History of The North Face
The North Face gets its name from being the coldest side of the mountain on the Northern Hemisphere. This is due to the lack of sunlight, steepness of slope, and amount of rainfall it receives. The history of the North Face started with Douglas Tompkins and his then wife, Susie Tompkins Buell, two enthusiastic hikers, opened a retail store together where they sold mountaineering equipment. Their goal was to protect the land and enlighten those about the importance of conserving the areas they explored.
With the determination to expand, the little store moved to the Berkeley area shortly after it was named The North Face. Production started with the design and manufacturing of the brands own technical mountaineering apparel and equipment. During the 1980s, the company started to explore ski gear for the free-spirited snowboarding athletes. This led them to become the only supplier in the US to provide outerwear and skiwear, as well as sleeping bags and tents. In the 1990s, The North Face premiered their latest innovation: Tekware. This collection was designed specifically for rock climbers, backpackers, and anyone ready to take on the outdoors. Soon, the company released their own trekking and trail running shoes for their explorer customer needs.
In the 50 years since its opening, The North Face has achieved much success from equipment to innovative, new lines like the Thermoball and Fuseform. The company prides itself in being the first choice for the greatest climbers, snowboarders, and explorers who hold dear to their mantra of Never Stop Exploring.
By Shannon Maggie Culver
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