A 2024 style report on Gardencore
This year, we're all gonna be gardeners – here's how to look good while doing it.
The year of green thumbs and cold soil
I’m no trend forecaster, but if you’ve followed this newsletter long enough, you know I like to dabble in making predictions and offer observations around style shifts, passing trends, and shit I think will be in or out over time.
In the spirit of carrying this tradition onward, we unpack a style shift I’ve been thinking about for a while and one that I believe is primed to get even more mainstream.
And that would be Gardencore.
Look, I’m sorry for adding another core to your list; it’s getting out of hand with all the “cores.” But it’s a symptom of the trends and hype cycles that live and die on TikTok.
What’s hard about trends forecasting right now IMO is that—because of short-form video—ideas move at such a rapid velocity that it’s impossible to keep up with where a trend starts and ends.
And the only real way of making sense of these trends is by giving them names to be reduced to.
Hence the core.
Anyway, back to gardening.
What I think is different about this trend is that it’s more than the clothes. It stems from a deeper desire to connect with something bigger than yourself: nature.
Remember when we used to say brb when chatting with friends online?
Now we live here, and that sucks.
Hate it when people tell you to touch grass? Me too.
But we’re all so chronically online these days, that connection to nature is what we have left to connect with reality.
Gardening is therapeutic, it brings joy to the soul. And since we have to outfit our way to every engagement, why not sexy AF in gardening while digging our hands in soil?!
We’ll look at—
How brands are tapping into gardening through good apparel and gear
Which companies are creatively executing gardening as an aesthetic
Luxury fashion’s obsession with gardening
And the communal element to gardening
Noteworthy gardening brands
You’ve been served countless ads by them featuring their ever-iconic garden clogs, of which I recently bought a pair.
And they’re as sexy as advertised.
And in the true spirit of embracing trends and styles that we won’t actually be real with, I’m not going outside in the clogs. They’re proper house slippers.
Gardenista, a gardening magazine, recently did a cover piece on a brand from Upstate New York, and this description sums them up perfectly.
“So when we discovered Gardenheir, which began as an online store conceived by two avid gardeners before developing into a brand with two physical stores, it was an epiphany. Here, everything is beautiful, carefully considered, and curated—and, quite frankly, we wanted it all. We recently spoke to founders Alan Calpe and Christopher Crawford to get the lowdown on their gardening journey…”
If you’re in the area, visit one of their shops, and let me know what you think!
Niwaki has become the de facto inspiration for merging gardening as a hobby with style. While the brand has Japanese sensibilities, they’ve two locations in the UK, one on the famous Chiltern Street in London and another tucked away in the English hills.
Stylistically, Niwaki is a delightful brand and another which I’d totally buy the products just to wear them, not to garden with.
Not only are their products so incredibly good, but you can sign up for classes and workshops where they help you learn to garden too.
Sassafras has been around for 20 years, founded in Japan by Takashi Takagi. The brand’s pieces draw inspiration from his passion for gardening and his realization that vintage military garments also serve a great purpose as gardening apparel.
The pieces are flowy, baggy, comfortable, sturdy, and well-suited for different gardening terrains.
The brand is definitely not widely sold, which is probably by design. And what makes them even cooler as a brand.
For a more contemporary, luxurious option, we turn to Miles Leon, sold on Mr. Porter.
The brand’s tagline on IG goes something like “For those interested in the cultivation, growth, and mastery of themselves,” which gives me the same energy as those Carhartt memes where the shirt says “I wear Carhartt because I’m working on myself.”
They definitely lean towards the fashionability of gardening style and a little less on the functional side of it. But I can’t confirm that because I own nothing from them.
Either way, some cool outerwear in their collection.
Gardening as an aesthetic
TOAST new campaign
TOAST, a British brand, recently dropped a new menswear collection that pays homage to the garden. It’s certainly more of a backdrop than anything else, but love to see that brands are channeling this in their campaigns.
18east x Earth Studies
This one dropped last fall, and it’s another collab between two US based brands that I love.
Earth Studies (similar to their name) are connected to portraying elements of nature in different collections they release, so it’s no surprise that greenhouses and plants are part of this partnership.
This is less on the apparel side (although their merch is great!), but what Ryan Lee and Kay Kim are building with Rooted is fantastic.
I’m lucky to call them my friends, and it’s been cool to see their dedication to building a plant business for younger customers.
They used to have this kick-ass brick-and-mortar near Canal Street in New York that closed during COVID-19, and now they focus on DTC and own nurseries in Florida.
They’ve been quietly bringing the vibes back to gardening, and the stylistic approach is a byproduct of the brand itself.
Nicole McLaughlin x Vans
Another day, another Nicole McLaughlin jerry-rigging ordinary products into random shit. She just dropped a shoe with HOKA that turns into four different styles, and this collab with Vans was also a fun nod to gardens and gnomes.
A magazine about… produce
This is more about produce and less about plants and flowers, but Slop – the UK’s premier ‘zine on produce and food – is a bangin’ piece of creative work you must read right now.
It’s a well-curated publication about produce and taps into the more human side of growing food, doing it sustainably, and the stories connected to it.
Luxury fashion’s gardening obsession
Of course, we know that when any trend takes off or has a sniff of gaining wider traction, in come the big labels, ready to milk it for all it’s worth. Over the last 3-4 years, there have been a slew of them tapping into gardening.
Gucci OFF THE GRID
Who else would we expect to tap into the gardening world but Gucci?
Their Off the Grid division, which uses recycled, organic, bio-based, and sustainably sourced materials for their products, did a campaign featuring The Veg King—AKA Gerald Stratford, a cheeky British fellow who documents his journey as a gardener of all things plants, flowers and produce.
It was a well-produced shoot, and I’m glad they gave flowers to Gerald, one of the most soothing people to watch on TikTok right now.
A few others to note—
Dior’s gardening kit
Sporty & Rich had to do it to ‘em
Clogs are the new sneakers
I’ve written about this topic for. a few years now, but a new signifier of taste in footwear is wearing something other than sneakers. And in many cases right now, it’s mules, clogs, or slides.
More thoughts on this later, but that’s all for now. Ultimately, it’s fun seeing this pop up not only as a trend, but a shift in perspective that I believe can be more sustainable for people long term. We all need to get outside in nature and, dare I say, touch grass.