Short videos of wind-whipped flags against stunning natural backdrops didn’t give us much to go on when they popped up on Instagram in September. But knowing the two brands involved was enough to get fashion observers excited. The results are, ultimately, about exploration, whether it be the exploration of the great outdoors or the metaphorical exploration closely associated with Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele.
Shot by Daniel Shea in the Alps, the campaign features a full cross-section of the merchandise on offer, and showcases Gucci-clad hikers traversing rivers and verdant mountainscapes. The texture of the photographs has a vintage ’70s feel to match the colorways and materials The North Face pulled from its own archive for the collection. From a distance, they give the impression of charming holiday snapshots you might find buried in the back of your parents’ closet––well, albeit a touch more stylish.
When it comes to the garments themselves, they were also based on styles produced by The North Face throughout the 1970s. The selection of outerwear is, as expected, particularly strong with an array of down-filled coats, bomber jackets and vests, but don’t take that to mean all other sartorial categories have been ignored. There is an abundance of silk-twill bowling sets, plush sweats and printed tees to complement more technical pieces like nylon shirts.
In the spirit of adventure that infuses the entire lineup, the design pair also devised a special collection of luggage. Covered in eight graphic patterns created just for this collaboration, the backpacks and belt bags––which take their cues from hiking equipment––are brightly colored, but have a smart sustainable touch. ECONYL––a special nylon created from recycled carpets, fishing nets and more––was used throughout to limit the ecological footprint of the designs.
First set to roll out in China, Gucci x The North Face’s collection will be distributed through specially designed stores where the new motifs found on the clothes and gear can wrap around the entire space. Wherever we find it, this is one capsule that has us ready to embark on the new year.