In a year where travel is pretty much non-existent, designers and fashion labels are giving us reason to escape.
Gucci has unveiled its collaboration with The North Face and it’s equal parts nostalgia and escapism. Capturing the spirit of adventure of the latter brand, Gucci’s new campaign follows a group of hikers as they explore the vast landscapes of the Alps. And, because this is Gucci, the campaign is shot through a very ’70s lens.
That applies to the new Gucci x The North Face collection as well. As the hikers traverse through lakes and forests, we get a glimpse of the collaboration’s floral-printed down jackets and vests; backpacks and bucket hats covered in retro-style Gucci monograms; goose-feather skirts and jumpsuits the hippies would have loved; and oversized sunglasses. Functional and fashionable, it’s a camping collection as only Alessandro Michele could have dreamed it.
Of course, there are traces of The North Face too, not just in the iconic logo that adorns many of the pieces in the collection. The outerwear styles and camping equipment, such as tents and sleeping bags, are based on archival designs by the American outdoor brand. The rest of the collection also sports colours and fabrics from The North Face’s materials library from the ’70s.
The collaboration also makes room for the new, such as the vibrant patterns that you’ll spot on the luggage pieces. In one, The North Face logo is married with florals; in another, a print is made from the collaboration’s exclusive logo. The latter stands out especially well on a pair of hiking boots (for him and her) made with sturdy Goodyear-welted soles.
One thing’s for sure: the collection looks nothing like your typical outdoor gear.
It was made differently, too. Aligning with both brands’ commitment to sustainability, the accessories and luggage pieces are crafted largely with Econyl, a recyclable nylon fabric spun from ocean waste. Gucci previously made use of the fabric in Off The Grid, its first fully-sustainable collection, which launched in June.
Like Gucci’s latest collaboration, Off The Grid was also dedicated to travel and exploration, offering all sorts of practical gear like duffel bags and backpacks. Riding on the renewed popularity of outdoor brands like Patagonia, Arc’teryx and Moncler, luxury fashion brands have slowly shifted its focus towards durable, high-performance apparel and accessories.
Loewe notably launched its Eye/Loewe/Nature line of functional, nature-ready pieces for men in 2019. And Gucci is just the latest of a string of fashion brands, including Supreme, MM6 Maison Margiela, Junya Wantanabe and Sacai, to collaborate with The North Face. The brand, first established in 1966, now covers the gamut of outdoor apparel, from winter clothing and mountain-climbing gear to skiwear.
If you’ve felt the urge to pack up and become one with nature, the Gucci x The North Face collection would make a very stylish wardrobe. You might want to off your camping trip for next year, though; the collection will only be released in late January.
Header photo credit: Gucci