This story was originally published on December 23, 2020.
After months of anticipation, Gucci and The North Face revealed their collaborative collection. While the partnership has reportedly been in the works since before the pandemic, the results — which see the Italian luxury house’s maximalist designs on North Face’s beloved winter jackets — could not have come at a more perfect time, as we're spending more time outdoors in nature.
The '70s-inspired collection — that includes outerwear, like puffer coats, quilted jackets, windbreakers, and vests, as well as clothing like shirts, skirts, and jumpsuits, for women and men — celebrates the spirit of exploration. While the pairing of the luxury brand and the outdoorsy label may seem unexpected, there are some deeper parallels. According to the press release accompanying the campaign images and video, shot in the Alps by Daniel Shea, both brands cater to those who seek adventure: "It is a well acknowledged notion that travel leads to self-discovery, and in this conviction The North Face is aligned with Gucci, which similarly empowers people in their quest to celebrate and express their own characters and personalities."
No surprise, the pieces are as gorgeous as they are cold-weather-proof. Matching shirt-skirt combos in bright floral prints, retro-esque jackets that could easily be taken on a Wes Anderson-inspired hike, and luxurious leather hiking boots all take glamping to a whole new fashion level. These pieces don’t look like they’re just for show. We fully expect to survive the elements in style — if we could bear to scuff up a beautiful pair of Gucci logo-bearing hiking boots or puffer jacket trekking through the wilderness.
This unexpected partnership doesn’t stop at clothing either. The North Face x Gucci collab also includes sleeping bags and tents and backpacks that ooze retro funk. No need to leave any essentials at home for the sake of fashion. There are enough pockets for your water, snacks, and anything else you might need. When we think of our dream camping trip post-COVID, this is exactly the kind of ‘70s, dream-like world we envision.
This collaboration is coming at a big moment for both brands. Earlier this year, North Face launched another collaboration with MM6 Maison Margiela that was an instant hit. North Face's original designs have also seen strong sales this year: According to ASOS, the company saw a 300 percent increase in North Face puffer purchases. In particular, the demand for the Nuptse puffer has, according to fashion search engine Lyst, gone up 71% in November, making the jacket one of the most-viewed products from the brand on the site. Since creative director Alessandro Michele took the reins at Gucci in 2015, he, too, has made headlines for his innovative shows. Most recently that included a mini-festival, GucciFest, dedicated to showcasing the brand's new collection, as well as spotlighting emerging designers. While Michele has worked with other artists and designers, the North Face collaboration marks the first brand partnership he has done while at Gucci.