There are hypebeasts, and then there are hike beasts. The most anticipated fashion collaboration of the year (and 2021, if our predictions are correct) appeals to both parties. Our ears collectively piqued when we first heard the news in September: Gucci is joining forces with The North Face for a collection that bridges mountains, both literally and figuratively. In true 2020 fashion, the vague announcement of the partnership first occurred on a TikTok mountaintop, but we're here to give you an exclusive first look at what The North Face x Gucci collaboration actually looks like.
While both brands are familiar with high-low friends (Mickey Mouse sported the GG Supreme logo while The North Face has dabbled with MM6 Maison Margiela, Supreme, and many more designers), this is the first time the Italian fashion house has teamed up with another brand.
Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele is a known fan of the eclectic '70s' aesthetic. From disco collars to pleated lamé, his love for a vintage feel runs deep in his tenure at the brand. The North Face, which was founded in 1966, introduced Michele to the outdoorswear brand's archives to serve as inspiration for the collaboration. The end result is camp, in both its definitions of the word.
Goose down clothing isn't limited to the puffer jacket, but cut in full skirts, shirts, bib dresses and even a jumpsuit. Bright notes of cyan and kelly green complement vintage floral motifs. A pair of gender-neutral hiking boots, complete with contrast braided laces and a sturdy Goodyear-welted sole, is sure to be a hot-ticket item. Given the designer price tag though, we suspect they're more "hiking" Runyon Canyon than tackling the PCT.
The collab truly marries and highlights what both brands do best. For example: A padded vest, similar to The North Face's still-popular Nuptse style, is printed with vintage Gucci chains. In exchange, Gucci's iconic pussy-bow blouses are splashed with the North Face's logo. Speaking of logos, it only makes sense that the two came together to design a combined emblem: The North Face's lined half-circle (which symbolizes the famous Half Dome in Yosemite National Park) seamlessly blends into Gucci's signature green and red stripe. And if you're after the accessories, you're in luck. The collection features future it-backpacks that resemble retro climbing gear complete with rope pulls and webbed straps and a variety of belt bags. Of course, there's also a Gucci-fied tent and sleeping bag.
Never venturing off the hiking trail, the collaboration's campaign stays true to its theme. Shot by photographer Daniel Shea, they took to the alps. With a hazy, sun-drenched feel, models trek along the mountainside, evoking the '70s with photos that mimic recently developed film you discovered in an attic, out of focus and sometimes out of frame. Even the soundtrack to the short film ties back to The North Face's roots. The video is set to the tune “Bad Moon Rising” by Credence ClearwaterRevival, who had their practice studio adjacent to The North Face's original storefront in Berkeley, California.
The collection also promotes the two brand's joint sustainability efforts. Gucci launched its first sustainable collection earlier this year with Off the Grid, and The North Face actively takes steps to be socially and environmentally responsible. This collaboration continues that path with luggage made from ECONYL®— a nylon fabric sourced from regenerated materials and packaging made from sustainably managed forest sources.
Mark your calendars for January 6th when this collaboration drops in the U.S., because you'll have to scale mountains in order to snag a piece from this heavily sought-after collection, available in select stores.
Creative Director: Alessandro Michele. Art Director: Christopher Simmonds. Photographer & Director: Daniel Shea. Make Up: Thomas De Kluyver. Hair stylist: Alex Brownsell. Music credits: “Bad Moon Rising, Written by John Fogerty; Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Published by Concord Music Group, Inc. Recording courtesy of Craft Recordings, a division of C.