Adventure clothing brand Gnarly Peaks is aiming to tackle Irish weather

Photographer and outdoor adventure enthusiast Miki Barlok launches high-quality environmentally-friendly adventure clothing
Adventure clothing brand Gnarly Peaks is aiming to tackle Irish weather

At Seskin, Bantry, are models Louise Byrne and James McDonald sporting the new adventure clothing brand Gnarly Peaks. Picture: Miki Barlok

CORK-based fashion photographer and outdoor adventure enthusiast Miki Barlok has launched high-quality environmentally-friendly adventure clothing.

Gnarly Peaks, founded by fashion photographer and architect Miki Barlok, was launched from the rugged coast of West Cork (Bantry) providing high-quality, technical clothing for those with the urge to explore and adventure comfortably in any weather.

The core collection of waterproof clothing includes:

An ultra-light and compact (the ‘medium’ size weighs just 280g) fully waterproof (30,000mmH2O) and breathable (30,000gH2O/24hr) jacket made of 100% recycled polyester, with an extended back panel and hood that fits over a helmet.

The jacket is suitable not just for hiking and urban use, but also for mountain biking and rock climbing.

Innovative fully waterproof (10,000mmH2O) and breathable (10,000gH2O/24hr) jeans offer comfort and freedom of movement thanks to a 4-way stretch, 3-layer fabric, that are comfortable for everyday wear. Perfect for work, a mountain hike, or rock climbing.

Fifteen years ago, having finished a Masters in Architecture, Miki moved to Ireland to pursue his passion for photography and fashion. A very short time after his arrival, he started working as a full-time fashion, commercial, and PR photographer.

Over the years, and still, to this day, he has worked for many clients in Ireland and abroad, is widely published in more than 100 covers of various magazines and newspapers.

While working with many fashion designers and beauty brands over the years, the photographer got to see the behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry, and that, coupled with his architectural background and eye for quality ignited a deeper interest in fashion design itself.

His other passion, since childhood, has been the mountains – from climbing on rocks, big mountains, and ice, to mountain biking and hiking across mountains in his home country of Slovakia to the endless offering of mountains across Ireland.

His love for mountains then began to merge with his interest in fashion design, leading to him setting himself the challenge of producing an adventure clothing brand that tackles the ever-present rain in Ireland.

Since then, he has been pouring his passion and enthusiasm into the brand for the last two years, trying and testing mountains and climbing in extreme conditions with experts in the adventure field, to inspire the functionality, look and feel of the garments.

He attended several trade shows to handpick the best technical fabrics and trims.

Due to the pandemic, he also had to learn how to sew and draft clothing patterns and worked on various prototypes himself. A passion for the outdoors also translated into an environmental consciousness so their manufacturers were also selected for their environmentally friendly work practices.

“Gnarly Peaks’ fabrics are made to our unique specifications using recycled fibers and our manufacturers are BlueSign certified. And, of course, our packaging is recycled and biodegradable to leave a lesser mark on the environment,” said Miki.

“Gnarly Peaks is the first Irish adventure clothing brand aiming to compete with the big players in the industry and our garments are currently being tested in Alpine environments to get important feedback from our Gnarly Peaks athletes to provide the best quality for customers,” he added.

In addition to their jackets and jeans, Gnarly Peaks also has padded puffer jackets filled with synthetic down specifically chosen for their insulation properties and ability to dry faster. Teamed with the waterproof jackets, and a Gnarley Peaks beanie, they all make a great combo for our cold Irish months.

Miki and his team are also currently working on expanding the Gnarly Peaks collection with mountain-biking specific clothing, expedition level jackets, soft-shell layers, and functional base layers.

If you or someone you know has the ‘urge to explore’ in this Irish weather, then be sure to support local, and get your Christmas gifts at www.gnarlypeaks.com or see @gnarlypeaks on Instagram.

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