I heard that Urbancore has been trending recently, and as someone who doesn’t want to be left behind by the fashion wave, I quickly searched to find out which designers are popularizing this style. After all, in the past, we could always trace the origins of trendy styles with “core” in their names. For example, Dadcore, which emerged from Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2018 menswear collection, and Balletcore, the first wave of this year’s top trend, was cultivated by Miu Miu and Simone Rocha. After some less rigorous research, I discovered that Urbancore is not an imported trend but a genuine local fashion movement.
So, what is Urbancore like? Most people describe it as “urban outdoor sportswear.” Allow me to indulge in a more poetic interpretation: it’s about physically moving through the city while mentally wandering outdoors. In recent years, you must be familiar with the urban landscapes that share a common lineage, like strolling in hiking shoes, commuting in Gore-Tex, and carrying a titanium cup for coffee. When young people started blending sporty elements with their everyday outfits to facilitate outdoor activities, Urbancore emerged.
Unlike Balletcore, which requires ballet shoes or a tutu skirt, or Dadcore, which calls for high-waisted stacked jeans, Urbancore is more like a fusion label. Anything related to activities such as frisbee, cycling, skateboarding, etc., can be part of it. If there is one key element in styling, it would be layering and incorporating workwear and techwear elements.
Originally developed to enhance athletic performance, techwear garments are breathable, comfortable, and often waterproof, dominating the realm of sports apparel. Many of them evolved from cold-weather clothing and portable gear used in the military. With designers like Pierre Cardin and Andrea Kurren developing new synthetic fabrics for the modern “space age,” techwear started making waves in the fashion industry. Designers enjoy “appropriating” cargo pockets from techwear and incorporating them into everyday designs, such as placing them at the hips to add volume to the lower body. The popular overshirts in recent years either have two large patch pockets on the chest or are sewn with pockets on the shoulders to enhance shoulder width.
Five years ago, if you wore loose-fitting T-shirts, a vest with cargo pockets, and functional fabric work pants, you might have been mistaken for going fishing. But now, you would worry more about people not knowing that you enjoy fishing. On social media, there is an increasing exposure to outdoor activities like skiing and fishing. They share similar attributes, requiring a significant investment of time and financial resources for equipment, depicting the typical lifestyle of the “leisure class.” Once young consumers become more interested in a particular lifestyle, fashion will respond to the trend, even if it contradicts the “dress code rules,” romanticizing and interpreting the style.