Back in March, as the world moved indoors and grappled with the strangest, most uncertain time in recent memory, an unexpected thing happened: we rediscovered nature. Daily excursions were limited to hour-long walks and we suddenly had the time to stop and appreciate how wonderful it was to wander through a tree-lined park or to mark the changing seasons by the sudden blossoming of beautifully coloured flowers. Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, clearly felt drawn to the natural world—if his recently-unveiled collaboration with The North Face is anything to go by.
In a campaign film directed by Daniel Shea, a group of eclectic, well-dressed hippie types galavant through the Alps, wearing pieces from the new collab. The end result is Woodstock meets Into The Wild, but with geometric-printed reversible puffer coats, baby pink ‘Jackie’ bags, and North Face-logoed canvas tents. Michele raided The North Face’s archives for the collection, which takes vintage silhouettes from the iconic outdoors brand, and brings them to life with Michele’s signature retro-chic prints and ’70s-inspired colour palette. A mismatch of both brands’ logos appears on merch, including hiking-style backpacks, boots, and socks.
The ready-to-wear collection features not only goose-feather down padded coats, bomber, and vest but also shirts, skirts and jumpsuits. Also included in the offer there are quilted jacket, nylon shirts and skirts and windbreakers; refined silk-twill bowling sets, skirts and chemise dresses; T-shirts, sweatshirts and a fleece jacket with the matching.
For luggage, there are eight new graphic patterns, designed in collaboration with The North Face. A dome-shaped medium backpack (available in five different prints) has contrast leather patches, rope zip pullers and web straps, while a larger size (available in six different prints) recalls hiking backpacks with its multiple pockets and top flap with snaps, and also features the same detailing as its smaller cousin. A small belt bag comes in seven different prints, and a maxi size one with three front flap pockets is offered in two different prints.
The shoe is a gender-neutral hiking boot with a chunky and sturdy Goodyear-welted sole. The boot comes in three colors of leather (brown, black and cream), features eyelets and rope-like striped laces, as well as The North Face x Gucci logo prominently displayed on the side.
The campaign film pays homage to The North Face’s heyday in the early ’70s, when operations were still based out of a small factory in Berkley, California. The cult rock band Credence Clearwater Revival had their rehearsals in a studio adjacent to The North Face’s storefront, and reportedly wrote their iconic track ‘Bad Moon Rising’ there. The song, an anthem of the era of free love, is played throughout the campaign.
The collaboration will go on sale worldwide through Gucci.com from early January. For Australians, you can shop the collection from January 8 – mark your calendars. Given Gucci rarely collaborate, we’re betting fashion obsessives will be clamouring for a piece of the action. Plus, when the attire looks this good, recreational hiking becomes a whole lot more attractive. Camping trip, anyone?
Photography: Steven Popovich
Fashion Direction: Kim Payne
Hair & Grooming: Annabel Barton
Model: Lucas Satherley / IMG