One does not exercise in health goth clothing, rather health goth is an exercise in artistic taste.
Written By: Nicole
Don’t take the term for face value. Health goth is not a fashion lifestyle nor trend. Instead, it’s a fashion aesthetic with origins from a Facebook fan page.
Health goth first made its appearance in early 2013 by Portland music artists Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott, and video producer Chris Cantino, who have described the aesthetic as a mix of glossy futurism and transhumanism. The founders said "It’s not just the colour scheme, a lot of the stuff we post are just futuristic or healthy takes on goth style. We find equal inspiration in our Tumblr feed, where you see a lot of 3D rendered images, which have no people or clothing shown."
Keywords that can help people better understand the health goth term, according to the trio, include: “Mesh, moisture-wicking fabrics, BioWare, body enhancement tech, prosthetics, shoe dipping, various fashion and performance wear brands, transparent clothing, chains and light weaponry, tactical gear, elemental aesthetics, corporeal mortification and rendered environments.”
Today, the Facebook fan page has more than 30,000 likes.
Since the term was coined, fans of the aesthetic grew and it quickly caught the attention of designers who wanted to interpret health goth on their own terms. Chicago-based music producer Johnny Love created healthgoth.com where he sells t-shirts with upside-down Nike and Adidas logos alongside personal training sessions. Luxury fashion designer Alexander Wang collaborated with H&M in 2014 on a health goth-inspired collection, which featured all-black athletic ensembles with bold logos, form-fitting silhouettes and oversized sleeves. Although the the collaboration didn't catapult Wang as an icon within the health goth/streetwear scene, similar to the likes of Y3 and Off-White, Wang continues to be a favorite among millennials who seek luxury alternative fashion.
Health goth is similar to street goth, which was birthed by designer Rick Owens’ DRKSHDW collection in 2008. Owens is helmmed as the godfather of the neo gothic-meets-athleisure trend that embraces clutched layers and complex construction with an all-black twist. Soon after its debut, Kanye West and A$AP Rocky rocked the look at public events and in their music videos.
Health goth was, and continues to be, popular in the Tumblr and Instagram scene, where streetwear bloggers show-off their Nike Airforce 1's mixed with a Rick Owens hoodies and Under Armour leggings layered with a pair of shorts. Grabarek, Scott, and Cantino all say that health goth was also influenced by brands HOODBYAIR, Cottweiler, Whatever 21 and A D Y N.
Beyond what fans say, health goth has evolved from a meme to a tongue-in-cheek term used to describe an underground fashion subculture that lean towards nonconformity, dark themes and avant garde construction with athletic silhouettes. It doesn't even matter how you would wear it nowadays. As long as it checks-off at least one of the keywords described by its founders, you are a health goth. Heck, even former President Obama is a health goth. See for yourself.