Meet the Brand: Gramicci

The American brand combing form and function into their designs. Outdoor pioneers combing outerwear with streetwear to create the perfect blend. Gramicci has a rich history from when it started out over forty years ago which began when founder, Mike Graham, took a climbing trip in 1974.

Yosemite national park

The History of Gramicci

Gramicci begins with Mike Graham’s passion for climbing, this passion was ignited on a climbing trip to Yosemite with a group of friends, who would later become the Stonemasters. The Stonemasters developed their own unique style of climbing, creating what we would now know as modern big wall climbing. They were also among the first to perfect free soloing which is the art of scaling sheer rock faces without ropes or harnesses. It was this climbing trip that kindled Graham’s free spirit climbing ethos, wanting a free of movement while out on the rock faces.

It was in 1982 that Graham begins to design and make his own climbing apparel. After a stint at manufacturing portaledges in 1977 (a type of portable tent that can be secured to the cliff wall), he turns his attention into creating climbing shorts. These shorts would be designed specifically to climbing boulders, offering a great freedom of movement. This is the beginning of Gramicci as we know it today.

The name Gramicci is unique to Mike Graham as it came about from climbing with the Stonemasters. It was the group’s involvement in the first all-Italian ascent of the famous Half-Dome peak at Yosemite, there was only one problem, they weren’t Italian. Therefore, they each gave themselves Italian sounding nicknames and Graham’s happened to be Gramicci. He then used this nickname for his brand that we all know today.

Gramicci G-Short

In 1988 the iconic G-Pant is launched by Gramicci, from the get-go it is popular among climbers and quickly becomes the must-have climbing pant among the community. The G-Pant is a unique design with a gusseted crotch and an easy cinch release built in belt. With plenty of pockets for carrying all your items, with deep front hand pockets for those smaller items and Velcro closure back pockets to keep them secure. Made using organic cotton twill fabric for hard-wearing comfort to stand up against scrapes and tears.

In the 90s, Gramicci expands it’s offering and begins designing four season collections, incorporating comfort, function, and technology into their clothing. This becomes an immediate hit with the climbing community and enthusiasts. The ethos, attitude, and functional products, sees the brand enshrined in the DNA of streetwear.

However, it is not all smooth sailing for the brand. In the early 2000s the brand loses its sense of purpose. There is a loss of direction, ownership changes and financial difficulties. Things soon begin to change with a new president appointed in 2005, Gramicci begins to bring the brand back to its roots.

Gramicci Yosemite Tee

Towards the end of the decade the brand begins to rebuild on its lost reputation and begins designing clothing with young explorers in mind. They change the way how people perceived outdoor gear – making something that people previously thought as dull, functional, and utilitarian to something stylish, affordable, well-made, and practically designed.

Gramicci was one of the early pioneers of streetwear, bringing form and function into one place. Tough clothing to withstand the rigors of outdoor pursuits. The brand is a standout here at Copperfield, practical and comfortable, definitely one to explore when you next visit us.