August 31, 2022
Any kid who has ever gone camping with the Girl or Boy Scouts or on a school hike knows gorp. Gorp is an acronym for “good ol’ raisins and peanuts” a phrase that refers to the trail mix that has become a hiker’s staple; a mix of raisins, peanuts and often M&M candy that creates a quick boost of energy when on the move.
Gorp is the well-known snack, but you might not know gorpcore, the latest fashion trend that gets its name from blending high-end outdoor brands with high fashion. And for retail investors, there are several brands worth watching as this trend takes hold.
Before we launch into the investing angle, let’s work on a better description of the trend and explore where it originated.
Gorpcore was coined way back in 2017 by “The Cut” writer Jason Chen in an article about the rising trend, but the fashion movement has been more of a slow burn than a fast inferno. Some point to the gorpcore trend beginning in about 2010 with the rise of the Canada Goose (Tii:GOOS) brand while other fashion watchers point all the way back to the 1990s when The North Face, owned by VF Corp. (Tii:VFC), became a staple in hip hop wardrobe, led by figures such as the Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Puffy” Combs. More recently musicians like A$AP Rocky have been seen in technical Prada wear Drake can be seen in Canada Goose in the “Drake Hotline Bling Meme,” one of the most popular memes on the internet that features two panels: the first shows Drake leaning to the side expressing distaste for a certain thing, then in the bottom panel, expressing more like for a similar but better thing.
Gorpcore really started taking off in the last two years, perhaps in response to the comfort everyone sought out during the pandemic.
Examples of gorpcore fashion are everywhere. Last year, for the first time, Louis Vuitton, part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (Tii:LVMH), presented a ski collection that combined the mountain lifestyle with fashion runway flair. Individual shareholders of LVMH who connect their brokerage accounts to TiiCKER receive perks simply for holding the shares of the company’s stock. Retail investors of LVMH who connect to TiiCKER receive the latest news about LVMH Maisons; special offers on an exclusive selection of Group Wines and Spirits, discounted subscriptions to Group newspapers and magazines such as “Les Echos,” “Investir” and “Connaissance des Arts” and order priority access tickets for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. T; access to the cellars of Hennessy and Crayères of Veuve Clicquot; access to the Louis Vuitton workshops in Asnières; and access to the Shareholders Club website.
Other high-fashion brands have come out with gorpcore fashions of their own or partnered with outdoor companies to launch new lines. Salomon, which is part of Anta Sports Products Ltd (Tii:SEHK:2020), the world's largest purely sports equipment company by revenue that owns 25 sporting apparel and equipment brands including Arc’teryx and Wilson, is collaborating with Comme des Garçons on a line of high-tech, high-fashion shoes. Salomon is also working with Boris Bidjan Saberi on a line of shoes.
The North Face x Gucci collaboration includes a selection of outdoor-inspired ready-to-wear, soft accessories, luggage, and shoes. Gucci is part of Kering (Tii:KER) a French-based multinational specializing in luxury goods that also owns Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent. Gorpcore aficionados can even purchase a tent created by The North Face x Gucci collaboration. The tent costs $3,490 and is covered in The North Face logos in Gucci’s ivory/brown, green and red colors.
Christian Dior (Tii:CHDRF) launched a Dior Alps collection to connect with the gorpcore movement. Moon Boot, the 1970s footwear fashion brand, has collaborative collections with both Chloe and Fendi. Fendi is owned by LVMH while Chloe is part of Richemont (Tii:CFR), a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company. Gorpcore followers love Prada’s (Tii:SEHK:1913) Re-Nylon puffer jacket and the blue and brown crochet balaclavas from Miu Miu, a brand also owned by Prada.
The gorpcore trend includes brands that are more accessible to the average consumer as well. Individual investors looking to buy stock that supports an outdoor lifestyle also have the option of researching companies like Compass Diversified Holdings (Tii:CODI) and its Marucci Sports, Velocity Outdoor and Sterno Products brands.
Individual investors might also look at Wolverine Worldwide (Tii:WWW) and its gorpcore brands like Chaco, Merrell, Saucony and Sperry. Those holding a single share of Wolverine Worldwide in their TiiCKER account are rewarded with 30% off select brands. Individual investors can purchase stock in retailers associated with the fashion trend as well, including Dick’s Sporting Goods (Tii:DKS) or in brands that are tied to an active lifestyle such as Yeti Holdings (Tii:YETI) and its popular coolers or Winnebago Industries (Tii:WGO), which makes recreational vehicles, and boats under its Chris-Craft brand.
Nike’s (Tii:NKE) ACG line, which stands for All Conditions Gear, is popular with followers of the gorpcore trend and the brand also worked with fashion label Jacquemus on a collection of limited edition boots. Japanese outdoor brand Snow Peak (Tii:TYO:7816), along with Patagonia, Hoka One One, which is part of Deckers Brands (Tii:DECK) and On Running (Tii:ONON) are all popular with gorpcore fans.
Fashion trends come and go and gorpcore will run its course as well, but retail investors might want to catch the wave with some of these high fashion brands.
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