The intrusion of luxury brands in rock climbing

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Putting the words “climbing” and “luxury” together doesn’t really gel. Maybe because rock climbing was never about looking good or fashionable. Living in the outdoors, climbing for days without bathing, and taking a dump in the wild doesn’t really seem to be the kind of lifestyle that can be 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, and Northface just to name a few of the respected brands amongst the climbing community. Companies that started as an outdoor apparel and equipment specialists where the 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.

Climbing has become a trendy sport where more and more climbers choose to climb in clean and modern indoor gyms situated in swanky malls. 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 small foothold in the growing climbing business.

Luxury for luxury sake

Climbers are not really brand conscience but performance conscience. Yes, we do like to have good-looking climbing apparel and fancy climber gears. But when brands like Gucci, LV, and Tudor start to get in 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 their products all they need is to find a famous athlete and stick their overpriced products on them and voila.

Here are some well-known pro climbers who had modeled for luxury brands.

Ashima Shiraishi

Photo credit: ssence.com
Gucci Pants and Gucci Jacket

Alex Honnold

Photo credit: GQ.com
Sweater, by Gucci / Pants, $290, by Stone Island / Watch, $3,400, by Tudor / Chalk Bag by Black Diamond
Photo credit: GQ.com
Pullover, $950, by Loewe / Pants, $290, by Stone Island / Shoes, $170, by La Sportiva

Is the advertising working on you? Will you be buying any of the products for climbing? I don’t know about you, but that orange pant is really nice…

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