The immediate reaction most people have when presented with a lookbook for The North Face Purple Label is something along the lines of, “How can I get my hands on all of this right now?” Compared to the American iteration of The North Face’s lack of distinctively fashion-friendly offerings, Purple Label is immediately enviable. The line is a perfect blend of casual clothing and outdoorsy gear, with some wearable tech for good measure. Purple Label caters to people seeking both streetwear and understated staples, with cleverly understated usage of technical facets like Gore-Tex and CoolMax. The clothes balance fashion and function. However, here in the States, The North Face produces functional clothing and doesn’t really take fashion into consideration—outside of the rare collaboration with a brand like Supreme or Junya Watanabe. If anything, the brand is more commonly associated with its fleece pullovers—whose contemporary association with high schoolers and preppy teenagers far outweighs The North Face’s legacy of impressively technical climbing gear. Why is this superior line exclusive to Japan?

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