Spring thaw is almost here. After a long bleak winter, I will enjoy sitting in Washington Square Park when the sun finally beams down on Philadelphia. I am also looking forward to people shedding their brand uniforms, thus sporting some original clothing besides North Face!
North Face is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the VF Corporation, an American clothing company. Originally the brand was established back in San Francisco in 1968 by two outdoor enthusiasts who targeted hikers and mountain climbers. In the 1980’s North Face began expanding their line of equipment and outdoor apparel. By the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the brand with its recognizable logo, a quarter circle of Half Dome, the granite monolith in Yosemite National Park, took off and evolved from wilderness chic, to now urban chic. By 2012, the brand accounted for 33.5 percent of the outdoor apparel market in the United States (source: SportsOneSource). This share number is for apparel only and does not include backpacks or other outdoor equipment. In 2012 they reported global revenue of $1.9 billion, up from $242 million in 2001, further demonstrating their rapid growth as a brand.
As a marketing geek, I am aware the brand continues to dominate the outdoor apparel market based on what I observed this past winter in Philadelphia. I now estimate that one out of every two people I encounter on the street is wearing a North Face jacket. The color of preference, black! Are these people outdoor enthusiasts? No way! They are just being urban chic and sporting their brand uniforms.
As I shared earlier, I am looking forward to a dash of color in Philadelphia’s spring fashion or at least seeing everyone get back into their flip flops.