We first got a teaser of The North Face and Gucci collab through an Instagram post showing a co-sign flag back in September last year. Though many people were quick to question it, this team-up wasn’t a bolt from the blue. The writing was on the walls of the giant stake that outdoor wear has been building in the luxury fashion world for several years. Uniting Gucci’s maximalist luxury with The North Face’s weather-cheating expertise, via Alessandro Michele’s penchant for the ’70s, it drops online this January 22. And it makes perfect sense.
Founded in 1968, The North Face has been the go-to label for professional climbers since its inception. From footwear to jackets, the brand has proven its outdoor acumen with every product, focusing on durability while forging its own, now-unmistakable style that revolves around a handful of signature pieces. But why does The North Face stand out so much against the numerous other specialist climbing labels out there and how has it remained at the forefront of both performance and contemporary culture for more than half a century? That’s thanks in no small part to The North Face’s moves in the collab sphere.
Whether talking about the multiple partnerships with Supreme, the splicing of boots with Timberland, or even breaking the internet with the announcement of a Gucci collaboration, each North Face co-project succeeds in retaining the function and style of The North Face while adding a new, refreshing angle to the label.
In honor of this, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite The North Face collaborations to have graced the internet over the years. Better yet, you can still shop the best bits we’ve picked out.
Shop some of the best The North Face collaborations of all time below.
Gucci x The North Face
Gucci x The North Face came as a shock to many, and that’s exactly the point. Classic Italian luxury meets California climbing label? It couldn’t work, could it? Well, it does. The 2021 collection ranges from tees to crewnecks and luxury items like a jacquard monogrammed parka and hiking boots.
Mostly in signature Gucci brown with a reworked Gucci Stripe The North Face logo, A$AP Rocky (pictured above) was seen sporting a coat from the collection in a recent Instagram post. For the rest of us, the pieces are also available in Pokémon Go…
Brain Dead x The North Face
After a successful bout together for Fall/Winter 2019, creative collective Brain Dead and The North Face joined forces again for Fall/Winter 2020. The collection took inspiration from the 1976 Mountain Parka and oversized 1968 Sierra Parka, focusing mainly on outerwear but adventuring into the realms of sportswear, equipment, and accessories, too.
The collaboration was characterized by The North Face’s signature color-blocking, but Brain Dead put its own, brighter spin on the palette, leading to a striking celebration of iconic The North face silhouettes in primary-color glory.
Dover Street Market x The North Face
In celebration of Dover Street Market’s 15th anniversary in 2019, the legendary retailer enlisted the help of several labels to take part in a ‘MONOCHROMARKET’ capsule. That meant all black everything. One of the chosen names was, of course, The North Face, who reworked a handful of items from a Geodome 4 tent to the enduring Nuptse Down Jacket.
While the items weren’t massively altered, each did feature a 2004 tag to remember the year of Dover Street Market’s beginning alongside contrasting white ‘DSM’ insignia next to The North Face logo, signifying the marriage of two true greats.
Extra Butter x The North Face
Technical Difficulties Nuptse
Extra Butter x The North Face
Founded in 2007, Extra Butter will be well known to the New Yorkers reading this. The boutique is one of the Big Apple’s streetwear pillars, working out of its Lower East Side store. In 2017, the boutique celebrated its tenth year in a big way with the ‘Technical Difficulties’ collaboration capsule with The North Face.
Not an easy one to miss, this collection features the multicolored bars that television sets of old showed all too much as a sign of technical problems. The capsule comprised of a Nuptse Down Jacket, Denali Fleece, Knit Beanie, and Unconstructed Pack Hat.
Timberland x The North Face
Of all the collaborations in today’s roundup, something about this one feels extra iconic. Two legends of American style came together in 2017 for a two-piece capsule, and that was all we needed. There was no pomp or fluff — not that we’d expect any from a climbing brand/workwear icon collaboration — just one Nuptse Jacket and one 6″ Timberland Boot.
Both pieces featured split designs to incorporate the inimitable wheat nubuck of Timberland and The North Face’s down-filled nylon. Just as a collaboration should, both components of this capsule embodied the two labels.
Vans x The North Face
Both hailing from California, it felt only right that Vans and The North Face met in the middle at some point. And, while one skates and the other climbs, the Vans x The North Face collaboration felt natural and laid-back. Both labels have enough signature pieces to pick from, so this was really a case of mixing & matching color palettes and silhouettes.
The capsule consisted of three pairs of shoes, three lightweight coach jackets, and one duffel bag. The real winner was the Vans Old Skool MTE DX which featured a new, rugged outsole, weather-resistant leather, and a heat retention layer between sock liner and sole unit.
Supreme x The North Face
Arguably one of the best-known The North Face collaborations thanks to its timeframe, the number of Supreme connections increases on an almost seasonal basis. That made picking a particular collection impossible. Since Fall/Winter 2007, the two labels have worked on more than 20 capsules together which span The North Face’s product catalog and often feature novel patterns or materials courtesy of Supreme.
Below you’ll find a Baltoro Down Jacket emblazoned with the face of The Statue of Liberty which dropped in Fall/Winter 2019 as well as an all-time favorite of ours, the Traction Mules from Fall/Winter 2014 which saw a handful of The North Face pieces updated with striking bandana prints.