I was wondering why no-one had invented a stylish multi-brand gorpcore store, then I realised – they have. While visiting the Debby Byford roller skating exhibition in Coal Drops Yard, I discovered Outsiders Store, a very cool curation of performance outerwear, practical headgear, Rotato socks, Gramicci rope sandals, Snow Peak camping kit, plus a variety of modern outdoorism books and magazines like Les Others and Go Out.
Launched in 2017, with stores in Liverpool and London, Outsiders Store is led by general manager Nicholas Wyles and buyer Josh Rothery under the umbrella of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. With a non activity-specific lifestyle approach, it straddles the sweet spot between durable essentials and design desirables with style and finesse. As one wag on a menswear forum astutely pointed out, “there’s enough crampons and energy bars in there to make you feel you’re buying ‘kit’ and not just more clothes.”
Key to the appeal is the buying mix. The team are inspired by REI in the States and Globetrotter in Germany as well as small scale Japanese operations. With product for men and women, the gender neutrality of gorpcore speaks to the move against hyper-femininity in fashion. (Just consider it the new ‘athleisure’.) When you’re on a trail walk or scaling a mountain, you want clothes that protect you from the elements, not accentuate your curves. However, increasingly, the buyers are mindful that their lifestyle customers want hybrid products that work in cities as well as in camp sites. Hence the mix of versatile pieces by Patagonia and Carhartt WIP alongside Cotopaxi (upcycled polyester bags and jackets in colour configurations chosen by the makers), Montbell (everyday performance-wear with a ‘function is beauty’ philosophy) and Goldwin (Japanese technical and ski wear).
CORRECTION: This post has been updated. Outsiders Store is not led by Dave Whitlaw as previously stated.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Outsiders Store x 2; Cotopaxi; Chaco
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here
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