User needs

The iconic black shoulder of the original North Face Mountain Light jacket came about not because someone thought, ‘Wow, straight lines and bold blocking is going to look awesome.’ It came about because someone said, ‘I need a super-durable material because, when I throw my skis over my shoulder to hike up this ridge, the straight skis of the 1970s and 80s rub a hole through my jacket’ — and the only thing available at the time was a 1680 ballistic nylon that only came in black because it was for the military.

You end up with an iconic design that was never intended to be an iconic design. It just happened that way because of a specific need.

BLDGBLG - an interview with Scott McGuire