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The North Face Brand History

The North Face brand got its start in a small retail store on the streets of San Francisco, CA in 1966. The name itself came from the common knowledge that the north face of the mountain was the hardest to climb due to climate and the physical challenges it created, reflecting the company’s initial goal to assist individuals in testing the limits of human potential. The company quickly grew a youthful customer base as teens and young adults sought out self discovery through distant travels and new adventures.

In 1968 the company was sold and the operation was moved to Berkeley, CA where they introduced the logo still used today along with the pledge that The North Face gear is the most durable money can buy. After a huge success of the 1969 Sierra Parka release, The North Face brand was quickly growing in popularity with innovative designs and their catalog promoting new ideas such as the use of solar power. With so many eyes awaiting the company’s next move, the brand used its influence to promote wilderness conservation, environmental stewardship and sustainability to earn customers notice and respect.

In 1994 the company changes hands again. Under the new management, sales went up and the company continued to prosper with its vaporwick fabric unveiled in 1995 and the launch of the technical sport and travel wear line, Tekware in 1996! In 1995 Climbing magazine rated the Mountain the best two person expedition tent, expanding the customer base and increasing public’s interest and trust. Continuously proving to be ahead of their time, The North Face brand announced their tagline to be “Never Stop Exploring” and got awarded the Silver Service award for 25 years of innovation by Backpacker magazine in 1998! With The North Face being the most trusted brand to provide durability to those with determination, it was seen in many award winning documentaries and in articles in major magazines such as National Geographic. The anticipated North Face footwear launch came in 1999, allowing the brand to be worn head to toe on enthusiasts!

The company was acquired by VF Corporation in 2000 and began to shift its focus and resources to edurance footwear by 2005. In more recent years the company has created a website for not only online orders, but with links to an outdoor exploration program to send people outdoors called “Find Nature near you.” Today The North Face continues to make waves through its love for exploring and passion for protecting, all while staying aware of its environmental responsibility so that it will be a beloved brand for years to come.