"We are proud to have teamed up with the USSA and U.S. Freeskiing to create one of the most advanced and unique uniform collections for our U.S. athletes to proudly wear in Sochi," said Aaron Carpenter, vice president of global marketing for The North Face.
The uniforms were tested by top freeskiing athletes, including Tom Wallisch, Maddie Bowman, Devin Logan and John Teller throughout The North Face research, design and development process. Wallisch, Bowman and Logan, who are all members of The North Face global athlete roster, provided both technical and style-related input.
"These athletes know better than anyone what they need to feel and perform their best during competition, and because style is such a key part of freeskiing, we wanted to make sure we were not only addressing key technical aspects of the uniform, but also the confidence and inspiration that comes with stand-out style," Carpenter said.
In partnership with the athletes, The North Face established a specific style guide for the uniforms developed for all three freeskiing disciplines – halfpipe, slopestyle and skicross – with the common creative filters of athlete culture, equipment innovation and pride of country. The uniforms were inspired by a "Rebel Americana" theme to capture the spirit of U.S. Freeskiing's rich history and rebellious, counter-culture attitude.
Unique details were also woven in to provide athletes with additional inspiration and a deeper connection to each other and the competitive moment, including a piece of a Himalayan suit worn on an Everest expedition in the shape of a star, a nod to the rich outdoor heritage of The North Face, embroidered with the phrase "Bigger Than Me."
Additional details include laser-cut stars in the velcro on the cuffs of each jacket and the uniforms' suspender system, a staple piece of apparel for many freeskiers on the mountain, which forms a peace sign if you were to place a circle around it.
The U.S. Freeskiing competition uniforms were designed and manufactured in the U.S. at a development center not far from The North Face headquarters in Alameda, CA. The company invested in the local development center to keep prototyping close to home and celebrate the U.S. throughout the athlete uniform manufacturing process.
"There is a lot of pride that goes along with being able to produce the uniforms in our backyard and to work with people in our community to be a part of this process," said The North Face Action Sports Product Director Jasmin Ghaffarian. "With all the technical aspects and unique elements like the piece from our expedition-worn Everest Himalayan suit, we felt a lot of personal passion throughout the uniform process, and producing the outerwear in the United States adds an extra level of patriotic pride and ownership."
The North Face
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