Stepping inside Manchester-based Bags of Flavor, is like stepping into the past, more specifically the late 80s and early 90s when streetwear was really becoming ‘a thing’. Owner, Richard Gill, has curated a collection of retro pieces from all over the world and has formed a deep affinity with The North Face. We asked him to name five of his favourite icons from the archives.
“In 1983, the GORE-TEX Extreme collecton was introduced to the skiwear market. Product testers included freeride skiers Scot Schmidt and the Egan Brothers who formed the nucleus of the Extreme Team. This red jacket is from that range. There are quite a few interesting details on this jacket like the diagonal storm flap on the front and the pocket on the back, big enough for a map, as well as functional reflective strips. This is what I like about The North Face jackets from this era. This is where ski style crosses over into appropriated street style; it’s both form and function combined.”
“Similar to the one above, and also part of the Extreme Collection from the 80s, this jacket is made from a more technical GORE-TEX material but has similar functionality. This ski smock is lightweight and remarkably windproof, so combined with a fleece would have been quite a technical combo in the early 80s. I like how the collar folds up or over for warmth. The peaked hood is a nice touch and the bright colours stand out in the mountains, which is very practical. This style of jacket is standing the test of time.”
“Another part of the Extreme collection, tri-colour version in yellow, blue and black is quite bold, just like most other 90s products. The front pockets are quite interesting as they are at the opposite angle from the norm. Like the one above, it’s a four-pocket jacket with a mixture of panels. I like the navy panel at the bottom at the back, which is practically placed for sitting down. Another feature which I like are the heavy-duty TNF press studs.”
“90s classic The EG Tech Jacket is just The North Face Showing off in my opinion. This jacket has panels galore - there are about five panels in the sleeve alone and the main body of the jacket has several more. You were definitely getting your money’s worth from this product. I like the fact it has five pockets on the front, and a classic ‘D’ ring for your ski mitts. Again, this jacket is made from GORE-TEX and has a mesh lining inside for warmth. I’ve had this jacket in numerous colours and it never fails to disappoint!”
“Last but not least is another 90s classic – the Powder Light Jacket that represents a more technical style of The North Face product. This jacket is made from a very interesting fabric that has a strong multi-weave fabric that obviously represents the push in fabric technology on the ski slopes at the time. I like the use of the multi-panels on this jacket for freedom of movement and you can tell the design must have been thought about carefully, as it only has front chest pockets to keep your hands warm and a large peaked hood.”