The North Face's journey is one of many that precedes to entail a long line of success, through their innovations, designs and efforts in other areas aside from outerwear. From the minds of two hiking enthusiasts, Douglas Tompkins and Susie Tompkins followed their passion for the outdoors in 1966, marking the beginning of what would soon turn to be the brand to change outerwear as we know it.
From the start of their small mountaineering retail shop, labeled as The North Face, to the transition to the Berkeley area in 1968 where they would design and produce their own brand of technical mountaineering apparel and equipment - the brand had slowly seen the change in a desire to provide the best gear on the market to building their own line for the fellow outdoor lovers to use. From here, the brand gained a following from mountaineering athletes, leading to the sponsorship of expeditions reaching the far corners of unexplored territory; the catalyst for their mantra, Never Stop Exploring™.
It was in the 1980's that North Face branched out into ski wear, pushing to its extremities with the likes of outerwear, skiwear, sleeping bags, packs and tents in its range, all of which were high-performance. The follow up in the 90's showcased evolution at an impressive rate for the brand, with the launch of its Tekware™ line providing the unexposed public a more frequent glimpse to the iconic half dome branding of TNF through the branding being seen in ultramarathon courses, high-country trails, and big walls.
It was in the 90's that their prowess in streets began to reach cult status, with streetwear style adopting icons such as the 1990 Mountain Jacket and the Nuptse as their uniform of choice. This hybrid of functionality and aesthetics planted the seed for what the brand would achieve in years to come.
Today, The North Face is included in the small circle of the elite outerwear that not only offers enhanced practicality but also refined pieces for casual premium wear. Their ethos remains relevant in both of these factors though, reiterating their slogan Never Stop Exploring™, staying close to the roots that founded the company.