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The North Face releases digital archive with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

By Rosalie Wessel

13 Oct 2021

Culture

Image: The North Face

The North Face has announced the launch of a crowdsourced digital archive in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for its fall campaign ‘It’s More Than A Jacket’.

Asking for explorers worldwide to submit their own stories and images of their North Face products, the submissions then have the potential to be included in the official archive. The campaign honors The North Face’s fifty-five year history - which is why the archive is set in San Francisco, a homage to the brand’s Northern Californian roots.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open the archive to the public in Fall 2022, and feature the most significant designs in the history of exploration. Alongside those designs, the various submissions by day to day explorers will be included.

Using the hashtag #MoreThanAJacket, The North Face is using social media to promote submissions to the campaign.

The campaign will also engage with artists such as RZA and HAIM, and the North Face athlete team members Conrad Anker and Ingrid Backstrom. They are expected to be the first explorers to submit to the archive in the fall, using their own personal experiences to submit their adventures.

“For more than 55 years, The North Face has enabled exploration and helped people strive for greatness by providing the best gear to get them there,” said Mike Ferris, the vice president of global brand at The North Face. “With this archive, alongside SFMOMA, we are memorializing the people, products and stories that continue to inspire our community.”

Within the exhibition, there are six collections, each using the brand’s past to inspire future exploration. Its history will be well covered: from bringing back gear that was used during the first non mechanized crossing of the Antarctic in the 1990s, to introducing the Nuptse, the brand’s most well known insulation piece. It’s More Than A Jacket will bring to life the stories behind each product.

“As an artist, style has always been an expression of identity and a way to mark a moment in time,” said artist RZA. “Not only was The North Face the rugged, stylish gear we needed on New York City’s streets, it was more than a jacket because it was a witness. It was a witness to the brotherhood that we were inspiring, and that inspired us.”

Included in the initial launch of the campaign will be a feature anthem film, as well as a further three extended films throughout the fall that will feature adaptive athlete Vasu Sojitra, freestyle skier Jossi Wells and the leader of the 1990 International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, Will Stegar.

“Through these adventures, our jackets from The North Face have been with us along the way and have become more than a source of function,” said band HAIM. “They’ve comforted us when we’re away from home and remind us of everywhere we’ve been.”