Model-off-duty style is all about combining comfort and fashion. Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Joan Smalls, and other top catwalk stars all have a way of stepping out in a look that’s casual and effortlessly put together. But that doesn’t have to mean rocking head-to-toe designer (though that’s often the case). And even though their personal styles vary, this year supermodels all gravitated towards one label—and it wasn’t a high fashion one. Rather, they all slipped into puffer jackets and vests by The North Face.
Typically worn by outdoor lovers, The North Face is a brand built out of practical needs: its jackets are weather-resistant and built to keep you warm, meaning you wear it to go on an adventure. Worn in a casual context, they’re often favored by tech bros in Silicon Valley—not fashion girls. However, on multiple occasions this fall, Hadid and Ratajkowski were spotted rocking the same green puffer coat by the label. And no, they weren’t readying themselves to explore the great outdoors (though Ratajkowski did wear it for a hike once). They gave the jacket a stylish, city-ready twist by pairing it with pieces such as distressed denim or graphic hoodies. Back in September, Smalls also landed in Europe for fashion week wearing a black The North Face fleece vest with jeans, a hoodie, and a sleek shoulder bag—the perfect cozy travel look.
So, how did all these It girls suddenly become The North Face devotees? It might have to do with the fact that the brand has been enjoying a fashion-forward makeover recently. In February, MM6 Maison Margiela collaborated with the brand on a series of sculptural coats and vests, giving The North Face puffers a new, high fashion spirit. Hailey Bieber was one of the first models to wear the collab, slipping into one of its green fleece jackets and pairing it with leather pants. (Hadid also wore the MM6 zip-up to vote in October). In September, Gucci also announced its new partnership with The North Face, applying bold prints onto its signature jacket silhouettes.
In the past, stars like Kim Kardashian West have also showcased their love for the brand, giving it a cool factor. It makes sense all these stars are gravitating towards the humble puffers this year, though. With nowhere to go, we all just want to slip on something easy and cozy. But it’s clear that going forward into 2021, classic outdoor wear will be sustaining its fashion momentum—especially with this new stamp of approval from both designers and top models. The takeaway? Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, your winter wardrobe probably should be.