When The North Face was first founded in 1968 by Doug and Susie Tompkins, the brand's sole focus was on climbing equipment. Over time and even until this day, TNF became synonymous with climbing, hikes, and adventures in some of the harshest locations in the world. As the brand slowly became adopted by the general public, it was typically the middle aged dad who needed a good quality jacket to get through the winter time (Yeah that’s right, you’re biting your dad's steez.), but it wasn’t until the late ‘80s and ‘90s that TNF started to get some real attention.
While hip-hop was progressing through arguably one of its best eras in its history, TNF was beginning to trend thanks to some of the biggest names in the game either rocking or name-dropping the brand. The years kept rolling and The North Face was by all means a well established clothing company in both functionality and style, but when another certain NY skate brand began to blow up, TNF’s stock in the streetwear game skyrocketed.
Supreme and The North Face began their collabs back in 2007, and while the brand was still quite popular then, it was nowhere near the scale it is today. In the 2010’s, as the era of hypebeasts commenced, Supreme was the godfather of all hype brands, and it just so happened that some of their best, most sought after pieces were their TNF collaborations. Everytime a North Face piece would be part of a drop, it would be the first to sell out, accelerating the hype for both brands.
Nowadays, both Supreme and TNF are staples in streetwear, with the latter being immensely more attainable than the former. Luckily for adventurers around the world, The North Face’s success in mainstream fashion didn’t mean they would stray away from their original purpose. The OGs of functionality are still creating their classic pieces with the same, if not better technical aspects, allowing the tech-heads to still put their gear to the ultimate test, and lets the casual fashion-focused buyer get the drip as well as the functionality.
At OTH, our curation is dedicated to bringing the best of the best, whether it be purely stylistically or functionally, and if it wasn’t clear already, The North Face fits the bill which is why we’ve stocked them for over 15 years. Whether your focus is copping a clean garment to complete the fit or getting a piece of TNF’s innovation to battle the elements, we’re going to take you through some of our selection at Off The Hook to help you learn about the performance elements and how you can rock the pieces in a fit.
The Nuptse jacket is The North Face’s bread and butter and arguably their most iconic piece. From a functional standpoint, the Nuptse is one of their warmest jackets as it boasts a 700 fill goose down though it’s also more lightweight than some of their others, allowing you to pack it away when you’re not wearing it. In addition to the warmth it provides, the TNF classic is both water and wind resistant and get this… it has a hood! (We’ve never seen anybody use the hood…EVER! We’re starting to think nobody knows about it.) The Nuptse is one of the easiest jackets to rock as well their most popular, which is why it’s been a preferred choice in so many different styles and why it's the basis for so many of their collabs, such as the recent TNF XX KAWS Drop 2 from earlier this year. From keeping it simple to getting a printed version, it can be worn as a staple piece or tying together a simple fit of some Stussy denim, any sweatshirt underneath and a knit beanie to keep your head warm, because we know you’re not gonna wear the hood.
The Mountain Jacket is another one of those that has been the face of many collabs, especially with Supreme, and really helped put TNF on the streetwear map. Not insulated like your Nuptse or HMLYN, the Mountain Jacket is waterproof, windproof, and includes functional elements like a stormflap and vented armpits, making it the absolute perfect top layer when skiing, climbing, or just trekking through the cold outdoors. Due to its lighter weight, you can rock this jacket almost all year round whenever the weather gets cooler. With it’s simple, clean look, it can be paired with more or less anything, whether it’s Carhartt cargos or on top of some more technical Nike ACG pieces, the Mountain Jacket really is one of their most versatile pieces.
When you see the HMLYN Parka, your first thought is likely “Wow, that looks warm.” and you’d be more than correct. Inspired by the original Himalayan Down Jacket that was designed for Everest expeditions (We told you they’re serious about performance), the HMLYN is also up there as one of TNF’s warmest jackets on the market. The 550 fill goose down coat features several additions to protect you from the winter’s wrath, such as water and wind resistant elements, a filled hood, and a stormflap to protect your face. With its sheer size, the HMLYN Parka can compliment cozy fits like a full Maison Coterie sweatsuit and with some oversized pants like MC’s new Parachute Pants.
TNF’s Denali Jacket is one that so easily transitions between both functionality and streetwear. On the summit, It’s an ultra warm Polartec fleece zip-up underlayer with a water-repellent overlay, capable of zipping into multiple other jackets such as the Mountain Jacket. In the streets, The Denali is a clean, fleece jacket that can be rocked with all types of fits all year round. To keep things clean and simple, pair the Denali with some basics and essentials from brands like Taikan, Stussy or Maison Coteries new run of blanks.
Now The North Face is typically known for their footwear, but just like the rest of their gear, they didn’t cheap out as they’re equipped with some of the best traits a pair of winter mules can have. When it’s freezing out, most people wouldn’t dare step out without boots, but the ThermoBall Mules are fully prepared to withstand the cold. With incredible focus on warmth with the ThermoBall Eco insulation and comfort with their Oso fleece collar lining, these water-repellent mules are worn both at base camps during climbs or in the much less daunting streets of the city. As they come in both calm and loud colors, they can either make a fit instantly catch people's attention or keep a fit low-key. Pair them with almost anything, from Pleasures or Obey sweats to Carhartt WIP cargos, it doesn’t matter when shoes are this versatile, you may as well rock them in your bathroom at home while you’re at it.
Don’t start thinking that TNF could forget about the ladies because the Cragmont Fleece is just that piece. These full fleece jackets are made to be both extremely comfortable with their relaxed fit, and extra warm with their heavyweight fabric, making it one of the warmest fleece they offer. With tons of reinforced sections that add to both the durability and style, the Cragmont is a must as a top piece of cooler days, and a layering piece for when the harsh winter really gets underway. The Cragmont Fleece comes in both a full button or ¼ button closure, allowing you to decide which style you prefer more and can easily be put together with some Nike sweats or some Praise tights for a clean athletic fit.
The Alpine Polartec is like the Canadian roadman’s dream. With both tops and bottoms, the Alpine Polartec suit will protect your whole body from the cold weather as it’s made from 100% recycled polyester fleece, as well as make sure you’re at peak comfort while wearing it with its lightweight, four-way stretch components. Trust us, you’d be surprised at how warm you can be in something this lightweight. As for the style, like we said, throw your Nike trackies off to the side for the winter because the winters get cold out here. Pair the whole suit with a Taikan side bag and some a pair of Nike Air Max to pay homage as you complete your full winter roadman fit.