Northwest Coast casual.

Hiking Gear Has Scaled High Fashion

Someone ought to check on New York’s designers because if the Spring 2018 collections are any indication, the folks running fashion there are feeling a bit cooped up.

The collections embrace (nay, yearn for) the great outdoors, with clothes that seem more appropriate for trekking across mountain ranges than for climbing the corporate ladder—or even for running errands on the weekend. Think of these pieces as the next evolution of athleisure, only they add a touch of functionality along with comfort.

Spring streets are going to be full of wetsuit-inspired layers, rock-climbing-esque shoes and beefed-up backpacks mixed in with the usual spring suit separates, shorts and polos. Before you write off the looks as Pacific Northwest propaganda, slip on a new waterproof jacket—see the pullover anoraks shown at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton or the colour-blocked windbreakers from Kenzo and Patrik Ervell.

For those who want the look but with an added dose of luxury, Hermès crafted its coat from leather and Valentino added patterns and pink accents to its parka—you know, like Reinhold Messner1 used to wear. Actually, despite their looks, these clothes probably aren’t going to get you to the top of Mount Everest, but they will keep you dry and looking stylish during an unexpected downpour downtown—and that’s a feat in itself.

References   [ + ]

1. The Italian mountaineer who made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest in 1980.