Let’s say you believe life is inherently meaningless, happiness is but a brief distraction from the abyss and pain is the only constant. Now imagine you want to go to the gym (happiness may be a mirage but heart disease is real). First, you have to find decent, non-neon workout gear. Then you have to block out the endless cheeriness of gym music and trainers hopped up on endorphins. There’s a limit to the suffering even a nihilist can take. Enter health goth.
This trend is for denizens of the goth subculture who also worship at the altar of Lean Body Mass and it’s characterized by fitness wear that is all-black, layered and high-performance. Look for #healthgoth and you’ll see lots of mesh, bulky running shoes and body-con leather and neoprene. Founders of the Health Goth FB page told Complex magazine that for motivational photos they search for terms including, prosthetics, chains and light weaponry, and corporal mortification. Yup, sounds like exercise to us.
Designers and brands who have tapped the trend include Alexander Wang (his H&M collection), Rick Owens, Nasir Mazhar, Nike and Adidas. And, of course, what is a subversive genre without merchandising possibilities.
Photograph: From the Health Goth Facebook page