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Born out of the unlikely crossover between fashion and the outdoors industry, urban techwear (or “techwear”, for short) is an emerging style that blends form with a relentless focus on function.
While athleisure often straddles the line between aesthetics and utility, techwear chooses to ignore the line altogether: in our technology-enabled future, why couldn’t someone have both?
Most contemporary fashion is content to riff on the past. Instead, techwear forgoes the familiar in favor of function. Bright, nylon anoraks become shine-resistant jet black shells.
Standard cotton trousers become high-stretch Ripstop cargos. Even workboots get an upgrade: from bulky leather to ultralight Flyknit “shield,” a complete techwear wardrobe signals a paradigm shift, a leap of faith towards the full potential of the state-of-the-art. ‘
The techwear aesthetic is heavily influenced by futurist artistic styles such as cyberpunk (think Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell).
In execution, most techwear falls into one of two categories: “grey” (sleek, understated, the amplified familiar) or “black” (striking, military-inspired, the future circa 1985).
Regardless of category, a typical techwear jacket is matte black, tailored to move, and made entirely of GORE-TEX’s three-layer waterproof fabric. The difference comes from how that function is styled.
Grey techwear takes its name from the concept of the “grey man,” a security business term for an agent dressed to blend in but equipped to do anything but.