Were there any particular feelings or emotions you were hoping to encounter in the design?
I love how I was able to share one of my passions and communicate my appreciation for the outdoors and nature through my practice. They’re apparently quite separate things – maybe you’re more into the outdoors and do art as well, but they come together. I was really excited to be able to create this collection because it created a functional yet expressive thing that celebrates my passion for the outdoors and nature.
Why are you constantly fascinated by the outdoors in your work?
I’m always inspired by the outdoors because no matter how familiar you are with a place, there’s always something new you’ll discover and spending time outdoors is really important to me.
As someone who was raised in the countryside, what does The North Face mean to you?
Ever since I was young, it’s always been the most sought after outdoor brand. I remember asking my mother if she could give me some money to have one when I was younger. When I started college in Bristol, I had this The North Face down jacket that I wore in the studio all the time because it was really cold. Over the years there was more and more paint and eventually it was coated inside and out – and I still have that jacket. I wore it all the time in my studio and people always said, “Is this a limited edition? Or, “Is this a collaboration?” I always answered “one day, one day”. But without realizing it, the jacket linked to this collaboration. I thought “I could do it like that” and work it into the story.
“Without realizing it, the jacket linked to this collaboration. I thought “I could do it like this” and make it part of the story.
Tell us a bit about the studios you’ve had in the past.
I remember the first studio I had was when I graduated from college. They did this residency program where they provided a studio for one of the students and I was selected for that. It was the best thing ever and it got me to where I am now – being able to do my job in places like this.
The studios really dictate the nature of the work. If you have an office, you will do small jobs. Or, if you’re in a large room, you’ll probably spread out and make big chunks. I really enjoy working in larger spaces because I think it’s led my work to be quite large and quite expressive.
What do you think is especially needed in the studio to make it feel like a sacred place?
Daylight and doors that you can close for some privacy. When you’re in the studio, you can crawl on the floor a bit and make faces, you get involved in what you’re doing. It’s a great place to get into that state of flow without distractions.
Where else can you see yourself working in the future?
I will always treasure my studio in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire as it is just five minutes from my home and next to the river. It’s different because it’s a really nice and very peaceful place. I like it because I have fond memories of doing good art there.
Check out the Alfie Kungu x The North Face collaboration now on Hypebeast. To shop the featured pieces, head to The North Face website now.