The North Face has revealed its collaboration with London-born, New York-based artist Shantell Martin who creates iconic art, and now iconic apparel, including The North Face Himalayan Parka. Shantell is famed for her freestyle drawings in which abstract lines meet all kinds of surfaces. The original print on this parka symbolizes the movements of humanity, climbing walls and overcoming challenges.
The Shantell Martin x The North Face collaboration draws inspiration from TNF’s Search and Rescue archive. Martin’s instantly recognisable art is featured throughout the capsule, she says: ‘The specific drawing I have done for this, it’s about the idea of challenging yourself and climbing and expressing yourself in life’ Martin then goes on to say, ‘Searching is such a huge task, but also, I think, is rescuing. Rescuing is unveiling, is making things transparent, and is making things accountable. It’s seeing things as they are and accepting what they should be.’
Evolving from the Himalayan suit that took mountaineers to the peak of Everest, The North Face Himalayan Parka, and other items in the collection, have become streetwear staples since their debut. Not only that, they have conquered some of the harshest mountaineering conditions out there. A mountaineer was quoted saying: ‘This product did not simply protect me from the cold. It guaranteed my survival in the coldest and highest places on the planet, where everything seems inhuman and impossible.’
The North Face Himalayan Parka is eye-catching with clashing black-and-white tones that are both playful and fun, but also examine much deeper themes of identity, conveying important messages behind the aesthetically pleasing lines. Martin’s prints denote not only the importance of overcoming challenges, but humanity’s desire to connect, create community, and yet still remain individual.
The North Face Himalayan Parka is made from nylon containing recycled down filling, presenting a striking retro look that is also eco-friendly. Featuring zipped sized pockets, an adjustable hood, and velcro adjustable cuffs to ensure comfort and heat retention through cold conditions. Vibrant hits of yellow surface on the silhouette in the form of toggles at the hood and reverse neck, plus in the lining meaning every time you open the jacket you’re in for a colourful surprise.
Martin uses drawing as a medium to explore the interaction of social processes within physical spaces, and as a tool to explore identity and intersectionality and she has done just that with the Himalayan Parka.