According to an article on the popular style website fashionista.com, the carabiner is experiencing a 'quiet renaissance' in men's fashion, thanks to the 'enduring appeal' of the 'metal clips with safety closures.' Forget your gear loops or bandoliers and grab yourself a jumper with an integrated racking system - and earrings to match.
In the article, Jacob Gallagher, columnist and men's fashion editor of the Off-Duty section of The Wall Street Journal, claims that menswear is currently 'obsessed with carrying sh*t.' Designers are looking to various sports for fashion inspiration, apparently, and the carabiner is increasingly attracting fashionistas due to the 'stylistic appeal of its mountain climbing roots.' They're so in vogue that luxury designers such as Prada and Louis Vuitton are including them in their collections.
'It has an aesthetic that feels very individualistic,' Gallagher says of climbing. 'I think that designers like that. Rock climbing is outdoorsy, and it's also kind of, to be honest, drug-related.'
However, the editor is quick to point out that combining drugs and climbing isn't the best idea. In parenthesis, he adds:
'Despite this, most climbers on a Reddit thread called Cannabis and Climbing don't recommend smoking before summiting; on the other hand, Wyoming has a popular climb known as Cocaine Rodeo.'
Japanese fashion labels are apparently at 'the epicentre of carabiner adoption,' with one brand spending over $18,000 on a gold carabiner adorned with diamonds. An iridescent carabiner was also designed for Louis Vuitton's accessory range.
Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives for the fashion-conscious climber. 'For about 1/1800th of that price, you also can find one at REI or your local hardware store,' the author reassures readers.
Will this attachment to the carabiner continue? Gallagher is not so sure. 'A carabiner does seem like a very deliberate, extraneous accessory to have,' he admits.
Maybe on the catwalk, but not at the crag (unless it's Malham...)