After teasing a collaboration that may singlehandedly kill the gorp trend just days ago, The North Face and Kaws have unsheathed the full collection in an effort to attack good taste everywhere.
The world’s most overexposed artist is bringing his colorful stamp to a wide range of apparel for the entire family. With The North Face’s Mountain Jacket, 1996 Retro Nuptse puffer, Denali fleece, and several other garments, the two collaborators are simultaneously doing both the absolute most and the bare minimum.
An array of bright and mismatched hues for Kaws’ slightly less ubiquitous abstract, camo-like motif appears across all the goods and hit you right in the face. Optically maximalist, the outdoor gear will effectively help you identify in the wild those who continue to mindlessly consume the deluge of Kaws’ heavily commercialized art. It’s little more than eye candy, perhaps initially stimulating before you realize it’s just another banal product with little more justification for its existence than the fact that it’ll sell. And if you don’t realize it, well, you’re the mark that allows the Kaws to keep on going.
Neon here, X’s there — The North Face and Kaws have sent out a whopping 72 images to capture the scope of their collection. In addition to TNF’s signature pieces mentioned up above, there are also pants of the puffer and shell variety, overalls, bags, and balaclava with the same print. Basics consisting of hoodies, T-shirts, sweatpants, and crewneck sweaters then opt for solid colors with contrast branding — including, of course, the obligatory “xx” mark that appears throughout the entire collection.
Some people, including a very strange and angry person in my DMs after my initial post about the collaboration, would argue that Kaws has democratized art and the abundance of The North Face’s gear continues on it that mission. The apparel will release in men’s, women’s, and kids’ sizing through 82 stores around the world beginning Friday, January 7 and for U.S. XPLR Pass members February 22. Not everyone who wants this stuff will get it by any means, but at least there should be ample opportunity.
If this really is democracy, though, why does it have to be so mundane? Politics already force feeds us negligible gains, so perhaps its fitting that the democratization of art, too, serves us little more than grool with food coloring.