Beyond The Nupste Jacket: The North Face Introduces Technical Outerwear, Years In The Making

Beyond The Nupste Jacket: The North Face Introduces Technical Outerwear, Years In The Making

North Face
The North Face has been a staple in hip-hop culture for years. Its Nuptse jacket has recently been reimagined for the new millennium with the FutureLight line. Images: The North Face

While we often think of technology as external devices — or in upcoming instances, as implants in our brain — clothing that is actually practical and stylish usually eludes the tech category. Now, the legendary outerwear company The North Face hopes to change such perception.

Launched in September, North Face’s FutureLight line of jackets, pants and bibs are new additions to the company’s Summit, Sleep and Flight series.  Collaborating with professional mountain climbers, The North Face dedicated several years to creating clothes that now function as the company’s first technical outerwear. Dedicated to innovation, the company actually had to begin with a prototype since it said no such tech infusion into outwear had ever been developed before.

The North Face has been a staple in hip-hop culture for many years with the company’s class Nuptse jacket, recently reimagined for the new millennium, as standout.

Trendsetters in hip hop first gravitated toward the brand given its rugged looked and bright colors. In classic ’90s videos by iconic artists from Method Man to LL Cool J, The North Face logo was the one to have. The price point signified “I’ve arrived status”. 

Now influencers will have an extension of the line from which to choose.

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The task at The North Face was to make certain that the product was a breathable, light, waterproof protective garment for the harshest skiing or climbing scenarios. The North Face also had to make certain the product was not too noisy. The result is a technology-based textile with a foundation membrane created out of nontoxic inert polymer and outerwear that breathes yet is windproof.

The brand describes its innovative adaptation as “nanospinning”. The North Face says it’s offering an unprecedented apparel line whose fabric content will later be applied to the company’s equipment and accessories as well.

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“Product innovation, pushing the boundaries and having the courage to disrupt have been a part of The North Face DNA since our company was founded over 50 years ago,” said Scott Mellin, global general manager of Mountain Sports at The North Face. “For far too long, we have been forced to adapt to our clothing and environment. With the introduction of FutureLight, we are finally offering clothing that adapts to our needs. The introduction of this fabric is a pivotal moment for our brand, for the future of the apparel industry, and for consumers who will no longer need to sacrifice comfort or air permeability for waterproof protection.”

This is about wearing the future. And the products are sleek and modern in appeal boasting vivid colors of cherry red and banana yellow, among others.

“The launch of FutureLight is about more than a fabric technology or a single jacket. It is about a new paradigm in clothing and protection,” said Steve Lesnard, vice president of marketing at The North Face. “We are redefining the expectations around weather protection and our campaign is designed to demonstrate the benefits and new possibilities that this technology will enable.”

To celebrate the launch, the company recently held an exclusive event for tastemakers and social media influencers of note. Complimenting the technology vibe of the evening, guests were even treated to robotic 3D installations that came to life, detaching and re-attaching during specific moments in the evening. The invitation was just as slick, featuring a compelling model of color swathed in the company’s yellow jacket. It was designed in partnership with Sid Lee, The North Face’s creative agency. And to top it all off, the night also held a feature performance by Grammy award-winning producer and songwriter Mura Masa.

Now, everyone is ready for the first cold winds of the season to blow.