Towards the end of last year, as the pandemic raged on and the creative industries, including fashion, continued to carve out new ways of working and producing, The North Face and Gucci announced they were collaborating. A teaser video showing a single “The North Face x Gucci” tent flag blowing in the breeze dropped in September, followed by campaign images for menswear and womenswear: padded coats, quilted jackets and windbreakers, skirts, coords and sweaters merged The North Face’s practical DNA with Gucci’s carefree 70s eccentricity.
“There is a big mistake, made by many, in telling the story of man as a separate or isolated element from nature,” says Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele. “We are nature and nature is us…I don’t differentiate between beauty and functionality. I find it very comfortable to be beautiful and I find it very beautiful to be comfortable.”
Playing into the post-pandemic shift towards sustainability and ‘fashion for life’ (not just the season), the collection focuses on wardrobe staples in materials built to last. Retro climbing gear-inspired backpacks, belt bags and boots aren’t merely ‘clickbait’ for street style photographers – they are equal parts functional and high fashion.
Several ‘Artwalls’ have also popped up in five cities around the world to mark the collaboration: from a vibrant puffer jacket in Milan and vivd blooms in Hong Kong and New York, to powder pink graphics in Shanghai and a giant flag motif in London – each design is unique except for the inclusion of the combined The North Face and Gucci logo.
Timely, inspiring and enduring, Gucci’s most recent tie-up is a thoughtful partnership – authentic in its intention and promising for the future of fashion collaborations.
The North Face x Gucci collection is now available at select boutiques worldwide
Creative cirector: Alessandro Michele
Art director: Christopher Simmonds
Photographer and director: Daniel Shea
Makeup: Thomas De Kluyver
Hairstylist: Alex Brownsell