THE NORTH FACE
NEW YORK FLAGSHIP
Concept Development, Content Development, User Experience, Design Systems, Visual Merchandising
Q: How can The North Face bring its 50 year heritage, pinnacle products and amazing storytelling to global urban consumers?
A: Create a 5th Avenue flagship that highlights products in a new way and showcases a world class collection of content.
The North Face exists to celebrate, encourage and enable exploration, and has been making the worlds best adventure equipment for 50 years. What’s cool though, is you’re as likely to see their logo on Everest as you are in Midtown Manhattan. So they wanted to bring the richness of their story, the amazing variety of top-shelf alpine gear, and world class retail design to an elevated context in the world’s most prominent shopping district.
Alpinists leave no trace in the wild, we knew to use the same strategy in the store. We collaborated with product designers at The North Face to create an authentic, adaptable fixture and environmental design system that’s literally built from the brand’s best materials. The resulting experience highlights their elevated product range and ethos in an inspiring urban setting. Extensive product trialing opportunities are provided, all within the context of inspiring media that placed the product in it’s natural habitat – the wilderness. The 5th Avenue flagship store allows The North Face to bring its compelling message to a global audience, in arguably the world’s most international city.
Beginning with strategy, then moving from concept to retail design, all the way through production, we set out to create a new icon for this historic brand. The store lives inside a modern masterpiece – the landmarked Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust building. This setting was an inspiring challenge – every new component had to be freestanding, and no alterations could be made to the building. Not to mention the Harry Bertoia sculptures that dominate the space. This freestanding constraint became an opportunity when we realized the benefits of mutability that would accommodate changes in products and visual merchandising strategies over time. In addition to creating a flexible store infrastructure, we were also able to design a flexible media platform, showcasing The North Face’s original content.