The North Face
The North Face is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Known for offering gear for the most adventurous, they have almost everything you need to make a camping, hiking, skiing, or mountaineering trip successful. But, it wasn’t started on the coldest part of a mountain as its name states--it was started in the North Beach area of San Francisco. Douglas and Susie Tompkins came up with the idea for a ski and backpack store and founded it in 1966. The products they carried were sold at their small retail store and through mail-order.
But, the idea really took off after it was acquired by Kenneth Klopp two years later. In 1968, the shop was moved to the Berkeley area, and the design and manufacturing facility of The North Face brand was born, with a determination to be the best outdoor gear company. It was during the late 60s that The North Face sponsored its first of many expeditions that would become the inspiration for many of their advancements in the outdoor gear market. At the end of the 1960’s the company showcased the Ruthsack, which was considered a revolutionary advancement for the times, as it dramatically cut the weight of a backpack down. This marked the creation and launch of their logo, the same one they use today. Years of innovation, expeditions, athletic sponsorships and pure adrenaline fueled adventure was about to unfold for the brand.
In the 1970s, the company made quite an impact in the industry. They revolutionized tent design and its ability to sustain the harshest of winter conditions. They introduced GORE-TEX fabric into their product line, something that they continue to use in their products today. The 1970s also marked the rollout of the tagline ‘Expedition Proven’ which was based on product feedback provided by The North Face Athletes, which inspired design change and product innovation by the brand. In the 1980s, The North Face brand changed the ski, snowboard and extreme gear industries. Many of the collections and product lines they released during this decade were influenced by their many expeditions, each climb pushing the limits of men and women.
In the 1990s, the company continued to sponsor and affiliate their brand with extreme climbing and skiing expeditions as well as recognized extreme athletes. They updated their tagline to capture the spirit of the brand, ‘Never Stop Exploring’. This tagline is still used today. They also rolled out the Athlete Tested line that allows actual athletes to do product testing in the field. In the 2000s signs of social responsibility emerged with the announcement of The North Face Explore Fund, aimed at today’s youth with the goal of inspiring the kids of today to get outdoors to explore. In the last few years, TNF released Thermoball, its latest in insulation technology.
The North Face brand has been busy over the last 50 years plus they have kept true to their original mission of creating the best gear for the outdoor adventurer. Today, the recognizable logo can be found on parkas, vests, fleece, hoodies, backpacks, t-shirts, hats and so much more. There is something for just about everyone. When in NYC, stop by Dave’s New York to check out their extensive selection of The North Face brand.