Were there any particular emotions or feelings you hoped would come across in the design?
I enjoy the way I was able to share my passion and convey my appreciation for the outdoors and nature through my practice. They are apparently quite separate things – you can be quite outdoorsy, and also create artwork, but they come together. I was very excited to create this collection because it created a functional yet expressive item 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 somewhere, there’s always something new you’ll come across, and spending time outdoors is just really important to me.
As someone who grew up in the countryside, what does The North Face mean to you?
Ever since I was young, it has always been the most sought after outdoor brand. I remember asking my mom if she could give me some money to get one when I was younger. When I first started university in Bristol, I had this The North Face puffer jacket that I wore all the time in the studio because it was freezing. Over the years it was only painted more and more and eventually it was covered inside and out – and I still have that jacket. I used it all the time in my studio and people always said, “Is it a limited edition?” Or “Is it a collaboration?” I always answered “one day, one day.” But without realizing it, the jacket was linked to this collaboration. I thought “I could do it like this” and make it part of the story.
“Without realizing it, the jacket was linked to this collaboration. I thought, ‘I could do it like that’ and make it part of the story.”
Tell us a bit about the studios you’ve had in the past then.
I remember the first studio I ever had was when I graduated from university. They did this residency program where they gave one of the students a studio and I was selected for this. It was the best thing ever and got me to where I am now – being able to do my work in places like this.
The studios really dictate the nature of the work. If you have a desk, do small jobs. Or, if you’re in a big room, you’re most likely going to spread out and make big chunks. I have really appreciated working in larger spaces because I think it has made my work quite large and quite expressive.
What in particular in the studio do you feel is necessary for it to feel like a sacred place?
Daylight and doors that you can close for some privacy. When you’re in the studio you can crawl around on the floor and make funny faces, you get involved in what you’re doing. It’s a pretty good place to get into that flow state without distractions.
Where else can you see yourself working in the future?
I will always treasure my studio in Hebden Bridge Yorkshire because it is only five minutes from my house and next to the river. It’s different because it’s a very nice place to be and very peaceful. I like it because I have good memories of making good works of art there.
Explore the Alfie Kungu x The North Face collaboration on Hypebeast now. To shop the pieces featured, head over to The North Face’s website now.