”Need to Know" is a series spotlighting the brands that are gaining steam and breaking through the noise. Whether its an emerging brand or an established brand having a major moment in pop culture, we’re focusing on introducing, discussing and dissecting the brands shifting the men’s style space today.

I’ve only ever been fishing a handful of times—and never seriously. I was always more of the, “standing on a dock as a kid dangling a hook with a live worm on it into the water in the middle of the day”-type. I have been told these are sub-optimal tactics for actually catching fish. Yet, here I am, a decade and a half later, now wanting to buy fishing gear from South2 West8.

I take solace in the fact that I’m not the only one who has never set foot in a Bass Pro Shops but now wants nothing more than to walk around in a Tenkara parka.

Part of that owes to the fact that we’ve spent the better part of a year cooped up inside. Travelling hasn’t really been possible. So, instead, we took to daydreaming about things like camping and, when it was finally possible, some decided to take up a new outdoor activity. At least some of South2 West8’s rise in popularity this year is rooted in that, to be sure. Our longing for the great doors has slowly pushed us towards the clothes we would wear if there. Plus, they’re inherently cozy—designed to be comfortable for hours exposed to the elements—which has also been increasingly popular, while still having structure. South2 West8, in particular, exists at a crossroads of sorts, somewhere between Engineered Garments and Needles (more on that in a minute).

Yet, even before our collective desire to get lost in the wilderness wearing a shirt with six pockets on it or stand shin-deep in a flowing creek with a tie-dye net in hand and an orange fishing vest on your back, South2 West8 was well on its way to becoming the next big gorpcore brand.

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Tags: need-to-know, techwear, japan, keizo-shimizu, daiki-suzuki, south2-west8, outdoor-brands, outdoors, gorpcore, fishing, needles, nepenthes, engineered-garments