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In early June, the New York City-based Hikerkind launched Hike Club, a women-led, donation-based hiking club for those seeking to escape the city for the weekend and get outside. Aka a club for people like us. And likely you, too.
Now, they’re back to officially launch as a technical women's hiking brand with a modest three-piece capsule collection of design-forward basics to ensure you look and feel great on the trail this summer.
Years back, long before launching a brand was even an idea, founders Chelsea Rizzo and Allison Levy met as fashion interns in the city and bonded over a shared love for hiking. Levy grew up with the activity intertwined into her everyday lifestyle, Rizzo later in life fell hard and fast after a trip upstate, and more recently saw plans to hike the PCT thwarted by COVID.
Throughout their respective journey's, the two noticed a need for more aesthetically pleasing outdoor gear for women (amen!). They discussed how looking good can boost self-confidence in the outdoors.
"We surveyed almost 70 women and asked them ‘Do you think you perform better and are more confident when you feel like you look like yourself?’" Levy tells us. "89% of women responded ‘Yes,’ with one woman writing ‘Hell Yeah!’ We knew then we weren’t alone in thinking this.” And so, Hikerkind was born.
The initial launch is anchored by Midlayer_01 ($183), a cozy yet high performing pullover made with Polartec Power Air, a technical fabric constructed from 92% recycled polyester that offers the warmth and breathability of a classic pile fleece with 5x less microfiber shedding.
Constructed in NYC’s Garment District, the midlayer is the first piece in what will become a line of consciously-created apparel the young brand plans on releasing slowly and in limited batches as the seasons roll on. By the end of 2021, expect to see Midlayer_01 available in a few new colorways, with a complete trail outfit(!) set to roll-out Spring 2022.
As both Levy and Rizzo use bandanas regularly while hiking, they wanted to do something special for Bandana_01 ($20), the second item in the launch collection. Designed by artist Raee Lorton of Crag to Crux, the multi-functional accessory is 100% cotton with illustrations inspired by early 20th French textiles, herbal drawings, and vintage bandana patterns. Wear it in your hair, around your neck, or use it as a sweat mopper-and look cute doing it.
Rounding out the initial offering is Water Bottle_01 ($18), a standard 32oz Nalgene with the brand’s logo and signature “You Are Here” emblem surrounding the sides. With an attractive vintage colorway of earth tones, it’s the water bottle you may not need, but want.
If hosting Hike Club and systemically rolling out well-designed gear wasn't enough, the pair plans to introduce a resale initiative down the line, too, where customers can repair and reuse, or resell their Hikerkind gear.
“It was important to us from the start that we thought about the complete life cycle of the gear we planned to create." Levy explains. "Our overarching goal for the initiative is to extend the life of our gear and keep it out of landfills as long as possible. Easier said than done, which is why we’re taking the time to do it right." We live for the patient and methodical approach, folks.
Driven by an ethos of technical and conscious design you can turn a look in, Hikerkind proves you don’t need to sacrifice style for a day on the trail. And whether you plan on buying in or joining a weekend hike, Hikerkind is here to make you feel all the more comfortable and confident outside.