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

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Story Organization
Mark Perrilliat at The North Face, Sierra Designs, and Mountain Hardwear, in brief Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, The North Face
Buckminster Fuller at The North Face - Ingrid's snapshots The North Face
Martin Zemitis on Tent Design Essentials and Trade-offs Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, SlingFin, The North Face
Martin Zemitis, Designer - Brief History and Introduction Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, SlingFin, The North Face
Paul Kramer on Helen Li's essential role at Mountain Hardwear Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Odyssey, Sierra Designs, The North Face, W.L.Gore and Associates
A Brief History of the Foundation of Sierra Designs Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA, Trailwise
Hundreds of Little Pins: Ingrid Harshbarger's Attention to Detail Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, The North Face
Jack Gilbert in western attire, quits Sierra Designs and the exodus to Mountain Hardwear begins. Mountain Hardwear, Odyssey, Sierra Designs, The North Face
Al Tabor Describes the Financial Problems at The North Face & Odyssey that Lead to Mountain Hardwear's Founding Easton Aluminum, Odyssey, Sierra Designs, The North Face
Chris Clark - Old Office / New Office Mountain Hardwear, The North Face
Al Tabor - Halloween 1993 Easton Aluminum, Sierra Designs, The North Face
Jack Gilbert at Sierra Designs Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, The North Face
SF Chronicle 11/2/1993 - Sierra Designs Managers Walk Out Mountain Hardwear, Odyssey, Sierra Designs, The North Face
SNEWS Dec 1993 - Mountain Hardwear Debuts Mountain Hardwear, Odyssey, Sierra Designs, SNEWS, The North Face
We Hear About Odyssey Going Bankrupt in a PS to a Fax Odyssey, Sierra Designs, The North Face

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