Tim Hamilton is the Global Creative Director at the iconic outdoor lifestyle brand The North Face. While he might seem like a world away from his previous "fashion" life where he was a CFDA winner, eponymous brand that showed in NY, Paris and early collaborator of Uniqlo and Topshop, Tim is never far from the pulse of change. What continues to set him apart is his continual evolution as a designer, creative leader and human. (Our interview takes place shortly after The North Face and Gucci announced their upcoming collaboration)
Some of the topics we discussed are:
Work in the new world and setting Boundaries
One of the biggest challenges coming out of the Pandemic is to set new boundaries and how Tim shares why we need to be mindful of this. He also discusses how the pandemic has changed the work/life structure for his team and what it means to be an effective and inspiring leader.
The push for Sustainability, and setting an example for change.
The DNA of The North Face (TNF), coming from the original founder, is to make something that lasts a lifetime, to protect the environment and outdoors.
The challenge to promote sustainability and remain commercially viable is for TNF a no brainer, it's simply part of their North Star. They are set up brilliantly, as a multi-billion dollar brand to be an example for the industry. They know that every step you take counts, no matter how small.
The importance of Creative Partnerships and Collaborations with shared values.
Creating partnerships according to Tim is about finding partners who share the same purpose and mission. Margiela, Brain Dead are such partners for The NorthFace. They provoke the industry to incite change! Collaborations must make a statement and not simply a collaboration for PR sake. It must say something for both brands. While Tim could not share more about their upcoming collaboration with Gucci, our guess is it will have a Sustainability focus.
The role of Young Creative talent and how can they help transform an industry in flux.
Tim shared it's an incredible time for young creative talent to respond to changes in society. To bring forward change and help wake up and transform the industry that has fallen asleep. Young talent must take in account what's going on in the world and look at the industry from a different lens. He stresses that now is an amazing opportunity for people who have a clear vision for the future and don't think in trends which is an archaic approach.
His advice to those at a crossroad in their career - Evolve or Die?
For more senior experienced talent, it's imperative to stay current and evolve for the generations to come, otherwise ask yourself why are you still doing what you are doing? Now more than ever it is important to become an enabler, to mentor the young and new generations for a new and better world. Companies will die if they don't hire the talent that can help change the old patterns and prepare for a post pandemic society.