Wants & Desires | North Face Purple Label Camo Goods

My affection for this duck camo has been expressed before, but I was perusing the fall offerings from the Japan-only The North Face Purple Label and am now obsessed with this parka and vest. Mostly the vest, but really I want both. Good news is, I’ll be in Japan in about six weeks, bad news is the exchange rate. If you are not headed to Japan, you might want to get that proxy moving before these are long gone. [TNFPL at Digital Mountain]

Comments on “Wants & Desires | North Face Purple Label Camo Goods

    Makaga on September 28, 2010 10:36 AM:

    Ahh, I like this pattern.
    I am clearing out the closet and am getting ready to donate a BAPE jacket with its own version of this pattern.

    McGinn on September 28, 2010 11:18 AM:

    BAPE is only bought by non Japanese tourists and black people/street wannabes. And Camo is more dead than the Americana trend is going to be in two years.

    IM on September 28, 2010 11:55 AM:

    Not sure I can pull off the camo but I am a little pissed that Japan gets all the best stuff in general- couldn’t it be somewhere a little closer?

    Pete on September 28, 2010 11:57 AM:

    McGinn is so cool

    Zach on September 28, 2010 12:15 PM:

    McGinn is soooo upset by this trend, because he is so far ahead of the game.

    RQ on September 28, 2010 12:58 PM:

    The TNF Purple Label product is always soooo good, and these camo pieces are no exception. Nice find, good luck in Japan, hope these are still on the rack when you are there.

    chuck on September 28, 2010 2:18 PM:

    You need to separate Black from street people.

    Michael Miraflor on September 28, 2010 3:59 PM:

    Love the pattern/colors, but can’t stop thinking of BAPE. 2003/4 wasn’t that long ago… and not only was the above their most popular pattern, but the most popular with knock-off manufacturers.

    @McGinn – BAPE was religion in Japan. the number of suburban white kids who copped bootleg BAPE in the mid-2000s outweighs “black people/street people” by a ratio of at least 100:1. Anthropologist you are most certainly not.

    enzo the baker on September 28, 2010 5:40 PM:

    like this camo.

    favorite pattern is the swiss/alpenflage. i’ve got a backpack from supreme in that pattern.

    Hide on September 28, 2010 6:28 PM:

    BAPE might have been religion, but now it is just playing catch-up with their suits and other bullshit. McGinn is right when he or she says that BAPE is bought only by foreigners in Japan (check the main stores in Tokyo for evidence of this).

    As for Americana/Workwear, we in Japan are following this very close and being innovators, but its time is passing very fast I believe…

    TMH on September 28, 2010 6:31 PM:

    Camo is never dead. Always room for camo.
    Racism is a drag though.

    ted on September 28, 2010 7:11 PM:

    great post. and it goes without saying that mcginn is an idiot.

    geng grizzly on September 28, 2010 7:52 PM:


    doane on September 29, 2010 11:13 AM:

    Camo prints are a bit gellin’ but I always liked Maharishi’s take on it.

    Gary on September 29, 2010 12:14 PM:

    Where is “Americana” going to go from Depression-era workwear? There’s a couple of possible directions:

    a) Straight up trad-Ivy, more conservative than “prep”. J.Press kind of thing. This is a well explored, and also has a tendency to make you look like a young Republican douchebag.

    b) Further back into 1880s-90s workwear/western. There were a few stabs to this in the vintage denim market, anything with a back buckle. But again well explored, and on the edge of either being steampunk or urban-cowboy.

    c) Where I think it is likely to go, and the Goruck bag here a couple days ago is a signal, is towards modern tactical. More synthetic fabrics, ballistic nylon, lightweight and practical gear designed for military use. Some camo, like this vest, but not head to toe.. think more black ops, delta force and CIA. The intersection between hiking/outdoor gear and high-end Special Forces military gear. Still Made in America, expensive but practical, high quality, with a lean functional aesthetic, not self consciously retro – acknowledges that there’s been technological improvements in clothing and gear since 1930. Subtle enough to not look like you’re a costume enthusiast. not “tacticool” – too many pouches and straps, forget it. You don’t want to look like a Marine, the ideal is more an intelligence operative on assignment. Sounds pretty rad to me.

    Nick Gill on September 29, 2010 6:24 PM:

    Nice commentary Gary.
    Personally I can’t see camo sticking around, it’s just a bit too overt, like animal print.
    Maybe as a subtle enhancement, like how hippies had silk paisley gussets in their flares, but it still seems like a mis-appropriation. Reminds me of the movie Back To The Future, when the whole town comments on Marty’s “life preserver” jacket.
    Duck out of water…. is that me or the camo?

    Ryan on September 30, 2010 10:26 AM:

    Gary-Agreed. It’s the nature of trends to react in an extreme way against it. Going from Americana into hi-tech engineered hiking/climbing/running/tactical makes sense in this light. It’s happening everywhere; Stone Island market share is going up, Moncler V,Nike Gyakosu and the ACG revival, Arc’Teryx Veilance, et. al.

    Will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the next few seasons.

    Sam Garcia on October 1, 2010 12:05 PM:

    Hi Michael,
    Im a duck hunter and see lots of that style of camo around. Mostly older jackets and waders that folks are wearing out in the blind. However here is a link to some new stock from a company in Orange CA.

    sam on October 2, 2010 1:46 PM:

    I agree with Gary as well, so does William Gibson, every reader of this blogs need to read his newest. Also anyone else think “Death in June” as soon as they saw the parka?

    sam on October 2, 2010 1:49 PM:

    damn sloppy typing, sorry

    Erik on October 2, 2010 2:28 PM:

    Problem with Arc’teryc Veilance is no normal people can afford it, and it simply doesn’t look that good no matter how great the “technology” (I normally don’t think about jackets when talking about technology) is.

    ben on October 3, 2010 6:51 AM:

    be careful with the north face japan jackets. they tend to be ‘asian spec” and do not fit most westerners. the arms and cb / cf measurements tend to be very short. i found this out the hard way after falling in love with some pieces while in tokyo, only to find they were nowhere close to fitting. obviously the accessories don’t have the same problems…

    xris on October 6, 2010 3:34 PM:

    Hey there. Helly-Hansen did the black-ops thing a couple of years ago, under the name ODIN (the Norse war god). It was sleek and well done, but it sat on the floor of the shops. Maybe it was too soon for public consumption.

    I will always love camo, no matter the social trends- tiger, south african, the old rhodesian patterns, german, etc. every country has it’s trademark designs that are special.

    sam on October 8, 2010 10:05 PM:

    Xris, Odin is no more war like than any of their crazy gods (which means totally), but his job title is “all-father,” the Norse god of war is Tyr, a one handed dude. AD&D Legends and Lore finally comes in handy (HH still has Odin gear for sale btw).

    marc on October 16, 2010 1:34 PM:

    Michael/ACL, Thank you!
    i received my new Purple Label Camo Vest this past week and was bummed we were having a warm spell here in Northern Ca. luckily it was cool this morning.
    i love it!

    Thanks again!

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