Next week, The North Face will release another product collaboration with skate brand Supreme as part of their 2012 spring/summer capsule collection. The launch will include a waterproof jacket, backpack, and duffel bag, priced at $257, $193, and $283, respectively. Each item is available in both tan and black, and will feature all-over print of world map imagery along with both The North Face and Supreme brand logos.
The partnership is certainly not a new venture for the two brands, who teamed up last year on The North Face's Nuptse Down Jacket. The item was sold exclusively at Supreme stores and online last November, received widespread attention for its appearance in rapper Drake's music video for The Motto and sold out in a matter of days.
The collaboration with Supreme is historically hugely successful for The North Face, though it represents an interesting departure from their usual approach to product offering. The brand is known for their positioning as a highly innovative, high-performance gear manufacturer and their appeal to the extreme athlete and serious outdoor enthusiast.
Alternatively, Supreme, founded in NYC in 1994, caters to the skateboarding, underground hip-hop, and punk rock cultures. The brand embodies a young counter culture at large, and partners with groundbreaking photographers, designers and musicians to help define its unique identity.
The presence of Supreme's logo on their products communicates a different message for The North Face, and speaks to the brand's infiltration of a more urban audience and legitimacy within the casual sportswear market. The brand maintains a stronghold on two very different segments, and provides a great example of the success that can result from recognizing potential within the changing environment of the fashion industry.