You know, The North Face was a graffiti thing at first. Eventually, it happened to become a sort of uniform: if you were rocking a Mountain Guide, then you were either a mountain fanatic or a tagger, no way. And, even if stores were packed with many different brands, everybody wanted just The North Face. You know, jackets were too expensive for young kids like us, but we’ve got like this insatiable hunger for dope stuff… I mean, The North Face and sneaker are such an iconic duo that nothing compares yet. Plus, TNF gears are outrageously loud, warm and featherweight as well, a crucial feature for every tagger out there.
I’m pretty sure the first North Face I’ve ever seen was a dope Mountain Guide, the red one, worn by Masito Fresco, an original member of Colle Der Fomento. It was, like, the 1996 or ‘97. I immediately said to myself: “The hell is this?” It was insane dude, trust me! You know, Mountain Guides and puffers, those were the pieces to rock at the time, even if they were expensive as f*ck.
I guess we could say so [laughs, ed]. Many dudes were used to stealing and then selling expensive jackets to rich kids, crews and gangs stormed entire stores, grabbing the whole inventory. Basically, the few who started rocking a TNF jackets were either those who lifted them or rich boys. I clearly remember when I got my first jacket… it’s a true story, I swear. Put short, I walked into a random store, switched my cheap bomber with a tech TNF beauty and just got out, the same way I got it. Easy peasy. The transition from bomber to tech jacket was a no brainer for me.
You bet. Once a guy arrived to Villa Pamphili [a Rome park, ed] honking like crazy. He was wearing the first yellow Mountain Guide I’ve ever seen with my own eyes, a signature piece. His face was like… the happiest person alive, nothing less. We were chilling on the benches, and we all started yelling as soon as we saw him.
They’re from 2003, since I’ve lived there for a couple of years. If you notice, our look is the same of what guys are still rocking today: a North Face jacket, cap, jeans and a pair of cool sneakers, like Air Max or something. It’s the whole package, man. This style came with a way of living, here in Italy as well as in France and Germany. It can be seen like a uniform, the everyday tagger’s attire, which consists of North Face and Air Max, period. It’s no coincidence that one of my song start with “North Face, Air Max…”. It’s a mindset, gives you the big picture.
Because outerwear defines you. A jacket could work as a skeleton key to join a clear-cut group, to connect people who share same passions and interests. When I put on my The North Face, it was like hanging out with a huge whip on the wrist. That was the hard flex, for real. Plus, you gained a lot of street credibility because we’re talking, most of the times, of stolen jackets. I mean, just imagine repping a jacket worth €1000 for which you paid NOTHING.
The North Face has grown into a worldwide renowned brand, worn by family men, small children and so on. A natural step as TNF continues to produce high-quality outerwear at affordable price. There’s a lotta hype for collabs. too. Some are interesting, especially those inspired to vintage graphics and models like the Supreme Steep Tech, but nothing compares to the Mountain jackets. Because what fires up the OGs like me are old-school stuff. The huge logo, original colorways, baggy fits - that’s how The North Face should be, and always will be, for me.