The North Face celebrates 50 years of its parka

To mark the anniversary, US design studio Collected Works produced a wide-ranging campaign including a limited edition zine

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First launched in 1973 as a piece of technical gear for extreme conditions, the North Face parka has evolved over the decades into a piece of classic winterwear.

Collected Works looked to the brand’s heritage as a starting point for the 50th anniversary campaign, taking inspiration from vintage North Face catalogues and publications to create a zine as well as motion design and photography. According to the studio, the overall campaign aims to highlight the parka as a “cultural symbol that has resonated with the masses”.

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The Collected Works - The North Face - Zine Spread

The zine features interviews with selected North Face wearers, which demonstrate how the brand delicately navigates the path between outdoor wear and fashion. “Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin recount epic stories of mountaineering, Quannah Chasinghorse shares what the North Face has meant to her in her advocacy and sustainability work, and Danie Sierra speaks of the parka’s resonance in urban culture,” say Collected Works. “We had the immense pleasure of laying out their words alongside beautiful photography, from the heights of the Rocky Mountains to the streets of New York.”

While the North Face has gained attention in recent years for collabs with luxury brands such as Gucci and Maison Margiela, with the unexpected pairings causing a viral sensation, this campaign is more centred on the brand’s roots, and is a continuum of other recent work from the brand that has focused on its heritage status.

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The Collected Works - The North Face - Zine Spread - 17

Speaking to CR last year, Afshin Moeini, creative director at B-Reel, one of the brand’s agency partners, explained the need to maintain the brand’s core audience while reaching out to new markets.

“Authenticity is so important. People are smart, and they can see through when brands are trying to do something just to appeal to ‘[X] audience’,” said Moeini. “That’s something the North Face has done very well; they’ve always remained authentic to the fact that they are an outdoor brand more than anything else.”