In a hotly anticipated and somewhat surprising collaboration, the world of the fashionista has joined forces with the world of the mountain explorer. Yes, Gucci meets The North Face to merge two opposite brands into one, on a limited range of clothing. The former was introduced to the latter’s back catalogue of outerwear – namely its retro late-1960s and 1970s collections. From which a whole new edit was born. The resulting range is nostalgia-filled and delightfully kitsch, fusing function with high fashion.
This is not the first time a couture label has teamed with an activewear brand. Prada and Addidas also recently married up as did Stüssy and Dior. But it is the first time in recent history that Gucci has merged with another brand on a full collection, making the new partnership all the more groundbreaking.
But what of the logo? Well, the new range will sport a hybrid motif, combining The North Face’s lined half-circle with the Italian label’s signature green and red web stripe. Look out for Gucci art walls in five global cities (Hong-Kong, Shanghai, London, New York and Milan), featuring unique imagery and the novel North Face x Gucci logo.
We first heard about plans to bring the two together back in September. But with the range having been officially announced as 2020 ends, the collab’s collection is sure to cause a stir into 2021. And it brings a breath of fresh air into what has been a challenging year for the industry.
Including practical jackets and coats in funky vintage hues, gender-neutral rugged footwear and floral separates, the range is created in line with sustainable policies and a move toward longer wearing pieces. The North Face-Gucci luggage items are crafted using regenerated materials that can later be recycled and reincarnated.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele (himself a lover of outdoor pursuits and 1970s style) overhauled the house’s output earlier this year, recognising a need for more ‘essential’ wear during a pandemic – and post-pandemic – living. Commenting on the move, Michele said: “We are a big brand, so we have a responsibility to take care of our industry”.
And it’s not only clothes that make the Gucci grade. The North Face’s evergreen collection of outward-bound staples – such as tents, rucksacks and sleeping bags are also receiving an on-trend makeover. Which is superb news for the fashion-conscious camper, whose couture options for kit had previously remained limited.
Items tipped as bestsellers are hiking boots available in brown, black and cream, with a Goodyear-welted sole and rope style laces, super comfy brightly coloured jumpsuits and a padded gilet (already a North Face customer favourite) emblazoned with vintage Gucci chains.
The collection itself is set to debut in China at the end of this month, before being released online. UK based shoppers will be able to browse the range at Selfridges, London until the 30th January 2021.