climbing fashion

The intrusion of luxury brands in rock climbing

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The intrusion of luxury brands in rock climbing

Putting these 2 words “climbing” and “luxury” together doesn’t seem to gel. Maybe because rock climbing was never about looking good or fashionable. Living outdoors, climbing for days without showering, and taking a dump in the wild doesn’t seem to be a lifestyle associated with luxury. However, when did anything stop luxury brands from trying to infiltrate and influence their target audience?

Climbers’ perception of “Luxury Brands”

Climbers’ idea of “luxury brands” are well-known outdoor gear and apparel manufacturers. La Sportiva, Black Diamond, Arcteryx, Edelrid and Northface are just a few of the highly respected brands in the climbing community. These companies started as outdoor apparel and equipment specialists and their founders were climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. They made products for themselves to use that are functional for outdoor activities. These products are used and tested by many generations of rugged outdoor climbers and are the go-to brands for any climbers.

As climbing is fast becoming a trendy sport. We see more and more climbers prefer to climb in clean modern indoor gyms in swanky shopping malls. As the popularity of climbing grew, we started to see other unconventional brands trying to get a piece of the action. Brands we will never associate with climbing have tried and to some extent succeeded in getting a foothold in the growing climbing business.

Luxury for luxury’s sake

Climbers are not brand conscience but performance conscience. Yes, we do like fashionable climbing apparel and fancy climber gear. But when brands like Gucci, LV, and Tudor start to get into the game, you know shit is getting expensive. Clothes, watches, and pants with logos that cost more than the material used to make the product.

Getting your attention

If a company wants to get awareness for its products all it needs is to find a famous athlete and stick its overpriced products on them and Voila merchandise starts flying off the shelves.

Here are some well-known pro climbers who have modelled for luxury brands.

Ashima Shiraishi

luxury brands in rock climbing
Photo credit:
Gucci Pants and Gucci Jacket

Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold fashion
Photo credit:
Sweater, by Gucci / Pants, $290, by Stone Island / Watch, $3,400, by Tudor / Chalk Bag by Black Diamond
Alex Honnold Fashion 2 1
Photo credit:
Pullover, $950, by Loewe / Pants, $290, by Stone Island / Shoes, $170, by La Sportiva

Is the advertising working for you? Will you be buying any of these products for climbing? I don’t know about you, but those orange pants on Alex do look really nice…

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