The North Face

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Background

Hap Klopp (Dick Klopp) is perhaps the name most prominently associated with the arising of "The North Face" as the modern giant it has beome today; however, Doug Tomkins was the originator of the North Face name (more below). Hap was a Stanford School of Business graduate circa 1966. His business training there, and past hands-on experience running a family business, were being put to good use in efforts that he and some others were making to buy The Ski Hut in Berkeley from George Rudolf. That did not happen because George Rudolf could not be convinced to sell.

...as time went by, Hap Klopp was still searching for an outdoor business to buy. Soon Hap shifted his focus to a new target. He remembers, "I bought The North Face, which was a retail store run by Doug Tomkins. When Tomkins owned the store, TNF had no product of its own but sold gear that included private labelled products from Sierra Designs. Tomkins had sold TNF to three people. Arne and Glen Hiersoux and Justus Bauschinger." It took many months of negotiations, but in May of 1968 Hap's offer to buy was accepted. Justus stayed on for awhile as Head Designer, but the Hiersouxs left.

from Bruce Johnson's History of Gear