|The North Face - fashion company profile on Apparel Search|
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They are named for the coldest, most unforgiving side of a mountain. They have helped explorers reach the most unfathomable heights of the Himalayas. But The North Face legend begins, ironically, on a beach. More precisely, San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood, at an altitude of only 150 feet above sea level. It was there in 1966 that two hiking enthusiasts resolved to follow their passions and founded a small mountaineering retail store.
Soon thereafter, that little shop became known as The North Face, a retailer of high-performance climbing and backpacking equipment. In 1968, The North Face moved to the other side of San Francisco Bay, to the unbridled possibilities of the Berkeley area, and began designing and manufacturing its own brand of technical mountaineering apparel and equipment.
Through the 1970s, The North Face brand cherished a following amongst avid outdoor athletes and began sponsoring expeditions to some of the most far-flung, still largely untouched corners of the globe. This launched a proud tradition which continues in full force today and constantly reinforces The North Face mantra, Never Stop Exploring™.
By the early 1980s, The North Face was taking exploration to the outer limits of the ski world, adding extreme skiwear to the product offering. These were the days of pastels, neons, hair dye, and mohawks; they laid the groundwork for today's free-spirited snowsports athletes. By the end of the decade, The North Face became the only supplier in the United States to offer a comprehensive collection of high-performance outerwear, skiwear, sleeping bags, packs and tents.
The 1990s ushered in an era during which The North Face further broadened the outdoor world it helps athletes to explore. The decade saw their debut in the sportswear market with the launch of Tekware™, an innovative collection designed to provide rock climbers, backpackers, hikers, trail runners, and outdoor enthusiasts with the ultimate fit and function. The North Face half dome logo began to appear with greater regularity on ultramarathon courses, high-country trails, and big walls. And, as the calendar clicked toward a new millennium, The North Face launched its own line of trekking and trail-running shoes to ultimately address the head-to-toe needs of those always striving for the next horizon.
Now, more than 40 years after its humble grand opening, The North Face delivers an extensive line of performance apparel, equipment, and footwear. They push the boundaries of innovation so that you can push the boundaries of exploration. They remain deeply proud to be the first choice of the world's most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers, snowboarders, endurance runners, and explorers.
There's little telling what the next several years holds for The North Face company. However, there is one bedrock certainty: The North Face will maintain an unwavering commitment to pushing the limits of design, so that you can push your limits outdoors. Never Stop Exploring.
Here is a brief history of The North Face. Apparel Search will not list all accomplishments, but below should give you a nice recap of the history.
North Face begins a small retail and mail order operation in San Francisco's North Beach area. The Grateful Dead play at the store during celebrations.
The North Face dream begins, with a few sewing machines manufacturing the first gear in the back of the store.
The Sierra parka hits the market and becomes a classic in down outerwear.
The North Face factory opens in Berkeley, CA. Credence Clearwater Revival serenade while rehearsing next door.
Ski Traverse Expedition in Alaska
Wall Expedition in El Capitan, Yosemite
Morning Glory tent is introduced.
Geodesic dome tent designing replaces the traditional A-shaped tent, with introduction of the Oval Intention.
Expedition in West Face, Alaska
The VE-24 tent unleashed! Embodying R. Buckminster Fuller's theory of sphericity incorporating maximum efficiency with minimum materials, this design remains little changed after 30 years.
(25,504') Expedition in Nepal
Spire Expedition in Alaska
Ski Traverse Expedition in Pakistan
Grand Circle Expedition in Nepal/tibet
(10,355') Expedition in Alaska
Trail Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska
Mountain jacket is introduced, setting standard for Gore-Tex® weather protection
International Polar Expedition
hatches are introduced.
the Sea Tomato Expedition in Drake's
Passage, Southern Ocean
Ascent of Salathe Wall Expedition
The North Face co-founds Outdoor Industry Conservation Alliance
Feminina Expedition in Cho Oyu, Nepal/tibet
Ridge Expedition in China
Tower of Paine Expedition in Chile
Steep Tech ski clothing, designed by Scot Schmidt, takes the slopes by storm
Challenge of Half Dome Expedition
Alaska, Snowboard Descent Expedition
The North Face Athlete Team begins with Greg Child, Conrad Anker, Alex Lowe, and Lynn Hill
Expedition in West Face, Patagonia
Tower Expedition in Trango Towers, Pakistan
Research Expedition in Brazil
Shadows Route Expedition in Mt Hunter,
Face Everest Expedition in Tibet
Snowboard Descent Expedition
Spire Expedition in Baltistan, Pakistan
Spire Expedition in Baltistan, Pakistan
Land Expedition in Antarctica
Peak Expedition in Baffin Island and
Canadian Northwest Territories
Tower Expedition in Baltistan, Pakistan
On October 5, 1999, an avalanche on Tibet's 26,291 foot Shishapangma, the world's 14th highest mountain, took the life of Alex Lowe.
Standoff in Kyrgyzsatn!
Jim Zellers makes the first snowboard descent of Yosemite Valley's Half Dome, gliding down the 47-degree, 840-vertical-foot slope, on a skimpy three-inch snowpack - all of it poised above an overhanging cliff. "They were the most precise turns I've ever had to make. It would have been safer to BASE jump it," he said of his wild ride.
Expedition in Kashmir, India
Ascent Expedition in Tasmania, Australia
Hans Saari, a ski mountaineer who has been on several The North Face expeditions, died May 8, 2001, after taking a fall while skiing in the Gervisuiti Couloir on Mont Blac de Tacul, in Chamonix.
Georgia Island Expedition in Antarctic
Expedition in Nepal, Himalaya
Expedition in Peru
Expedition in Pakairama Mountains, Guyana
Expedition in Nepal
Harald "Hari" Berger lost his life on the 20th of December 2006 while climbing in the Eiskapelle (Ice Chapel) at Hintersee in Austria. It appears Harald was climbing a glacial ice formation which fell down upon Hari at 2:15 local time. The formation fractured when an ice tool caused a "chain reaction", burying Hari under 150 tons of ice.
Civilizations Expedition in Mustang, Nepal
Expedition in Baltistan/pakistan
OK, this bit of history was not strictly about clothing as we normally list for company histories. However, The North Face is all about adventure and exploration. These are events that they feel are important to their history. Who are we to think differently... You can learn more about North Face at their website.
North Face is part of VF Corp.
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