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The following year, the company was sold at auction to a group that would eventually be named The North Face, Inc and would guide the brand back to profitability.It would also set the brand up to change hands again, joining VF Corp.’s portfolio of brands in 2000—if the VF Corp.

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The North Face has also emerged as a favourite among high-end Japanese designers (owing, in part, to the brand’s prestige in Japan) and has led to collaborations with the likes of Junya Watanabe and Sacai in recent seasons—though, it should be noted that the Watanabe x The North Face partnership extends as far back as 2006. brand has developed a strong track record of collaborating with its stablemates.It has released both mainline Vans and Vault by Vans collections that included footwear, bags and apparel, as well as a recent collaboration with Timberland on boots and jackets that blended iconic elements of both brands.These extreme weather lines would come to be hugely influential in The North Face’s evolution throughout the ’90s and ’00s and would spawn the Summit Series line, among others.Odyssey Holdings acquired The North Face in 1988, after which the company invested heavily in equipment, but couldn’t keep up with demand.Ultimately, The North Face’s extensive portfolio of collaborations typifies the brand’s multiple identities.

It is a reference for everybody from the most directional Japanese labels to the most mainstream American brands.In 1986 the brand quietly unveiled what would be one of its first collaborations—if not the first—that, in 2018, would dwarf its ongoing partnership with Supreme in terms of cultural gravitas.That year, a tech company from the Bay Area launched an ultimately short-lived clothing line that included vests made in collaboration with The North Face, touted by the tech company as making “some of the toughest products in the world.” The tech company in question? While the vests didn’t have a profound cultural impact at the time, it did sew the seeds of collaboration within The North Face.Thomas Gorton, Digital Editor of explained that, “In Merseyside […] if a crew of guys dressed in black North Face got on [the bus], nine times out of 10 we’re in trouble.Nine times out of 10 the lads wearing North Face are gonna win, too.” Embedded among the youth and embodying a certain status, The North Face has spawned some of streetwear’s most iconic jackets.The same year the company filed for bankruptcy, 1993, The North Face’s Steep Tech jacket appeared on Method Man and the brand became a favorite among youth in New York.