said at the time.

But like the power gilet in Succession, the look is also a humble power brag, a sartorial, ever-so-slightly judgey bit of virtue signalling: about being your most Bear Grylls-ish self.

Think of the Jesus Is King -era Kanye West posing in the wilds of his Wyoming farm or Richard Madden on the cover of Interview magazine looking like he is just having a tea break after a spot of drywalling.

A recent New York Times headline about warcore, the gorier sequel to gorpcore, squealed: “If you can get killed doing it, fashion wants it”. Well, quite.



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