Steve Lesnard Sits Down To Discuss The North Faces Collaborations, Vision for the Brand, and Future of Adventure
The North Face first opened its doors for business in 1968, and since then, it has become widely recognised as one of the most successful suppliers of outdoor apparel, footwear, and other products of its kind in operation anywhere in the world today. The history of the firm up to this point is as bit as fascinating as the products that it offers. This statement is also true regarding the individuals who worked so diligently to create the company everything that it is today. The company’s headquarters are located in Denver, Colorado.
A recent interview that took place between Pascal Monfort and Steve Lesnard, CMO and Vice President of Product Creation at The North Face, respectively, covered a wide range of topics. In addition to discussing the company’s one-of-a-kind collaborations and some of the difficulties it encountered as a manufacturer of outdoor items during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lesnard also discussed the importance of remaining true to the vision for the brand itself, as well as where everything might be headed in the future.
The North Face: The Story so Far
Despite the fact that The North Face has undergone significant transformation as a business in the fifty years since it was first established, according to Steve Lesnard, the fundamental idea that drives the company has remained largely unchanged. He stated that “the founding fathers believed in the power of exploration from the very beginning of the country’s existence.” They had the belief that everyone should have equal opportunities to explore the world.
He went on to reiterate that at The North Face, “we say that we want to dare to lead the world forward through exploration because we believe that whether you’re an elite athlete who wants to climb one of the highest peaks or just a consumer who wants to go further in discovering this new view that will leave an incredible experience for you, you deserve it.” He went on to say that “we say that we want to dare to lead the world forward through exploration because we believe that whether you’re an elite athlete who wants to climb That has always been the connective thread for The North Face, which affects a lot of the decisions that are made by the leadership of the organisation, and this pattern shows no symptoms of slowing down any time in the near future.
That is not to say that the past year has not been without its fair share of obstacles, which is a perspective that is shared by pretty much every industry that you can think of. Lesnard sees new opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of by firms like The North Face. This is because vaccines are being distributed all over the world, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel may finally be in sight.
“As people were imprisoned in their own home with COVID, with a deprivation of access to outdoors and to nature, we’ve observed a surge of not only “dedicated outdoor lovers, but also newbies,” who are interested in going outside. During the epidemic, he stated that everywhere in the world, sales of tents manufactured by The North Face were through the roof. Tents were in short supply during the summer of 2021 since so many families were purchasing them for use in their backyard camping activities. They still yearned for adventures in the great outdoors, but they needed to find a way to do it in a secure manner, and for many of them, this was a plausible alternative.
People were keen to embrace any outdoor opportunities that they could because of the epidemic, and this drew new consumers into the sector who may not have considered such things in the past. People were also eager to embrace any outdoor opportunities that they could because of the pandemic. Lesnard indicated that The North Face was committed to doing its part to not only meet this peak in demand but also to keep as many people interested in getting outdoors and connecting with nature as possible. This commitment was made in order to keep as many people interested in getting outdoors and connecting with nature as possible.
Strategic Partnerships for a Strategic Tomorrow
Steve Lesnard also made use of the chance to talk a little bit about some of the collaborations that The North Face has formed over the years, with each partnership having a distinct function to play in the narrative of the company up until that moment.
According to Lesnard, regardless of the circumstances, they will always look for partners that are closely aligned with the strategic goal that they have. To illustrate this point, Gucci is just one example. “They had a tremendous appreciation for the realism of The North Face,” he added. “They had a real appreciation for the North Face.” “Our core values are really congruent: for us, it is adventure. They see it as a means of self-expression and creative outlet.”
According to Steve Lesnard, the Gucci team had the goal of accomplishing something that was completely unprecedented and had never been done before. The North Face’s first catalogue was published in the 1970s, and the objective was to locate some of the company’s archival products that had been forgotten since then yet were included in that catalogue. They brought a modern and progressive point of view to a relationship that was beneficial to both firms, and as a result, certain items that had not been launched since then were given a new lease on life by the team.
The same can be said for a few of their cooperation arrangements. Jimmy Chin is one of the athletes that The North Face has collaborated with, and actor Jared Leto engaged in a cooperation between the firm and the climbing magazine Sidetracked. Both of these partnerships were announced recently.
Steve Lesnard, who was speaking about the future at the time, also took advantage of the chance to be frank about what he and some of his coworkers are looking forward to most in terms of brand marketing in the future. According to what he had to say, “we believe that a life without access to nature will be a life that will not be worth living.” That is something that we learned from the pandemic. If the products manufactured for the outdoors continue to be designed in a more contemporary fashion from a technology aspect, they are going to continue to become a bigger part of people’s wardrobes.
He stated that he has witnessed a shift in consumer expectations over the years. He explained that modern consumers anticipate a certain amount of functionality from the products they purchase, as well as a degree of adaptability in the manner in which they dress on a daily basis. He mentioned a change in attitude that had taken place among the general population towards sneakers. Sneakers are now a valid component of both streetwear and fashion; they are no longer seen as merely a utilitarian item. Rather, they have undergone a process of democratisation. You can see that shoes are now a natural component of anyone’s wardrobe, regardless of the event they are attending. According to Lesnard, he and the other members of his team envision a future in which the same is true not only for products related to the outdoors but also for those that are more technically oriented.