Fashion Trends

Cargo Pants At The Ready, Fashion’s Survival Trend Is In Full Swing

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Nick Knight

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What does dressing for doomsday look like? It’s a question more than a few have pondered over the last few years, and one which has been brought to the fore in new apocalyptic film releases, Don’t Look Up and The Matrix Resurrections.

Read more: The 10 Key Spring/Summer 2022 Trends To Know Now

The answer, according to the recent runways, is the survivalist trend. Balenciaga’s normcore-meets-hardcore approach has been particularly popular. Confused? Demna’s spring/summer 2022 showcase saw models – the majority of which were dressed in all black – storm the red-carpet catwalk in wraparound sunglasses and leather. The penultimate look – a stretchy catsuit featuring his signature built-in boots and gloves, paired with bug-eye sunnies – is a perfect example of a fittingly futuristic ensemble in which to take on anything.

A futuristic catsuit comprised the penultimate look at Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2022 showcase.

The Matrix reboot has sparked a surge of sci-fi, survival (ish) gear. Leather trench coats were seen at Khaite, Alaïa and Alexander McQueen for spring/summer 2022, with Lyst reporting that Trinity and Neo-esque outerwear has been in high demand since December (searches for leather trench coats are up 32 per cent).

Isabel Marant gathered-collar vinyl coat


Cos leather trench coat


Hailey Bieber has nodded to the OG ’90s protagonists with her recent style choices. Proving that The Matrix isn’t strictly for Halloween, Bieber has worn gothic coats from Magda Butrym and Isabel Marant, as well as Reformation’s Nylah boots, wool-blend black cargo pants from Bottega Veneta and slimline black-out sunglasses from Raen.

The Matrix-esque leather coats cropped up across the board for spring/summer 2022.

Khaite spring/summer 2022

Cargo pants, like Hailey’s, are up 25 per cent, but camo cargos have been a mainstay of Rihanna’s off-duty wardrobe for some time. The singer was ahead of the curve with her baggy Balenciaga and The Attico cargos that she wore throughout last year with matching camo heels from Amina Muaddi. Rih’s other survivalist staples include gilets and cosy jackets, shield sunglasses, puffy accessories, track pants and bombers.  

Hailey Bieber has worn no less than two leathery coats since the start of the year.


Naturally, grunge lover Bella Hadid is another poster girl for the trend. Cargos, fleeces and stomper boots are her MVPs, while the multi-pocketed, über-practical vintage Prada Militare Tessuto Active Nylon bag that she’s been carrying is well-equipped for any occasion. 

Bottega Veneta twill straight-leg cargo trousers


Prada cotton-gabardine cargo pants


Rihanna is layered-up and ready for anything. 


What’s next on the survivalist shopper’s list? Searches for shearling vests are up 67 per cent. Brace yourselves, the dystopian mood is only just taking hold.